The No. 2 UNC Women’s Soccer team preserved their perfect start to the new season with a 2-0 win at Ohio State this afternoon.
The Tar Heels opened the season with a three-game winning streak coming into today’s game, with the Buckeyes winning its previous two games.
The strong defenses of the two teams resulted in a slow offensive start to the contest. The first goal did not come until over a third of the way into the first half — 16 minutes and 34 seconds into the game. Sophomore forward and midfielder Avery Patterson scored her first career goal as a Tar Heel with the help of an assist from first-year Lauren Wrigley. Patterson was able to sneak the ball past the Buckeyes goalkeeper to put North Carolina on the scoreboard with a 1-0 lead.
UNC was outshot 12 to three in the first half, but senior goalkeeper Claudia Dickey saved all seven of the shots on goal.
Ohio State was desperate to score coming into the second half, outshooting the Tar Heels 18-13 in today’s game, but it wasn’t enough to secure a win. Dickey’s strong goalkeeping allowed her team to maintain the lead. Her efforts were supported by a goal at the 50 minute mark by senior forward and midfielder Rachael Dorwart. Patterson aided the North Carolina team once again by assisting the game’s second goal, advancing the score to 2-0.
Who stood out?
Claudia Dickey delivered a strong performance at goalkeeper that helped North Carolina maintain a shutout against Ohio State, with nine saves on the game.
Patterson also stood out for her Tar Heel team today, not only making her first career goal but also following it up with an assist. She proved that she can be an essential asset to head coach Anson Dorrance’s UNC team this year.
When was it decided?
Despite a strong Buckeyes offense that took nine total shots on goal this afternoon, it was defense that was the deciding factor in this matchup. UNC’s defense stepped up, working together to maintain the team’s winning streak.
The Tar Heels only allowed Ohio State to make two shots on goal in the second half of the game. Neither of these shots on goal were successful, preserving the shutout and North Carolina’s perfect season.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels have made a big comeback from their disappointing season-ending loss against Santa Clara in the College Cup semifinals back in May.
UNC’s women’s soccer team has served as a top-ranked program for years, but has not won a national championship in nearly a decade. Their comeback with a so-far perfect 2021 season shows they have the potential to be a contender for the national championship title this year.
When do they play next?
The 4-0 Tar Heels will return to Chapel Hill for their next game, a September 5 matchup against No. 13 Stanford. The Stanford Cardinals are also still undefeated in the 2021 season, as North Carolina will look to preserve its flawless record.
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