After its first loss of the season followed with a tie, the UNC women’s soccer team redeemed itself with a 3-0 win against Clemson.
No. 4 UNC women’s soccer faced off against No. 22 Clemson at home on Sunday afternoon. Both teams’ defenses came out strong, leading to a slow start to the matchup. There were no shot attempts until nearly seven minutes into the game, which North Carolina goalkeeper Claudia Dickey was able to block. The Tar Heels retaliated with a shot of their own by midfielder Sam Meza at the eleven minute mark, but this too was blocked.
From early on, fouls were prevalent. In the first fifteen minutes alone, Clemson accumulated five fouls and UNC had one of their own. By the end of the first half, Clemson had eight fouls and UNC had four. However, the aggressive defense seemed to be relatively successful, as there was only one goal scored in the first half.
This goal came after 31 minutes of play, the first career goal for first-year midfielder Bella Sember. Although there would be one more shot on goal for North Carolina in the first half, made by midfielder Ruby Grant, Sember’s goal would be the only one of the first half.
The second half was off to a much stronger start offensively. Tar Heel forward Isabel Cox scored just six minutes into the half. Though this element of the game changed from one half to the next, the fouling did not. Clemson had an additional ten fouls in the second half, while UNC had four. These fouls caught up to the Tigers, as a third UNC goal was scored by Claudia Dickey on a penalty shot.
Dickey’s goal would be the last of the game, making today’s game a 3-0 Tar Heel win.
Who stood out?
Bella Sember served as a significant contributor to her Tar Heel team today. Prior to today’s game, she hadn’t even had a shot on goal during her short time with North Carolina. She came out ready to compete for the Clemson game. Apart from scoring the first goal of the game that kick started UNC’s dominance, Sember had an additional two shots on goal.
Junior forward Isabel Cox was also an essential part of UNC’s success. Her early second half goal advanced the Tar Heel lead and served as a symbol of the direction that the game was headed. Her and Sember’s goals were essential in asserting North Carolina’s dominance in the Clemson matchup.
When was it decided?
Despite their aggressive defense, the Tigers were never able to gain control of this game. They only had a single shot on goal in the entirety of the game, and proved unable to keep up with the Tar Heels’ offense, who scored three goals. Though this was a low-scoring game, UNC’s dominance was evident throughout.
Why does it matter?
The previously undefeated UNC team suffered their first loss of the season last Thursday to No. 2 Duke. At the time of the matchup, North Carolina was No. 2, but fell to No. 4 after the loss. Their next game resulted in a tie with Virginia Tech. Sunday’s matchup was a chance for the Tar Heels to redeem themselves against another ranked team, and they did just that. North Carolina came out hot, both offensively and defensively. The shut-out win proves that it is still worthy of being a top-ranked team.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will remain at home to play No. 7 Virginia next Sunday.
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