Fresh off of a home win against Notre Dame, the No. 7 North Carolina women's soccer team (12-2-3, 5-2-3 ACC) traveled to Coral Gables, where it defeated the Miami Hurricanes (4-12, 1-9 ACC), 4-0.
Despite the win, the Tar Heels finished seventh in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The team lost the sixth-place tie breaker, preventing it from reaching the ACC Championships for the first time in program history.
While scoring was hard to come by at the game's onset, North Carolina was not afraid to shoot throughout the match. Just 3:49 into the game, Emily Murphy took the first shot of both teams, but it was blocked by Miami goalkeeper Melissa Dagenais.
First-year midfielder Emily Colton took another shot at the goal, but Dagenais refused to let it slip by. It wasn’t until several minutes later that sophomore forward and midfielder Sam Meza took a deflected shot and scored the Tar Heels’ first goal of the game at 18:42.
While neither team successfully scored a goal for the remainder of the half, North Carolina took several shots before the half was up. By halftime, UNC outshot the Hurricanes 7-0.
North Carolina entered the second half strong, attempting to score nearly as soon as it started. Nearly 10 minutes into the half, Colton scored the first goal of the period – her seventh of the season – to make the game 2-0.
Less than a minute later, first-year forward Emily Murphy scored her fifth goal of the season for the Tar Heels to expand the lead to three.
To earn North Carolina’s final goal, senior forward and midfielder Rachel Jones passed the ball to sophomore Talia Dellaperuta, who then scored her first goal of the season with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Miami did not take a chance on shooting until shortly after the Tar Heels earned their last goal. Midfielder and forward Julia Edwards took a shot that was blocked just seconds after Dellaperuta’s goal.
Who stood out?
Murphy not only scored one of the Tar Heels’ four goals, but she also assisted in the goal that was made by Colton to open the second half. Murphy also took four shots against the Hurricanes, putting her season total at 35.
Dellaperuta took three shots in this match against the Hurricanes, making her season total 13. She also successfully made one goal which would be her first of the season and the final goal for the Tar Heels, sealing their win against Miami.
When was it decided?
While North Carolina took the lead in the first half, there was no way to tell who would take the win until the latter half of the game.
In the second half of the game, the Tar Heels scored three of their goals and by the end, they outshot Miami with a total of 26-1 for the entire game.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels have played a very competitive season. They competed in seven overtime games, equaling the most played in the program’s history, and nearly missed the chance to qualify for the ACC postseason play as they were ranked at No. 7 prior to beating Notre Dame.
Winning against Miami was vital for UNC to secure their spot in the ACC Championship games. Only the top six teams will compete, and North Carolina ended the regular season ranked No. 6. This game also marked North Carolina’s 11th consecutive win against Miami.
When do they play next?
North Carolina will have to wait until Nov. 8 to learn of its matchup in the NCAA Tournament.
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