The North Carolina women’s soccer team defeated Texas, 2-0, in a Thursday evening matchup in Austin, Texas.
UNC set the tone early with shots on goal from redshirt first-year forward Ally Sentnor and junior forward Avery Patterson a few minutes into the game, both of which were saved. That was immediately followed by a shot from Sam Meza that was blocked by a defender.
Ten minutes later — in what should have been an easy score — first-year forward Talia DellaPeruta missed a wide-open header far left of the goal as the Tar Heels continued to miss scoring chances.
On the other end of the field, the Longhorns’ Emma Regan missed a shot wide. UNC retook possession of the ball, and later Patterson sent a shot towards the lower left corner of the goal, which was also saved.
With 18 minutes left in the half, Texas forward Jilly Shimkin sent a bouncing shot towards the center of the goal, which was bobbled but ultimately saved by UNC goalkeeper Emmie Allen. Just a few minutes later, Shimkin weaved between five UNC defenders but came up short.
Two minutes later, Maddie Dahlien passed to sophomore forward Ruby Grant, who spiked the ball over the crossbar. UNC would take three more shots before the break, none of which found the back of the net.
Going into halftime, the Tar Heels had outshot the Longhorns, 12-4.
UNC came into the second half with the same aggressive energy, and same fruitless offensive attacks, as quick shots by Sentnor and Emily Colton were both warded off by the Texas defense.
At the 57-minute mark, the scoring drought finally ended. Senior defender Julia Dorsey found Patterson, positioned left of the goal, who sent a shot off her right foot into the net for the first score of the game.
Who stood out?
Patterson was the star of the game on Thursday, scoring both of UNC’s goals. The forward was all over the pitch, sending a team-high five shots at the goal.
UNC’s entire defensive unit was unbreachable, never permitting Texas to settle in and only allowing only two shots on goal the entire night. Like its previous games this season, UNC also played two goalkeepers, redshirt first-year Emmie Allen and senior Marz Josephson, who secured the shutout performance.
When was it decided?
UNC played out its game plan to a tee after the goal from Patterson, playing fast and unloading shots at the Longhorns’ goal until they were simply too tired to keep up.
With less than 12 minutes to play, Patterson scored her second goal of the game off an assist from first-year Kate Faasse. It was a play very similar to the team’s first goal, with Faasse on the right side finding Patterson charging the center of the goal for a point-blank shot.
Why does it matter?
This was UNC’s second game without senior defender Maycee Bell, who announced Thursday that she will miss the rest of the season with a leg injury. Despite the devastating loss of Bell, the Tar Heel defense held its own with another clean sheet, supported by an offense that dominates possession time.
UNC’s offense looked out of sorts at points in the first half, and going forward the Tar Heels will not be able to squander so many chances at goal without consequence.
However, like in past games this season, UNC successfully wore its opponent down with its fast pace — something that head coach Anson Dorrance has been able to do by reaching deep into his roster.
When do they play next?
On Sunday, UNC will play Baylor at 1 p.m. The game will be hosted by the University of Texas, and the Tar Heels will be the home team.
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