The No. 1 North Carolina women's soccer team wrapped up its Texas road trip with a 6-0 win over Baylor on Sunday afternoon.
The Tar Heels raced out to a fast start, controlling possession and playing deep into Baylor territory. Following an abundance of pressing, UNC got on the board first in the fifth minute when junior forward Avery Patterson ripped the ball from a Baylor defender before dribbling past the goalkeeper and finding the back of the net.
UNC continued to apply pressure and launched a series of shots for the next several minutes, yet they were blocked by the Bears' defense. Baylor recorded its first shot of the game in the 12th minute but the attempt was shut down by the Tar Heels.
In the 21st minute, UNC extended its lead with a goal from sophomore goal Emily Colton. On her first shot of the season, Colton received a pass from first-year forward Tori DellaPeruta just outside of the box, dribbled left, and fired a low shot into the bottom right corner of the goal to put the Tar Heels up 2-0.
The Tar Heels added another goal with a little more than 10 minutes remaining in the half. Following a Baylor giveaway, senior forward Isabel Cox dribbled into the box and sent a through ball past the goalkeeper to sophomore forward Emily Murphy, who tapped it in to give UNC a 3-0 lead heading into halftime.
After redshirt first-year Emmie Allen started in net for UNC, senior Marz Josephson took over in the second. The defense continued to stymie the Bears' chances and on the offensive end, first-year Kate Faasse scored her first career goal in the 51st minute when she received a low cross from first-year forward Maddie Dahlien.
UNC's offensive explosion continued six minutes later, when junior forward Sam Meza rebounded her own miss off the post to extend the Tar Heels' lead to 5-0. Following the goal, head coach Anson Dorrance made another large-scale substitution to give the majority of the roster quality minutes.
In the 64th minute, DellaPeruta joined in on the high-scoring affair with her first career goal when she sent a high shot into the net to make it 6-0.
The Tar Heels were unable to widen their lead in the final 20 minutes, but still ran away with a comfortable victory.
Who stood out?
Six different players scored for the Tar Heels, with Faasse and DellaPeruta registering their first goals in a UNC uniform.
With her goal to open the game, Patterson now has four goals on the season and has scored in five out of six contests, including exhibitions.
Following the season-ending injury of defensive stalwart Maycee Bell, the defensive unit was dominant on Sunday, extending the team's scoreless streak to begin the season.
When was it decided?
The Tar Heels raced out to an early lead and never looked back. By the time the team led by three goals at halftime, the game was all but sealed as the team cycled through a number of substitutes.
Why does it matter?
The dominant offensive performance was the team's best in nearly a full calendar year, with the six goals being the most the Tar Heels have scored in a game since putting up seven against Florida on Sept. 7, 2021. UNC outshot Baylor 26-8, including a 15-3 advantage in shots on goal.
After losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history in last year, the Tar Heels have burst out of the gate in the new season. Despite beginning the year ranked No. 10 in the Coaches Poll, UNC is now the top team and holds all eight first-place votes.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will head to Columbia, Mo. on Thursday afternoon to face Missouri. The game will begin at 1 p.m.
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