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Wednesday February 1st

UNC women's soccer routs Missouri, 3-1, to put a cap on three-game road stretch

Junior defender/midfielder Avery Patterson (15) fights for the ball during UNC's second exhibition game against BYU at Dorrance Field on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.
Buy Photos Junior defender/midfielder Avery Patterson (15) fights for the ball during UNC's second exhibition game against BYU at Dorrance Field on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.

The North Carolina women's soccer team (5-0-0, 0-0 ACC) defeated Missouri (2-2-1, 0-0 SEC), 3-1, in a mid-day game on Thursday. 

What happened?

UNC wasted no time in scoring first. At the five-minute mark, sophomore midfielder Emily Colton took a shot at the center of the goal but it was saved by Mizzou goalkeeper Bella Hollenbach. Not 15 seconds later, junior forward Avery Patterson put the ball into the bottom right corner of the net off her right foot.

After some back-and-forth between the teams, UNC struck again. In the 19th minute, Colton assisted first-year Tori DellaPeruta on a goal sent into the right side of the net. That wasn't it for the Tar Heels, though. Before the first period came to an end, Sophomore Bella Sember booted the ball into the top right corner of the goal, assisted by senior forward Isabel Cox.

The Tigers weren't without their chances, however. They had four corner kicks and took six shots in the first period, but those shots were either blocked by a staunch UNC defense or saved by redshirt first-year goalkeeper Emmie Allen.

Missouri came out of the break with liveliness though, and at the 60-minute mark Tigers forward Kylee Simmons scored, nailing the top right corner to cut her team's deficit to two goals. The score would be the final goal of the game for either team.

Who stood out?

Patterson continued to be a revelation for head coach Anson Dorrance on Thursday. The dynamic player scored her fifth goal of the season, matching her season total from 2021. Patterson is the team leader in points this season for the Tar Heels, and she will likely continue to be a focal point of the team's offense this season.

DellaPeruta, coming off the bench for the first time this season, continued to build off the success she found in the victory over Baylor on Sunday. After being unable to find the back of the net despite taking eight shots in her first three collegiate games, the young forward now has tallied two goals and an assist. in her past two contests.

When was it decided?

The game seemed all but finished headed into the halftime break with UNC leading, 3-0. Missouri never resigned itself to defeat though, evidenced by Simmons' late-game goal.

Dorrance made substantial substitutions immediately following the goal, and the Tar Heels quickly retook control of the game, dominating possession time through the 90th minute. Although the Tar Heels didn't score in the second half, they also didn't allow Missouri to get off a shot in the final 30 minutes of play.

Why does it matter?

Over the past week, the Tar Heels have showed that their toughness carries over on to the road. This team has put forth an explosive offensive output so far this season, netting 16 goals in five games.

UNC did give up its first goal of the season, however. The defensive is still figuring out its chemistry in the wake of senior Maycee Bell's season-ending injury, but perhaps it found some sense of consistency with Allen playing in goal for all 90 minutes of Thursday's contest. This was the first game this season in which Dorrance did not play senior goalkeeper Marz Josephson in the second half.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will be back at Dorrance Field on Sunday to face No. 3 UCLA in a battle of undefeated teams. The game will start at 12 p.m. and be aired on ACC Network.


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