The No. 3 North Carolina women’s soccer team (8-2, 1-1 ACC) picked up its first conference victory of the season with a 1-0 win at Syracuse (7-3, 0-2 ACC) on Thursday night.
Following the team’s loss to Virginia on Saturday, the Tar Heels came out aggressive on offense, tallying four shots within the first 10 minutes. During this stretch, UNC maintained control of possession and did not allow Syracuse to generate many scoring opportunities.
UNC continuously built chances in the attacking third, yet Syracuse’s scrappy defense was there to fend off the offense through much of the first half. But then, in the 32nd minute, the Tar Heels finally broke through when first-year forward Tori DellaPeruta corralled a mishandled save from Syracuse goalkeeper Shea Vanderbosch before nudging the ball into the net to give her team a 1-0 lead right before halftime.
The offense continued to make its presence felt early in the second half. First-year forward Ally Sentnor fired her fourth shot of the night within the first minute, but it was saved by Vanderbosch. After only recording one shot in the first half, Syracuse pushed to tie the game with three quick shots early in the second, but each were shut down by UNC's back line.
In the 58th minute, the Orange had their best scoring opportunity of the night. Erin Flurey shot it to the bottom left part of the net before first-year goalkeeper Emmie Allen made a critical save to help the Tar Heels keep the lead.
Although the Tar Heels were shut down in their attempts to extend the lead, valuable time ticked off the clock, and the team maintained its advantage on the scoreboard through 80 minutes.
With less than two minutes remaining, Syracuse had its final opportunity when Gianna Savella launched a shot on goal, but Allen made a timely stop that later led to a corner. On the ensuing attempt, the defense shut down the Orange's final effort to seal the win.