The No. 5 North Carolina women’s soccer team (11-3, 4-2 ACC) secured the program's 400th home win with a 2-0 victory over N.C. State (7-5-3, 2-4 ACC) at Dorrance Field on Sunday. The victory helped the Tar Heels avenge their loss to the Wolfpack last year, and the team took a season-high 29 shot attempts.
Following a four-goal game against Pittsburgh on Thursday, the Tar Heel offense carried this momentum into the first half on Sunday. The team had several scoring chances in the first several minutes, as first-year Maddie Dahlien and sophomore Emily Colton attacked a scrappy N.C. State defense to get two shots in early from the right side.
With 15 minutes left in the first half, the Wolfpack defense had successfully withstood a relentless attack from the Tar Heel offense. Despite North Carolina’s 11 shots compared to N.C. State's two, the score remained 0-0.
But then, with just under four minutes left in the first half, UNC earned another corner and the team looked to get on the board. Then, following a series of attempts in the box, the Tar Heels scored their first goal of the game when sophomore Emily Murphy found the ball at her feet and buried it into the back of the net to give her team the lead heading into the break.
N.C. State struggled to challenge North Carolina's defense in the first half, with the only shot on goal coming after a breakaway from forward Leyah Hall-Robinson.
The Tar Heels dominated the field with possession for almost 70% of the first half, and less than a minute into the second half, junior Avery Patterson passed the ball to redshirt first-year Ally Sentnor, who passed it right back to set up a goal from just outside the box. This goal set the tone for another aggressive, attack-driven half, in which UNC continued to dominate en route to a 2-0 win.
Who stood out?
Sentnor was a key part of the Tar Heels' attack, as she led the team with seven of the Tar Heels' 29 shot attempts. Meanwhile, Patterson’s goal, set the tone for the second half and established the Tar Heel’s offensive dominance.
Murphy was also a contributor, as she added her fifth goal of the season.
When was it decided?
The Tar Heels attacked for almost 70% of the first half, never releasing the pressure on N.C. State’s defense.
When Patterson scored the team's second goal of the afternoon, the team's offensive persistence minimized any of N.C. State's scoring opportunities, and the Tar Heels were able to coast to a relatively easy win.
Why does it matter?
In front of the second-largest home crowd of the season, the Tar Heels picked up the program's 400th home win.
Though the first half offensive performance put the team ahead just before halftime, the Tar Heels’ relentless pressure and energy in the second half was truly what cemented the win. With 13 minutes still left in the game, the team had already launched a season-high total of shot attempts.
When do they play next?
UNC will play Wake Forest in its final home game of the regular season at 7 p.m on Friday.
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