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The Daily Tar Heel

North Carolina women's soccer draws 0-0 against Wisconsin at Dorrance Field

UNC senior midfielder Talia Dellapuerta (24) dribbles up the field during the women’s soccer game against Wisconsin on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, at Dorrance Field. The game ended in a draw.

The No. 3 North Carolina women’s soccer team (1-0-2, 0-0 ACC) tied with Wisconsin (1-0-2, 0-0 Big Ten), 0-0, at Dorrance Field on Thursday evening.

In its first clash with the Badgers since 1997, UNC was met with an aggressive Wisconsin attack on the pitch. In response, first-year defender and ACC Defensive Player of the Week Savy King executed a clean sliding tackle to deter a clear Badger breakaway.

Pesky pressures by sophomore defender Tessa Dellarosse initiated turnovers on back-to-back Wisconsin drives, contributing to a stellar defensive half for North Carolina that held the Badgers shotless. 

However, frustration was palpable in the first 45 minutes. With several attacks broken up on the wings, the Tar Heel offense was disoriented by Wisconsin’s proactive defensive reads. Twice as many fouls were called versus shots taken by UNC, frequently interrupting the game. 

First-year forward Olivia Thomas induced a yellow card near the box, but the Tar Heels failed to capitalize on the opportunity.

“I was upset about that one,”  Thomas said. “I thought I was in, but I just got unlucky. It's frustrating when things like that happen.”

North Carolina took three shots on goal in the first half, including sophomore forward Tori DellaPeruta's strike in the final minutes.

UNC opened up the second half began with a greater sense of urgency. An onslaught of strong offensive sets occurred, including junior midfielder Emily Colton’s offering that just missed the top of the frame. With the Tar Heels dominating possession, the crowd sensed the increasing momentum as chants rang out.

Six substitutions by head coach Anson Dorrance materialized via consecutive shots on goal by Thomas and senior defender Maycee Bell in the 76th minute, pushing the pace into the final stretch.

While the offense persisted, head coach Anson Dorrance commented on the work to be done to capitalize on opportunities.

“Our shooting fundamentals are off," Dorrance said. “All the elements of finishing need to be brought into our offensive character.”

Redshirt sophomore forward Ally Sentnor forced Wisconsin goalkeeper Erin McKinney to make her eighth fingertip save as time expired. Despite outshooting the Badgers 16-1, the Tar Heels settled for their second draw of the season — both against Big Ten opponents.

“I know we’re not at our peak yet,” Sentnor said. “We have so much talent, so it’s just about finding those connections and trusting each other.” 

UNC will look to rebound at home with a matchup against No. 24 USC on August 27th. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.


@dthsports |

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