It had to happen at some point.
Amid the 1-1 draws and the offensive lulls, it became clear that it was a matter of when, not if the North Carolina women’s soccer team would suffer its first loss. In the first round of the ACC tournament on Sunday, their scoring issues persisted, and the Tar Heels fell 2-1 to Pittsburgh in overtime.
In the past, head coach Anson Dorrance has been able to remain optimistic despite his team's inability to find the back of the net. However, after Sunday, he had a grimmer tone about the topic.
“We’re very concerned,” Dorrance said. “We’ve gotta do a better job finishing the chances we create.”
After UNC tied 1-1 with Boston College to end the regular season, Dorrance said that overtime would “solve the conundrum of tying games.” When regulation ended 1-1 against Pitt, North Carolina was finally forced to find its offense if the Tar Heels wanted to advance in the ACC Tournament.
Despite recording five shots in the first overtime period, the Tar Heels weren’t able to put one past the goalkeeper, while the Panthers capitalized on their sole shot.
North Carolina just couldn’t get it done.
Redshirt sophomore forward Ally Sentnor put the game in her own hands and dribbled the ball into the box from the midfield just to have a Panther defender slide in at the last second. UNC sophomore forward Tori DellaPeruta got two one-on-one chances with Pitt's goalkeeper just to have her shot saved.
While DellaPeruta certainly isn't the only potential goal scorer on the field for UNC, she’s had the most chances of any Tar Heel in the past month. The forward has tallied 11 shots on goal since she returned from Italy, playing her first game back against N.C. State on Sept. 30.