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The Daily Tar Heel

No. 3 UNC women's soccer earns tenth win of season in 6-1 rout of Syracuse

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UNC senior forward/midfielder Avery Patterson (15) scores a goal on Dorrance Field during the women’s soccer game against Syracuse on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023.

The No. 3 North Carolina women’s soccer team (10-0-7, 5-0-4 ACC) defeated Syracuse (2-13-2, 0-8-1 ACC), 6-1, for its senior day matchup at Dorrance Field on Sunday afternoon.

Following a three-game 1-1 draw streak, the Tar Heels started the game with aggressive ball possession, leaving little room for the Orange to dominate UNC’s field. 

UNC’s win was a full team effort, providing all 26 Tar Heels an opportunity to touch the field. 

“So I really appreciated certainly the win," head coach Anson Dorrance said. “But also the fact that we got to play our roster and also the alums were here.”

Syracuse struggled to defend the goal box, and UNC remained in their penalty box for most of the whole game. In the first 10 minutes, the Tar Heels tallied five shots, though none reached the net. 

Breaking a 25-minute standoff, UNC earned their first goal of the game through an assist by sophomore forward Maddie Dahlien completed by redshirt senior defender Maycee Bell. From the right corner, Dahlien carried the ball into the penalty box, where Bell chipped the ball straight past the Orange’s goalkeeper. 

This was Bell’s first goal of the season, and the first time her entire family has been able to come to a game throughout her five years at UNC.

“So it was just like honestly a dream come true to score in front of them.” Bell said. “I’ve been working really hard to try to get that, so it’s awesome.” 

The goal seemed to give the Tar Heels a second wave of energy. UNC spread the field, utilizing meticulous footwork and thorough passes to continue their possession.

Four minutes later, UNC claimed the second goal of the match. Following a line of completed passes, sophomore defender Tessa Dellarose snapped the ball to junior forward Bella Sember who kicked a clean shot to the back of the net, putting UNC up 2-0.  

The Tar Heels maintained their momentum, starting the second half with a goal in the second minute. The Orange’s goalkeeper blocked a shot by redshirt sophomore forward Ally Sentnor, which rebounded into senior midfielder Sam Meza’s possession and she tapped it in.

The Orange’s defensive amped up aggressive play following UNC’s goal and finished with 13 saves against North Carolina. 

UNC conceded its first goal of the match in the last 15 minutes of the game, but rallied with three goals. Two goals came from senior midfielder Avery Patterson, with the other coming from first-year midfielder Melina Rebimbas.

Patterson’s header, an assist by graduate defender Emily Moxley, was nearly deemed offside. 

“Everytime I see [Moxley] go to wind up, I’m honestly in the box.” Patterson said. “So I mean, anytime she has her foot on it, I’m just waiting for it to hit my head.” 

Patterson has consistently been fundamental to the Tar Heels' offense. 

“And she is the kind of player that could score a goal a game, and so I’m glad she scored two today," Dorrance said.

UNC finished its last home game of the season with an undefeated record. The Tar Heels look to qualify for the ACC Tournament and, hopefully, host a few matches at Dorrance Field. 

The Tar Heels will play their final game of the season on Thursday against Boston College. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Newton Campus Field in Boston.

@laureneweider

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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