By R.L. Bynum
CHAPEL HILL — After a tough two-match stretch and a frustrating first 43 minutes against Boston College on Sunday, No. 3 North Carolina showed why it’s one of the best women’s soccer teams in the country.
At the wrong end of that, as is usually the case in this series, were the Eagles. The Tar Heels scored late in the first half and turned up the heat in the second half on their way to a 3–0 victory at Dorrance Field to shut out BC for the ninth time in the last 11 meetings.
UNC coach Anson Dorrance said that the better ball movement turned the game around as well as the fiery halftime words of assistant head coach Damon Nahas.
“In the second half, we played with a greater sense of urgency,” said Dorrance, whose team led 1–0 at halftime on freshman Kate Faasse’s goal in the 44th minute. “We were almost lethargic in how slowly we were moving the ball, and Damon sort of lit the team up at the half and said, ‘There’s another level in us,’ and, all of a sudden, I thought in the second half we showed it. The ball was moving quicker.”
Dorrance said that the quicker ball movement created more one-on-one chances and led to Carolina taking control of the game.
“We’re going to keep investing in the things that we didn’t do well today, which is finishing, and we’re going to invest in continuing to evolve to an elite team because this is a very good soccer team,” Dorrance said.
It was UNC’s 12th consecutive win and 22nd in the 23 meetings over the Eagles, who were shut out for the third consecutive game. It was a one-sided afternoon, with Carolina possessing the ball 62% of the time and outshooting BC 17–4.
UNC (9–2–0, 2–1–0 ACC) made program history a week earlier by blowing a two-goal lead in a 3–2 loss to Virginia, then battled the wind and rain in pulling out a 1–0 Thursday win at Syracuse. Dorrance called those games “very frustrating.”
Those built-up frustrations seem to mount over most of the first half as the Tar Heels struggled to finish their chances.
Carolina broke through on Faasse’s second college goal. Maddie Dahlien, another freshman, drove in and fed Talia Dallaperuta with a beautiful cross in her season debut. After Dallaperuta’s light shot went off BC goalkeeper Wiebke Willebrandt, Faasse buried a shot to the right of the goal.
“Sometimes you struggle to find back of the net, but we created a lot of good opportunities for ourselves,” Faasse said. “I think that one, I gotta give credit to Maddie and Talia because they were gonna bury it, but I was just in the right place, right time.”
Tori Hansen beat Willebrandt to the left side in the 46th minute on a penalty kick after an Eagles handball and moved to 2 of 3 on penalty kicks in her career.
“Scoring is one of the hardest parts of the game, and our forwards and midfielders were getting in those spots, but we just couldn’t tuck it away. But then finally Kate found that piece, and we scored, and that just led to two and three.”
Two minutes later, the rout was on after Avery Patterson’s team-leading seventh goal in an impressive display of the chances that ball movement can create.
After starting the attack on the left side, the Tar Heels reversed the ball on a Sam Meza pass, and Isabel Cox fed Patterson, who slipped a tough-angle shot from the right side by Willebrandt.
“I’m very happy with the team and, obviously, we’re good in the back, too,” Dorrance said. “We’re very safe in the back. So safe that you know we also subbed in the back. So, I feel really good about that win and looking forward to getting better this week and attacking the balance of our schedule.”
Dorrance played 29 players, which meant that most of the defenders got a rare chance to rest late in the game, although Julia Dorsey played all 90 minutes.
UNC is No. 3 in the rankings, but Dorrance said his Tar Heels are No. 2 in the RPI and that’s more important since the top four finishers on that list get to play home NCAA tournament games until the College Cup.
Boston College (4–4–3, 0–3–0), which came into the game after opening ACC play with a 6–0 home loss to No. 7 Florida State and a 3–0 defeat Thursday at No. 5 Duke, extended its winless streak to four matches.
NOTES: 2020 ACC All-Freshman pick Talia Dellaperuta played her first game after recovering from an injury while playing with UNC teammate Ally Sentnor on the U.S. U20 team in August. The junior midfielder, who played only eight games last season because of injury, logged 30 minutes. It was her first chance to play at UNC with her younger sister Tori. … Goaltender Marz Josephson relieved starter Emmie Allen in the 56th minute after not playing in the previous four matches. … Fourteen of UNC’s 22 wins over BC have been shutouts. UNC has outscored BC 21–2 in the last 11 meetings. … Carolina gets five days off before visiting Virginia Tech (8–2–1, 2–1–0) at 8 p.m. Saturday (ACC Network Extra/ESPN3). The Hokies won Sunday at Wake Forest 2–0.
No. 3 UNC 3, BC 0
|25||Thursday||W, 2–0||Texas||Austin, Texas||3–0–0|
|28||Sunday||W, 6–0||Baylor||Austin, Texas||4–0–0|
|1||Thursday||W, 3–1||Missouri||Columbia, Mo.||5–0–0|
|4||Sunday||L, 2–1||No. 1 UCLA||Home||5–1–0|
|8||Thursday||W, 3–0||X-No. 8 Duke||Durham||6–1–0|
|11||Sunday||W, 2–1||Central Florida||Home||7–1–0|
|17||Saturday||L, 3–2||No. 11 Virginia||Home||7–2–0,|
|22||Thursday||W, 1–0||Syracuse||Syracuse, N.Y.||8–2–0,|
|25||Sunday||W, 3–0||Boston College||Home||9–2–0,|
|1||Saturday||L, 2–1||Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||9–3–0,|
|6||Thursday||W, 4–0||No. 19 Pittsburgh||Home||10–3–0,|
|9||Sunday||W, 2–0||N.C. State||Home||11–3–0,|
|14||Friday||W, 1–0||Wake Forest||Home||12–3–0,|
|20||Thursday||W, 2–1||No. 5 |
|23||Sunday||W, 4–0||Miami||Coral Gables, Fla.||14–3–0,|
|27||Thursday||W, 1–0||Louisville||Louisville, Ky.||15–3–0,|
|3||Thursday||T, 0–0, 2 OTs (UNC advances 7–6 on PKs)||Semifinal vs. |
No. 8 Duke
|6||Sunday||L, 2–1||Final vs. No. 5 Florida State||Cary||15–4–1|
|12||Saturday||W, 5–0||First round: |
|17||Thursday||W, 3–1||Second round: Georgia||Chapel Hill||17–4–1|
|19||Saturday||W, 3–2||Third round: |
No. 15 BYU
|South Bend, Ind.||19–4–1|
|2||Friday||6 p.m.||Semifinals: No. 5 Florida State||Cary||ESPNU|
Photo of Avery Patterson courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications