In another dominating effort, UNC avenges last year’s loss to N.C. State

By R.L. Bynum

CHAPEL HILL — In Carolina’s 400th home women’s soccer victory in program history, the Tar Heels’ scoring chances didn’t number that high, but it almost felt like it as they kept coming.

With No. 5 UNC dominating possession and keeping N.C. State’s chances to a minimum, only the outstanding goaltending from Wolfpack goalkeeper Maria Echezarreta, who made a career-high 10 saves, kept it close. The Heels still came away with an impressive 2–0 victory Sunday before 3,683 fans at Dorrance Field.

Carolina (11–3, 4–2 ACC), which got off a season-high 29 shots, wore down State (7–5–3, 2–4), playing 21 players. Of the three State players who came come off the bench, only one played more than 10 minutes.

UNC coach Anson Dorrance uses three statistics to gauge dominance, and the Heels dominated all three: shots (29–3), corner kicks (7–2) and possession (66%–34%). Carolina was in the offensive zone 39% of the time. Even in the three losses, the Tar Heels did well in those areas, only losing possession time against Virginia, which scored on half of its six shots.

“We’re not just dominating ordinarily — even against the teams we lost to — we dominate thoroughly,” Dorrance said. “So, I’m very happy with where our team is but also where it’s going. And they’re fun to be with; they’re nice kids. I’m enjoying that part of the season as well.”

UNC goaltender Emmie Allen needed only two saves to get her third shutout of the season. State got off two shots, marking the 10th time this season that UNC has held an opponent to seven or fewer shots and the sixth time an opponent has had five or fewer shots.

“It can be frustrating because we’ve had games like that where we’ve probably had 20-plus shots like in the Virginia Tech game,” said Avery Patterson, who scored 23 seconds into the second half Sunday, of the 2-1 loss. “But as long as we find a way to win even in those circumstances, I think that is what’s important to us.”

The win avenged a 1–0 loss at N.C. State last season when Echezarreta blanked UNC, a game that Patterson missed because of an injury. And she wasn’t going to miss her chance Sunday, seizing control of the game.

“I think it kind of was a revenge game for us because, obviously, it was a pretty scrappy game last year,” Patterson said. “It was like they had a brick wall in front of their goal. I think their keeper probably had upwards of 10-plus plus saves. So I think that coming out and scoring in the first half was big.”

UNC had numerous good chances in the first half, including Emily Moxley’s shot going off the crossbar and Patterson slipping a shot just over the crossbar. There was a lengthy discussion after Carolina players thought the Wolfpack should have been called for a handball in front of State’s goal.

Carolina finally broke through in a flurry in front of the Wolfpack net in the 43rd minute on a corner kick. After Echezarreta swatted away an Isabel Cox shot, Emily Murphy headed it high and in for a goal. That gave UNC the edge after a half in which it outshot State 15–2.

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Carolina quickly made it 2–0 when Patterson took a soft, short Ally Sentnor pass and launched it into the goal from 22 feet out.

“I got the ball out, probably half-field, and saw an opportunity to pass it to Ally Sentnor. I knew she’d get it back to me,” said Patterson, who converted a difficult shot. “I think that’s what kind of gets keepers sometimes; they don’t think that you’re going to go there, and so when you do, they’re surprised. So, I think I caught her off guard.”

Sentnor said that both goals were a result of team efforts.

“Sam [Meza] had the overlap that created space for Avery to dribble and open space for that ball to be played into me,” Sentnor said. “I laid it off to Avery when she was making an aggressive run, and then Avery buried it. So, it was just an awesome goal by her and super-happy that we got off to a great start in the second half.”

Freshman 5–9 forward Maddie Dahlien, who was the state 200-meter champion her senior year of high school in Minnesota, got her first career start for Carolina and continued her impressive run of good play, using her speed to make things happen from the right wing.

“This girl is an amazing athlete,” said Dorrance, who praised her ability to defend. “She’s going to give us a dimension out there on the right side, which is very, very intimidating. And I thought Maddie’s performance in that game justified her progression. Obviously, it’s a big jump from youth soccer to Division I, and she made the jump. She’s working hard in practice. I just love her commitment. And her debut today as a starter was magnificent.”

NOTES — The 400 home victories include wins at Dorrance Field, Fetzer Field, Finley Field and the soccer park in Cary. … The previous high UNC shot total this season was 27 in the 6–0 win at Baylor. … The crowd was the second-highest for a home game this season behind the 4,028 that saw UNC beat Tennessee 3–0 in the season opener. … Carolina leads the all-time series with the Wolfpack 48–3–2, with a 23–1 edge at home. … UNC faces Wake Forest (9–3–2, 3–3 after beating Miami 2–1 Sunday) at 7 Friday night in the final regular-season home game. … UNC sophomore midfielder Ruby Grant, who is trying out for the English national team, missed her second consecutive game. Freshman forward Tori Dellaperuta missed her third game in a row while trying out for the Italian national team.

No. 5 UNC 2, N.C. State 0

DateMonth/dayGame/scoreOpponent
(current rank)
LocationTV/
record
August
7SundayW, 5–0VCU HomeExhibition
13SaturdayW, 2–0BYUHomeExhibition
18ThursdayW, 3–0TennesseeHome1–0–0
21SundayW, 2–0UNCWHome2–0–0
25ThursdayW, 2–0TexasAustin, Texas3–0–0
28SundayW, 6–0BaylorAustin, Texas4–0–0
September
1ThursdayW, 3–1MissouriColumbia, Mo.5–0–0
4SundayL, 2–1No. 1 UCLAHome5–1–0
8ThursdayW, 3–0X-No. 8 DukeDurham6–1–0
11SundayW, 2–1Central FloridaHome7–1–0
17SaturdayL, 3–2No. 11 VirginiaHome7–2–0,
0–1–0 ACC
22ThursdayW, 1–0SyracuseSyracuse, N.Y.8–2–0,
1–1–0 ACC
25SundayW, 3–0Boston CollegeHome9–2–0,
2–1–0 ACC
October
1SaturdayL, 2–1Virginia TechBlacksburg, Va.9–3–0,
2–2–0 ACC
6ThursdayW, 4–0No. 19 PittsburghHome10–3–0,
3–2–0 ACC
9SundayW, 2–0N.C. StateHome11–3–0,
4–2–0 ACC
14FridayW, 1–0Wake ForestHome12–3–0,
5–2–0 ACC
20ThursdayW, 2–1No. 5
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla.13–3–0,
6–2–0 ACC
23SundayW, 4–0MiamiCoral Gables, Fla.14–3–0,
7–2–0 ACC
27ThursdayW, 1–0LouisvilleLouisville, Ky.15–3–0,
8–2–0 ACC
NovemberACC tournament
3ThursdayT, 0–0, 2 OTs (UNC advances 7–6 on PKs)Semifinal vs.
No. 8 Duke
Cary15–3–1
6SundayL, 2–1Final vs. No. 5 Florida StateCary15–4–1
NCAA tournament
12SaturdayW, 5–0First round:
Old Dominion
Chapel Hill16–4–1
17ThursdayW, 3–1Second round: Georgia Chapel Hill17–4–1
19SaturdayW, 3–2Third round:
No. 15 BYU
Chapel Hill18–4–1
26SaturdayW, 2–0Quarterfinals:
No. 4
Notre Dame
South Bend, Ind.19–4–1
DecemberCollege Cup
2Friday6 p.m.Semifinals: No. 5 Florida State CaryESPNU
5Monday6 p.m.ChampionshipCaryESPNU
X — Non-conference game.

Photo of Rachel Jones courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications

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