No. 1 Tar Heels Ease Past No. 9 WVU
DURHAM – Top-ranked North Carolina bolted to a 4-0 lead in the opening 47 minutes and then held off a second half rally by ninth-ranked West Virginia to win 4-2 at Koskinen Stadium.
The Tar Heels finished the Duke Nike Classic 2-0 after posting a pair of wins over Top 10 teams, defeating No. 2 UCLA 1-0 on Friday and the No. 9 Mountaineers 4-2 Sunday.
Carolina improved to 6-0 on the season with the win while West Virginia lost for the first time this season and is now 3-1-2. With the win, Carolina completed its first unbeaten and untied regular-season non-conference slate since the 2005 campaign.
The Tar Heels got goals from four different players on Sunday while Alex Newfield assisted on two UNC tallies.
Carolina opened the scoring in the ninth minute as Newfield thread a ball through the defense to Kealia Ohai just outside the left side of the box. Ohai beat her defender to the inside and sent a shot into the lower right corner from 12 yards out at the 8:40 mark.
The Tar Heels doubled their lead less than eight minutes later as Crystal Dunn scored her sixth goal of the year, assisted by Newfield and Meg Morris. Dunn, who had the game-winner against UCLA on Friday night, took a feed from Newfield and sent a shot inside the left post for a 2-0 UNC lead at 16:38.
The Tar Heels added to their lead at 43:57 after Jess Crowder took down UNC’s Emily Bruder 22 yards from the goal line on the left side of the pitch, earning a yellow card in the process. Freshman Joanna Boyles stepped up and rocketed a curving shot inside the left post, beating West Virginia goalkeeper Sara Keane in the process. It was the first goal of Boyles’ young career.
The Tar Heels took a 3-0 lead into halftime along with an 11-1 advantage in shots. The second half would prove to not be as easy as WVU fought back after Carolina added a fourth goal less than two minutes into the half.
At 46:27, Carolina’s Amber Munerlyn was taken down in the left side of the box by a pair of WVU defenders. Sophomore Summer Green calmly stepped to the 12-yard spot and buried her penalty kick into the lower left corner to put the Heels up 4-0.
At 59:39, West Virginia got on the scoreboard after UNC’s Hanna Gardner was called for taking down a WVU player on the right side of the penalty area. Frances Silva of the Mountaineers stepped up and sent a penalty kick into the back of the net for her fourth goal of the year.
It took the Mountaineers a little over four minutes to strike again after the Tar Heels turned the ball over at midfield. WVU mounted a quick counterattack after gaining possession with Kate Schwindel scoring a nice goal from 10 yards out into the top left corner at 63:58. She was assisted on the score by Frances Silva and Kelsie Maloney.
After that brief spurt, the Tar Heels regained their composure and retook the possession advantage in the final 25 minutes, finishing off the two-goal margin.
Carolina finished with a 19-3 edge in shots and a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks.
The Tar Heels begin ACC action this week with a pair of games. They will play at Virginia Tech on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Blacksburg, Va., in their ACC opener. On Sunday, the Tar Heels will meet Notre Dame at Fetzer Field at 1 p.m. The UNC-UND game will be webcast live on ESPN3 and broadcast live on WCHL (97.9FM/1360AM, Chapelboro.com).