Crystal Dunn (center) and Kealia Ohai (right) – Photo courtesy of GoHeels.com
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Kealia Ohai scored a pair of goals and Crystal Dunn added her third goal of the weekend as No. 1 North Carolina defeated VCU 4-0 before 919 fans at the Klockner Classic.
Ohai, the senior forward from Draper, Utah, had the game-winner in the 23rd minute and then added an insurance goal in the 69th minute of action. Paige Nielsen also scored for the Tar Heels and Crystal Dunn had her third goal of the weekend as she dribbled through several defenders to score unassisted in the 73rd minute.
Sophomore midfielder Caroline Lindquist and freshman midfielder Cameron Castleberry each posted their first career points with assists in the match.
UNC outshot the Rams 30-4 and had a 14-1 edge in corner kicks. Coach Anson Dorrance played all 26 players who dressed for the game and all 26 played at least 10 minutes. Emma Kruse played the whole way in goal for VCU and made nine saves while allowing four goals. Three different Tar Heels shared the shutout and each of them made one save apiece. Bryane Heaberlin started and played 45 minutes followed by Anna Sieloff with 35:25 of action and freshman Lindsey Harris seeing her first action with 9:35 of play.
UNC improved to 2-0 on the weekend coming off its 2-0 win over #9 Santa Clara on Friday. VCU fell to 0-2 on the campaign.
The first good scoring chance of the match came with 25:21 left in the first half as Sharon Wojcik corralled a ball after a corner kick and had an excellent chance from about 12 yards out on the left side of the box. But her hard shot was gobbled up by UNC goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin.
After the missed chance by the Rams the Tar Heels capitalized less than three minutes later as Kealia Ohai scored her first goal of the season. Ohai finished off her chance from 10 yards, slotting it inside the right post past VCU goalkeeper Emma Kruse. Alexa Newfield had the first assist on the goal with a nifty through ball, and Katie Bowen had the second assist.
The Tar Heels nearly made it 2-0 with 7:30 left in the first half when Brooke Elby’s shot from a difficult angle in the left side of the box clanged off the cross bar. But UNC did strike less than three minutes later as Paige Nielsen notched her third career goal with 4:40 left in the first half. Sophomore midfielder Caroline Lindquist earned her first career point as she fed a ball from the midfield to Nielsen at the six-yard line. The Nebraska native fought off a VCU defender on a 50-50 ball and finished with a toe poke into the right side of the goal. The Tar Heels finished the half with a 13-3 edge in shots.
Midway through the second half it was VCU goalkeeper Emma Kruse who shone brightly as she made three saves from close range on a pair of shots by Nielsen and one by Ohai in a span of three minutes. But a couple of minutes later, UNC upped the lead to 3-0 as Kealia Ohai notched her second goal of the game off an assist by freshman Cameron Castleberry, her first career point. Castleberry made a nifty run past a defender and into the right side of the box where she found Ohai all alone on the far post for the putaway into the open net. The goal came with 21:36 left in the second half.
With 17:30 left, Crystal Dunn notched her third goal of the weekend as she claimed a ball in the midfield, dribbled through several defenders and finished from the top of 18-yard box into the upper left corner.
The Tar Heels return to the pitch next Friday when they play host to the Carolina Nike Classic at Fetzer Field. Duke will meet Kennesaw State at 2:30 p.m. followed by a match between Carolina and New Mexico at 5 p.m. The UNC-UNM match will be webcast live on GoHeelsTV.