CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Dating back to last season, the Virginia Tech women’s soccer team had collected three wins in their last five tries against opponents ranked in the top 25 nationally, a trend the Hokies continued on Thursday, Oct. 9 with a 1-0 victory over No. 8 Virginia. Tech hoped to carry over its recent success against the nation’s elite into Sunday’s match against No. 2 North Carolina, but the Tar Heels proved to be too great a challenge for the visiting Hokies. UNC cruised to a 4-0 victory at Fetzer Field and improved to 13-1-1 overall and 6-0-0 in the ACC. With the loss, Virginia Tech falls to 7-5-2 overall and 2-2-2 in conference action.
Coming into the match, the Tar Heels boasted the ACC’s best offense, tallying 49 goals on 302 shots through 14 contests. In the opening 25 minutes, UNC lived up to its reputation, taking eight shots to just one by the Hokies. The offensive pressure paid off for the Tar Heels, who took a 1-0 lead after redshirt sophomore Ali Hawkins deflected a cross into the net for her first score of the season in the 23rd minute. With the goal, Hawkins became the fourteenth different North Carolina player to register a score on the year. Yael Averbuch and Tobin Heath were both credited with an assist.
North Carolina would strike again at the 32:50 mark. This time, Averbuch curled a shot inside the right post off an assist from Jessica Mcdonald, and the Tar Heels would take a 2-0 lead into halftime after outshooting the Hokies 11-2 in the opening 45 minutes.
The intermission did little to slow the North Carolina offense in the early going of the second frame. In the 55th minute, Tobin Heath headed a cross from a corner kick into the net for her sixth goal of the season, giving UNC a 3-0 advantage. Eveland and Averbuch both picked up assists.
The Tar Heels weren’t done, however, and in the 67th minute, Hawkins netted her second goal of the game, taking advantage of the loose rebound from her previous shot. UNC almost added a fifth score in the waning minutes as Mandy Moraca’s shot hit off the crossbar, but the game ended with the Tar Heels on top 4-0.
Until Sunday, Virginia Tech had scored at least one goal in every match this season, yet the Hokies were unable to put together a strong scoring threat against North Carolina. For the contest, Tech was outshot 22-5. Freshman Brittany Michels paced the Hokie offense, recording four shots, two on goal.
Starting keeper Kristin Carden made three saves and allowed three goals before Ashley Owens relieved her in the 63rd minutes. Owens would make two saves and allow the final UNC score. Tar Heel goalkeepers Anna Rodenbough and Ashlyn Harris each made a save while combining for the shutout.
The Hokies will look to regroup at home on Wednesday, Oct. 15 in their last non-conference match of the season against Longwood at 7 p.m. Tech is 2-0 all-time against the Lancers.
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