Women’s soccer: UNC eliminates UVA from ACC Tournament

virginia soccerThe ACC Championships ended abruptly for fifth-seeded UVA (13-4-2) on Sunday as fourth-seeded North Carolina (12-3-3) defeated the Cavaliers by a score of 3-0 in a quarterfinal match at Fetzer Field.

The Tar Heels capitalized on turnovers for two goals in the closing minutes of the first half and added a third goal in the second half to pick up the win. It marked only the second time this season for Virginia to be shut out.

Both squads finished with seven shots each for the match.

The Cavaliers will now wait for the announcement of the NCAA Tournament bracket. NCAA Tournament play begins on Friday, Nov. 11. The brackets will be announced on Monday, Nov. 7.
North Carolina pressured the Cavalier defense through the early stages of the game, possessing the ball in the Virginia defensive third through most of the first 20 minutes. The Cavaliers answered the challenge, turning away three quality shots by the home team with a pair of blocked shots and a save by senior goalkeeper Morgan Stearns (San Antonio, Texas).

Virginia got its best chance in the 33rd minute when Alexis Shaffer (Cary, N.C.) took a free kick just outside the near corner of the penalty box. Her shot hit the cross bar and the ensuing header from Zoe Morse (East Lansing, Mich.) was saved by North Carolina to keep the Cavaliers off the board.

The Tar Heels converted in the 39th minute to take the 1-0 lead. Virginia passed the ball back to Stearns in the box and Madison Schultz ran at the keeper, taking the ball from Stearns’ feet and sending it into the net for the score.

A second goal came in the final minute of the half as a turnover allowed Sarah Ashley Firstenberg to get in behind the defense and slip a shot in front of the keeper, and in past the far post, for the 2-0 Tar Heel lead.

North Carolina took the lead out to 3-0 in the 65th minute when Julia Ashley slipped in a header off a corner kick from Dorian Bailey.

Virginia finished with three shots in the second half to North Carolina’s two, but couldn’t get a rally mounted as the Tar Heels picked up the win.

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