North Carolina Opens ACC Women's Soccer Championship With 3-0 Victory
Nov. 7, 2007
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. - The season continues for No. 1 seed North Carolina, as the Tar Heels earned a 3-0 shutout victory over eighth-seeded Clemson in the opening game of the 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Soccer Championship at Disney's Wide World of Sports® Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
With the win, the Tar Heels improved to 16-3-0 (9-1-0 ACC) on the year and advanced to Friday's semifinal against the winner of the Virginia/Miami game. Friday's contest will be played at 5 p.m.
"I'm pleased with the result," North Carolina head coach Anson Dorrance said. "Anytime you beat a quality opponent in conference, you're pleased, and we certainly are. The team has been hanging in there and figuring out ways to win, and I'm very proud of them."
Nikki Washington put the Heels on the board first in the 16th minute, with Whitney Engen and Jessica Maxwell assisting on the goal. Washington would make three more attempts in the match, but was unable to convert them into a score.
After 25 minutes and several more attempts by UNC, the Tar Heels again broke through Clemson's defense as Jaime Gilbert scored in the 40th minute to give the team a 2-0 advantage before the break.
UNC would push the lead to 3-0 and collect its ninth-straight win, as Mandy Morace fired a shot into the back of the net with under 10 minutes remaining in the game. Rachel Givan and Meghan Klingenberg were credited with the assist.
The Tar Heels (16-3-0, 9-1-0 ACC) outshot Clemson, 23-4, but the game was intense as the two schools combined for 23 fouls.
Anna Rodenbough and Ashlyn Harris shared net duties for the Tar Heels, while Ashley Phillips played the entire game for Clemson.
"Today's game proved that this game often comes down to small details," Clemson head coach Todd Bramble said. "They scored their first goal off of a set piece and their second goal was off a defensive miscue by us. You cannot afford to spot North Carolina a two-goal lead. We ended up having to chase them and it was too much to overcome."
While Clemson's chase for the league title came to an end, the Tigers' season is not quite over. The Tigers will now wait to find out whether they receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship next week. NCAA selections will be announced Monday, November 12, on ESPNews between 8-8:30 p.m.