COLUMBUS, Ohio North Carolina is still North Carolina. That’s the message the 19-time national champion appeared to have been sending to the women’s collegiate soccer community on the strength of a 5-0 victory Friday in the Duke adidas Classic over a talented Ohio State team that didn’t back down but has now lost two in a row after winning its first six games.
The Tar Heels may have entered the game with a program first two losses after just six games, but that didn’t hinder them on the playing field as they scored as many goals as Ohio State has allowed this season, including three goals in the final 14 minutes of the game.
The score, however, was not indicative of the way Ohio State played and the effort that was put forth out on the field.
“We played very, very well,” Ohio State coach Lori Walker said. “We were fantastic for 30 minutes. We executed our game plan. We attacked. We did not sit back in a bunker. We transitioned and we caused a lot of problems for them for 30 minutes.
“Three times we had an attacking player against North Carolina’s goalkeeper and we did not convert. Just getting breakaways like that simply doesn’t happen against North Carolina and we had three. But you can’t expect to win if you don’t convert on your chances.”
Sophomore Casey Nogueira scored three times to lead the Tar Heels. Her first score and the game’s first goal came at the 15 minute mark. It was unfortunate because the Scarlet and Gray had been applying most of the offensive pressure up until that point. Senior Lara Dickenmann and junior Lisa Collison combined for four shots on goal and three terrific scoring chances between the five and 12-minute marks.
After Nogueira scored, Ohio State wouldn’t have another shot on goal until Carla Arbulu’s shot in the 63rd minute. The first half ended with Carolina holding a 1-0 lead. The Tar Heels out-shot Ohio State, 10-5, in the half. That total may have been OSU’s fewest shots in a half this season, but it was still more than the game totals of the two teams that beat North Carolina, 1-0, by “bunkering” down and converting on one shot apiece.
“The difference is when you look at the teams that beat North Carolina, they had one and two shots,” Walker said. “We attacked. We were ultimately pulled apart by UNC and that’s what you get when you play this team, but we will learn more by playing them the way we did than by sitting back. We definitely saw some parts of ourselves that we haven’t seen this year. We are a better team because of our performance tonight.”
Nogueira found the back of the net less than two minutes into the second half, giving UNC a 2-0 lead. The Buckeyes were not getting many shots on net, but they were competing and keeping the score close until the 76-minute mark when Whitney Engen scored for a 3-0 Carolina lead.
Ten minutes later Nogueira scored again and then with less than a minute to play Caroline Boneparth scored to cap the 5-0 win and improve North Carolina’s record to 5-2.
The Buckeyes, who had outscored their first six opponents, 14-3, have now been shut out in two-consecutive matches. The team will look to snap that streak and pick up win No. 7 Sunday when it plays tournament host Duke at 2:30 p.m.
OSU News and Notes:
- The Ohio State vs. Duke match Sunday will be webcast live and on-demand on ACCSelect.com. Visit www.accselect.com <http://www.accselect.com/> to purchase a pass for the game.
- Live stats are also available for the Duke game at www.GoDuke.com.
- The last time Ohio State allowed as many as seven goals over two games was in the 1999 season.
- It’s been 22 games since Ohio State was shut out in consecutive games.
- Duke, Sunday’s opponent, is 3-1-2 heading into its match Friday night against San Francisco.