Wolfpack Drops Match at No. 4 North Carolina
Oct. 10, 2013
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The NC State women’s soccer team turned in a solid defensive performance Thursday night but ultimately fell at No. 4 North Carolina by a final score of 3-0.
The Tar Heels (11-2, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) were led by a strong performance from senior forward Crystal Dunn, who scored goals in the 21st and 59th minutes of the match. She was joined on the score sheet by Amber Munerlyn, who added a tally in the 84th minute.
“We gave our maximum effort tonight,” said head coach Tim Santoro. “That’s about all that we can give when we play elite teams. I would have liked to have had that effort last week against Maryland and I would like to have that effort Sunday against Clemson.”
The Wolfpack (6-8, 1-7 ACC) did a solid job of defending the 2012 national-champion Tar Heels in the opening stages of the match, allowing a few early opportunities, but nothing of great significance. The best chance of the opening 20 minutes came when Dunn ripped a hard shot towards the far post in the 18th minute. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Mackenzie Stelljes made a great diving save to keep the match scoreless, getting low to save the attempt.
North Carolina opened the scoring in the 21st minute of the match when Dunn collected the ball 18 yards from the goal and ripped a left-footed shot just inside the far post and outside the reach of Stelljes. The goal was the 10th of the season for Dunn, who came into the match ranking third in the ACC in goals scored.
Six minutes later, underclassmen Jackie Stengel and Brittany Stanko applied some pressure on the Carolina defense. The two were on the verge of creating a dangerous opportunity for the Wolfpack before a UNC defender was able to poke the ball away at the last second.
NC State came out of the locker room after halftime with a spring in its step, ramping up the pressure on the Tar Heels. The Wolfpack possessed the ball well in the early portion of the second half, showing patience while trying to pick its way into the strong UNC defense.
“Patience and confidence is exactly what we talked about (in the locker room at halftime),” Santoro said. “We played intimidated in the first half. You can’t let the name on the shirt or playing here at Fetzer get to you. You play in a system and you have to deal with it.
“By the time we got to the locker room at halftime, I think we were comfortable with the game and confident in the second half.”
The Tar Heels were able to double their advantage in the 59th minute, scoring again through the foot of Dunn. The U.S. Women’s National Team member received a nice pass from teammate Amber Munerlyn and took a sliding shot which skimmed the far post and found its way into the net.
Munerlyn increased UNC’s advantage to 3-0 when she was set up nicely by teammates Kealia Ohai and Meg Morris. The goal scorer found herself facing a partially-open net from six yards away and was able to tuck it in before the State defense could react.
NC State will next be in action at home on Sunday, Oct. 13 vs. Clemson. The Wolfpack and Tigers will kick off from Dail Soccer Field at 1 p.m. Sunday’s match will serve as Y-Guide Day, an event which will allow free admission to every Y-Guide and his or her parents.