DURHAM, N.C. - Seventh-ranked North Carolina held sixth-ranked Duke scoreless for only the third time this season and Meg Morris and Kealia Ohai scored goals early in each half as the Tar Heels blanked the Blue Devils 2-0 Thursday night at Koskinen Stadium. On Senior Night for the Blue Devils, the Tar Heels won for the fifth time in the last six games and for the fourth time in a row before a noisy and wet crowd of 2,134 fans, including a large contingent of diehards from Chapel Hill.
Carolina's goals came from junior midfielder Meg Morris and junior forward Kealia Ohai. Morris' goal was her first tally since she scored against Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals in her freshman year on November 3, 2010.
On their Senior Night and in a downpour, the Blue Devils came out with a lot of fury but the Tar Heels weathered the early storm and struck for a sensational goal by Morris at 9:53 of the match. From the right side of the pitch, freshman midfielder Katie Bowen served a ball to the top of the box where Maria Lubrano laid out and redirected it to an onrushing Morris. The junior from Montclair, N.J., took one dribble and buried a shot into the lower left corner of the goal past Duke senior goalkeeper Tara Campbell.
The Tar Heels dominated the reminder of the first half, outshooting the Blue Devils 9-1, but they were unable to get a second goal on the scoreboard before intermission.
It took less than eight minutes into the second half for the Tar Heels to get the insurance goal they needed to put the game away. Off a free kick just inside midfield by Crystal Dunn, Duke was unable to get a clean clearance. Senior midfielder Amber Brooks headed the ball back toward the Duke goal and freshman Summer Green gobbled it up, dribbling to the end line and delivering a perfect cross to the onrushing Ohai. The junior from Draper, Utah took the pass in stride and finished into the left side of the net from the four-yard line. It was the fourth goal of the season for Ohai.
UNC outshot the Blue Devils 9-6 in the second half and 18-7 overall for the game. UNC also finished with a 7-3 corner kick margin. Adelaide Gay went the entire way in goal for UNC and posted her third straight solo shutout, making three saves. Tara Campbell finished with seven saves for the Blue Devils. Gay's shutout was significant as Duke led the ACC in scoring with 3.0 goals per game going into the game. The only other teams to shutout Duke this year were Florida State and Virginia.
UNC improved to 9-3-2 overall and 5-2-1 in the ACC. Carolina has gone 5-1 in conference play since starting out the league season 0-1-1. Duke is now 11-4-1 overall and 5-3-2 in the ACC. The game was the last league tilt of the season for the Blue Devils who wind up against Francis Marion on Sunday. UNC has two ACC games left, hosting 12th-ranked Wake Forest Sunday at 1 p.m. on Senior Day for the Tar Heels and then finishing at NC State next Thursday at 7 p.m. Both of those games will be televised live on ESPN3.
Carolina remained unbeaten all-time at Koskinen Stadium against the Blue Devils on a crazy night in the ACC where the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the league standings all lost. In other games, Florida State fell to Boston College 3-2, Miami upset Maryland 1-0 in overtime, Wake Forest beat NC State 4-2 and Virginia Tech downed Clemson 3-0.
With one week remaining in the ACC regular season, FSU continues to lead the league with 21 points while Maryland is second with 19 and Duke third with 17. North Carolina and Wake Forest are tied for fourth with 16 points each heading into Sunday's head-to-head clash. Virginia is sixth with 13 points, Boston College seventh with 12 points and Virginia Tech and Miami are tied for eighth with 10 points each.