CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - #12 Wake Forest bolted to an early lead and never looked back in defeating #7 North Carolina 2-1 in women's soccer action before 1,250 fans at Fetzer Field Sunday afternoon.
Goals by Katie Stengel in the 25th minute and Annick McBryar in the 48th minute proved enough for the Demon Deacons to hold off a late charge by the Tar Heels. It was the first win for Wake over Carolina since October 27, 2000 when the Deacs won 1-0 in Winston-Salem, N.C. Wake is undefeated against Carolina in its last three games against the Tar Heels, going 1-0-2 in that span.
Just as Carolina had marred Duke's Senior Night celebration last Thursday night in a 2-0 win at Durham, Wake turned the tables on Carolina and ruined its Senior Day celebration Sunday afternoon. Ten UNC seniors playing in their final seasons at Carolina were honored in pre-match ceremonies on Sunday at Fetzer Field. The group included Megan Brigman, Amber Brooks, Hannah Daly, Adelaide Gay, Maria Lubrano, Barkley Minton, Marina Nesic, Ranee Premji, Alyssa Rich and Kristine Welsh-Loveman. Brigman is eligible for a redshirt season in 2013.
Wake scored on its first two shots of the game and it limited UNC to only eight shots in the contest, matching the season low of eight in a 2-0 win over Connecticut on August 31 in South Bend, Ind. Wake limited UNC to only one shot in the first half and that came from Kelly McFarlane in the 38th minute.
The Deacons had only one first-half shot but it found the back of the net as Katie Stengel scored her seventh goal of the season on a breakaway, getting assists from Kristen Meier and Riley Ridgik. Stengel got behind the UNC defense and finished into the lower right corner from the top of the 18-yard box past UNC goalkeeper Adelaide Gay. The goal came at the 24:08 mark.
Wake made it 2-0 in the third minute of the second half when Rachel Nuzzolese placed a perfect corner kick into the center of the penalty box. Annick McBryar found herself unmarked at the six-yard line and she redirected the corner into the center of the goal for her first goal of the year. It was the first goal allowed on a corner kick by UNC this season and it came at 47:15.
That goal put the Tar Heels behind the eight ball. It has been more than six years since the Tar Heels had fallen behind by two goals and come back to either win or tie. That was on September 1, 2006 when the Tar Heels fell behind Connecticut 2-0 before rallying to win 3-2.
At that point, Wake Forest was also bidding to become only the second team to beat UNC by more than one goal since 1985. Carolina got on the board, however, and that did not come to pass. Since a 2-0 loss to George Mason on November 24, 1985, UNC has played 665 games, suffering 36 losses during that time. Only one of those losses came by more than one goal, a 4-1 loss to Notre Dame on November 20, 2010.
The Tar Heels got a goal back in the 60th minute when Crystal Dunn's shot ricocheted off the cross bar and freshman Summer Green put away the rebound into the right side from six yards out. It was the freshman's sixth goal of the season and it came at the 59:38 mark.
Carolina had at least two decent looks at a game-tying goal down the stretch. Freshman Katie Bowen missed just high on a shot from 15 yards in the 78th minute and Alyssa Rich's shot from the left side of the box went wide right in the 84th minute.
The Demon Deacons (12-3-3, ACC 6-2-1) moved into a tie for second place with Maryland in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings with the victory with 19 points while Carolina (9-4-2, ACC 5-3-1) is in fifth place in the league standings with one game remaining Thursday night at NC State at 7 p.m. If Virginia beats Virginia Tech later today the Cavaliers will move into a fifth-place tie in the standings with the Tar Heels as both with have 16 points in the standings. Duke currently occupies fourth place in the league with 17 points. Florida State defeated Maryland 1-0 Sunday to clinch the ACC regular season championship with an 8-1 ACC record heading into its game Thursday night at Miami.