CHAPEL HILL - Senior forward Kealia Ohai had a goal and an assist to lead #1 North Carolina to a 3-0 victory over Kennesaw State Sunday afternoon at Fetzer Field. With the win, the Tar Heels finished the weekend 2-0 in the Carolina Nike Classic and improved to 4-0 on the season.
Sophomore Paige Nielsen had the game-winning goal for the Tar Heels in the last minute of the first half before Summer Green and Kealia Ohai scored second-half goal to salt away the victory. The Tar Heels outshot the Owls 20-2 on the afternoon while using 24 players in the game. With the exception of goalkeeper Lindsey Harris, the other 23 players on the Carolina roster all saw at least 15 minutes in the match.
The first half was played for the most part in a defensive stalemate in the midfield and appeared headed to halftime in a scoreless draw. But Nielsen struck for her second goal of the season with 24 seconds left before halftime, giving the Tar Heels a 1-0 lead. Vicky Bruce fed a ball down the left side to Megan Brigman who sent it on to Nielsen. The sophomore from Nebraska sent a low shot across the frame and into the lower right corner, giving the Tar Heels a 1-0 lead. The assist for Bruce was her first career point.
UNC outshot the Owls 11-1 in the second half and added two more goals to its margin. In the 60th minute, Summer Green made it 2-0 in favor of Carolina off an assist by Kealia Ohai. Green took a short pass from Ohai and after a couple of dribbles to center herself, she sent a shot into the upper left 90 of the goal from 22 yards out.
The Tar Heels finished off the scoring just a little over two minutes later as Brooke Elby sent a through ball to Ohai at the top of the box. Ohai gathered the ball in, took one step to her left and buried a shot past KSU goalkeeper Olivia Sturdivant into the right side of the goal.
Sturdivant played the entire way in the goal for the Owls, making five saves while allowing three goals. A trio of UNC goalkeepers shared the shutout effort, UNC's third in four games. Bryane Heaberlin played the opening 45 minutes and made one save, that coming on the opening shot of the game. Anna Sieloff (35:37) and Lindsey Harris (9:23) share time in the second half.
Duke defeated New Mexico 1-0 in the first game of the Carolina Nike Classic Sunday to also finish the weekend 2-0.Next up for the Tar Heels is the Duke Nike Classic Friday and Sunday of next weekend at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. On Friday, #12 Duke plays #10 West Virginia at 6 p.m. in the first game followed by #1 UNC versus #2 UCLA at 8 p.m. On Sunday, Carolina and West Virginia play at 11 a.m. followed by Duke and UCLA at 1 p.m.