PITTSBURGH, PA. - Sixth-ranked North Carolina outshot Pittsburgh 34-4 Thursday night en route to a 1-0 victory over Pittsburgh at Ambrose Urbanic Field. The Tar Heels won their second straight and stayed in the race for the ACC regular-season championship by improving to 3-2 in the league and 9-2 overall. Pitt fell to 4-6-1 and 0-5 in the ACC with the loss to the Tar Heels.
The game was played before a Pittsburgh women's soccer record crowd of 1,419 fans. The difference proved to be a goal by UNC sophomore Paige Nielsen who tallied in the ninth minute of the game off an assist by sophomore midfielder Katie Bowen.
Despite barraging the Pittsburgh goal with 17 shots in each half, the Tar Heels were unable to finish a second opportunity but the early goal was enough to achieve the victory.
Final stats saw UNC with 34 shots to four for Pittsburgh. UNC also led in corner kicks 10-1. UNC placed 11 of their 34 shots on frame with Nicole D'Agostino matching her career high with 10 saves in the net. UNC was rarely threatened on the other end but when it was its two goalkeepers came up big for Coach Anson Dorrance. Senior Anna Sieloff saved all three shots she faced in the first half and sophomore Bryane Heaberlin made a save on Pitt's only shot of the second half.
Dorrance made liberal use of his bench as all 20 players who traveled to Pittsburgh saw action in the game.
In the first half, the Tar Heels outshot the Panthers 17-3 but led by only one goal at intermission. The goal came from Paige Nielsen at 8:18 of the match as she finished a through ball from Katie Bowen to finish from six yards out past Pitt goalkeeper Nicole D'Agostino. It was Nielsen's fourth goal of the 2013 season.
The Tar Heels peppered the Pitt goal throughout the half but were able to put only four of their 17 shots on goal. UNC also had a 7-1 edge in corner kick at halftime. All three Pitt shots in the first half were on frame with Anna Sieloff making three saves. The toughest was on a shot from distance by Roosa Arvas with 13:32 left in the first half. Arvas tried to chip Sieloff from long range but Sieloff retreated and made the stop of a potential game-tying strike.
North Carolina, which has played eight of its first 11 games this season on the road, will now have a 10-day break in its schedule. The Tar Heels return to action on Sunday, October 6 when they play host to Maryland at Fetzer Field at 1 p.m. That game will be televised on the ACC's Regional Sports Network and simulcast on ESPN3. WCHL Radio (97.9 FM/1360 AM/Chapelboro.com) in Chapel Hill will also provide live coverage of the game between the Tar Heels and the Terrapins.Six of Carolina's final eight games of the regular season will be played at Fetzer Field. The UNC-Maryland game begins a two-game homestand for UNC which will continue on Thursday, October 10 against NC State.