NEWTON, MASS. - For the third straight year North Carolina and Boston College fought tooth and nail on the women's soccer pitch and the result was the same as the previous two occasions, a nailbaiter 1-0 win for the #4 Tar Heels. Sunday's game was played before a crowd of 1,500 fans at the Newton Campus Soccer Field.
Senior Kelly McFarlane notched her first goal of the season for the Tar Heels at 64:48 of the match and it held up for the game-winner. McFarlane broke free on the right side and after a precision dribbling exhibition by Crystal Dunn took the pass from her fellow senior midfielder in stride and buried a shot from 12 yards out into the lower left side netting past Boston College goalkeeper Alex Johnson.
The win was the fifth in a row for the Tar Heels who improve to 12-2 overall on the season and 6-2 in the ACC. Boston College, which dominated the run of play in the first half against the Tar Heels but could not put one in the back of the net, falls to 7-7 overall and 4-5 in the ACC.
At the end of the first half, Boston College had a 5-4 shot advantage. The Eagles had the run of the play for much of the first 45 minutes before the Tar Heels settled down, going to a 4-2-3-1 and limiting BC chances.
Bryane Heaberlin made four saves in the first half for the Tar Heels while Alex Johnson made just one as three of Carolina's four shots were not on frame. Heaberlin had early saves on shots by Gibby Wagner and Stephanie McCaffrey. She really stepped up when she saved a header at 18:33 by Casey Morrison off a Boston College corner kick. Heaberlin's best save of the first half came at 43:52 as she dove to her left and snuffed out a shot by McKenzie Meehan after the Tar Heels turned the ball over in the defensive end.
Carolina played all but 50 seconds of the first half without starting defender Satara Murray who was taken down in the first minute by Lauren Bernard, who received a yellow card on the play.
The second half was a different story as Dorrance started the half in a 4-2-3-1 using Brooke Elby in a holding midfield spot with Kelly McFarlane. The Tar Heel defense stiffened in the second half and allowed only four second half shots. UNC outshot the Eagles 9-4 in the half and 13-9 for the game. UNC also had all four second-half corner kicks for a 5-2 margin in the game.
Johnson played all 90 minutes in goal and made four saves as Carolina placed five of its 13 shots on frame. Heaberlin and Anna Sieloff split halves and combined on the shutout, giving Carolina four clean sheets in its past five ACC contests.The Tar Heels return to the pitch on Thursday for a 2 p.m. match at Fetzer Field against Syracuse. The game will be televised on GoHeelsTV. Next Sunday, the Tar Heels will play host to #1-ranked Virginia at Fetzer Field at 1 p.m. That game will also be televised on GoHeelsTV and broadcast on WCHL Radio.