North Carolina Shuts Down Charlotte To Advance To NCAA Round of 16

UNC has not allowed a goal in 581:49 after beating the 49ers 4-0.


Courtney Jones (left) and Allie Long (right) combined to score three of Carolina's four goals on Sunday.

Nov. 16, 2008

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The North Carolina women's soccer team, the top seed in its part of the bracket in the 2008 NCAA College Cup, benefitted from a pair of goals by freshman forward Courtney Jones and used a stellar defensive effort as the Tar Heels defeated Atlantic-10 Conference champion Charlotte 4-0 in the NCAA Round of 32 at sun-drenched Fetzer Field Sunday afternoon. The Tar Heels, now 21-1-2 on the season, will meet Illinois (11-8-2) next Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Fetzer Field in the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Jones scored twice for the Tar Heels and senior midfielder Allie Long also scored a goal in the shutout win over the 49ers. The win marked UNC's second triumph over Charlotte this season. The Tar Heels also beat the 49ers 5-1 in the season opener for both teams at Fetzer Field on August 22. Long scored two goals in that game and Jones also scored once so the two players combined to score six of the nine goals UNC tallied against the 49ers this season. The 49ers saw their 15-match winning streak end at the hands of the Tar Heels. Charlotte, which finished its record-setting campaign at 18-4-1, had not lost since a 5-1 setback against Virginia Tech on September 14, 2008.

UNC senior midfielder Yael Averbuch had the assist on UNC's first goal while starting her 101st consecutive game. Averbuch, who has never missed a game or a start in her career, tied the school record for career games started which she now shares with Cindy Parlow (1995-98), Tiffany Roberts (1995-98) and Danielle Borgman (1998-2001).

Charlotte kept the Tar Heels off the scoreboard for most of the first half until a foul by the 49ers gave UNC a free kick from about 25 yards away in the 34th minute. Averbuch's direct kick was struck hard and the ball was knocked down by Charlotte keeper Lauren Brown. Brown was unable to control the ball, however, and it squirted out to the six-yard line where freshman midfielder Rachel Wood blasted the rebound home for the first goal of her career.

 

 

The first half ended at 1-0 with the Tar Heels outshooting the 49ers 12-2 and accumulating a 6-0 corner kick edge.

After intermission, UNC freshman Courtney Jones seemingly took the game over in the opening six minutes of play and scored twice in that span to ice the win for the Tar Heels. Jones gained control of a ball about 10 yards inside the UNC defensive end and used her speed to dribble past several defenders in a one-on-one effort that resulted in her 11th goal of the game at 46:21 of the match. After eluding all the defenders in her path, Jones eventually faced Brown one-on-one and shot to the far post from six yards out for the finish.

Less than four minutes later, Jones added to UNC's lead with her 12th goal of the season. The tally came at 50:13 as Jones headed home a direct kick from Ali Hawkins after a foul by Charlotte on the left side of the pitch about 40 yards away from the goal.

UNC finished the scoring at the 89:07 mark on Allie Long's sixth goal of the season. After a Yael Averbuch corner kick was headed away by a Charlotte defender, UNC sophomore forward Jessica McDonald chased the ball down on the end line to the right of the goal. McDonald sent a pass back to junior midfielder Tobin Heath on the right side of the box at the 12-yard line. Heath crossed a ball to the far post where Long headed it past Charlotte goalkeeper Juli Black, who came on in relief of Brown with 4:09 to play in the game.

Coach Anson Dorrance's team, which has reached the 20-win plateau in 19 of its past 20 season, combined this weekend to beat Western Carolina and Charlotte by a 9-0 edge, allowing the Catamounts and the 49ers only three shots overall and only one on frame. UNC's defense has recorded six successive shutouts and the Tar Heels have not allowed a goal in 581:49 since surrendering a score to Florida State at 68:11 of the 2-2 tie between the Tar Heels and the Seminoles on October 30, 2008.

UNC finished the game with a shot margin of 29-2 and a corner kick margin of 9-1. UNC goalkeepers Ashlyn Harris and Anna Rodenbough each played 45 minutes in combing for the shutout. Lauren Brown started for Charlotte and played the first 85:51 of the game and recorded eight saves while allowing three goals.

The Tar Heels will meet the Illinois Fighting Illini next Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Fetzer Field in the NCAA Round of 16. The two teams will be meeting for the first time in history. The Fighting Illini, coached by UNC alumna Janet Rayfield, Class of 1981, prevailed against Missouri, the No. 4 seed in UNC's side of the bracket on Sunday in Columbia, Mo. The Fighting Illini and the Tigers fought to a 1-1 double overtime tie before Illinois advanced via penalty kicks 4-3.

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