The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s women’s soccer team scored a workmanlike 2-0 victory over the 23rd-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 732 fans at Finley Fields South. With the win, which improved the 2018 Tar Heels to 2-0, Carolina rewarded head coach Anson Dorrance with his 1,000th overall collegiate coaching win.
Dorrance coached the Tar Heel men’s team to 172 wins over 12 seasons from 1977 through 1988. Sunday’s win over Ohio State, which fell to 0-2, gives him 828 collegiate women’s wins. Dorrance founded the Tar Heel program in 1979 and is now in his 40th season as its head coach.
North Carolina (ranked #3 by Top Drawer Soccer, #4 by Soccer America, #6 by United Soccer Coaches) has opened its season with a pair of wins over teams coached by Tar Heel alumnae. On Thursday, Carolina defeated Illinois 3-1, coached by 1983 Carolina alumna Janet Rayfield, the first-ever scholarship women’s soccer player at Carolina. On Sunday, Carolina beat Ohio State, which is coached by 1992 alumna Lori-Walker-Hock, now in her 22nd season in Columbus. Walker-Hock won three national championships at Carolina and Rayfield won two.
On Sunday, Carolina scored late in the first half on the first career goal by freshman midfielder Brianna Pinto and then added a second-half tally by junior forward Bridgette Andrzejewski while posting a clean sheet and turning in a suffocating effort on the defensive end.
Carolina ended with a 23-4 edge in shots, including a 4-3 margin in shots on goal. The shot margin in the second half was a startling 16-0. Carolina took all seven corner kicks in the game. Carolina split goalkeeping duties with Samantha Leshnak going the first 45 minutes and making three saves. Claudia Dickey played the second half and did not face a shot. Devon Kerr went the whole way in goal for Ohio State, making eight saves. Ohio State defenders also made a pair of saves on shots that would otherwise have been Carolina goals.
In the 37th minute, Carolina freshman Rachel Jones got behind the Ohio State defense and was dribbling in on goal before being tripped up and fouled just outside the penalty area. Pinto stepped up and bent a shot from 20 yards out into the upper left corner of the goal for her first career goal. Pinto, whose father Hassan was recruited to play at Carolina while Dorrance was the men’s coach and whose mother played softball at Carolina, had rejoined the Tar Heels last Wednesday after playing with the U.S. U20 National Team at the FIFA World Cup in France.
Carolina added an insurance goal in the 58th minute on a brilliant header inside the right post by Andrzejewski. Emily Fox, who also played with Pinto in France at the U20 World Cup for the U.S., helped set up the goal. Fox started at left back for Carolina Sunday and early in the second half she controlled the ball on the end line before centering it to redshirt sophomore forward Taylor Otto in the middle of the box. The center forward redirected the ball to the far post and Andrzejewski was there for the nifty put away. She became the fifth different Tar Heel to score in two games for Carolina.
The two goals would be all Carolina needed on the afternoon as Dorrance played a deep bench with 21 players seeing action and 20 playing at least 22 minutes.
Carolina will return to action this coming Wednesday at Finley Field South as it takes on the Texas Longhorns at 5 p.m. Texas is ranked 17th in the United Soccer Coaches poll in the preseason and is 1-0 after opening with a 1-0 win at Rice on Friday. The Longhorns are coached by Angela Kelly, Carolina Class of 1995.
Read more, including comments from Tar Heel’s on Dorrance’s 1,000th win, and see photos of Dorrance through the years, at GoHeels.com