Last Updated 9:38 PM, September 17, 2021

Duke women's soccer upsets North Carolina, beats rival for first time since 2015

North Carolina's Maycee Bell talks injury recovery, rematch of 2019 title game vs. Stanford
1:15 am, September 18, 2021

No. 4 Duke takes down No. 2 UNC 1-0 in Chapel Hill

Before tonight, Duke was 3-42-3 against in-state rival North Carolina. On a night where UNC's Dorrance Field saw its largest crowd of all time at 5,301 fans, No. 4 Duke took down No. 2 North Carolina 1-0. This was the Blue Devils' first win over the Tar Heels since 2015 and only their fourth in the history of this matchup on Friday night.

The Blue Devils' only goal came in the 55th minute when Tess Boade tapped in the go-ahead goal. It was their defense that would be the biggest factor in the victory, as Duke keeper Ruthie Jones recorded six saves against a UNC team that put up 21 goals in its previous 7 games. 

The Tar Heels led in nearly every offense category while maintaining their high press. They did seem to miss the presence of freshman forward Emily Murphy, who leads UNC in total points this season (12). Prior to Friday's match, UNC hadn't lost a game in Chapel Hill since 2016 and was 23-0-0 at Dorrance Field, which opened in 2019.

Duke improves to 7-0-0 on the season and will have a chance to match the best start in Duke history when the Blue Devils take on Virginia in Charlottesville on Thursday, Sep. 23. UNC will look to right the ship at home against Virginia Tech on Thursday, Sep. 23.

12:30 am, September 18, 2021

Duke breaks tie to get 1-0 lead in second half

Duke's Tess Boade breaks the stalemate with a wide-open tap in goal in the 54th minute. The Blue Devils' counter attack proved to be useful as North Carolina seemed to be dominating the second half. This was Duke's first goal against UNC since 2017.

12:00 am, September 18, 2021

Tied 0-0 at halftime between No. 2 UNC and No. 4 Duke

UNC and Duke enter halftime scoreless. There weren't many scoring opportunities in the first half, the Tar Heels totaled three shots on net while the Blue Devils mustered just one. North Carolina's best opportunity came 28 minutes in when Libby Moore had an open look on net, but Duke's Ruthie Jones made a great save to force a corner.

Duke has done a good job at holding back one of the more potent offenses in the nation, while also managing to counter the Tar Heels' attack. Both teams will be looking to break the stalemate in the second half in order to keep their winning streaks alive. 

11:20 pm, September 17, 2021

UNC, Duke tied 0-0 midway through the first half

20 minutes into this top-5 matchup, No. 2 North Carolina and No. 4 Duke remain scoreless. The Tar Heels have done a good job applying pressure to Duke's defense thanks to their high press. UNC had one solid opportunity when Libby Moore had a clear look on net, but Duke goalkeeper Ruthie Jones made a great save. Duke has tried to capitalize with their counterattack a few times, but UNC has stifled them at each chance. 
10:25 pm, September 17, 2021

Pregame: No. 2 North Carolina vs. No. 4 Duke meet for a top-5 matchup in Chapel Hill

UNC's Emily Colton is second in scoring for the Tar Heels with 9 total points.

The No. 2 North Carolina will look to extend its lead in the all-time record against Tobacco Road rival No. 4 Duke on Friday night. The Tar Heels have dominated this rivalry with a record of 42-3-3 — but all three of Duke's wins over UNC have come in Chapel Hill. 

This is one of the best starts to a season for Duke in recent memory with a 6-0-0 start, and freshman forward Michelle Cooper has been a big part of their early success. She leads the Blue Devils with 14 total points to start the season. Coach Robbie Church has also had a stellar defense so far in 2021. They have conceded just three goals in their first six games while their offense has put up 20.

Once again, the Tar Heels enter ACC play with high expectations. One of those is always to beat their rivals just down Tobacco Road. UNC also comes into this game undefeated at 7-0-0, but a separating factor between the two is the rate at which they score. North Carolina has recorded 23 goals while giving up four in its seven matches. This offense is led by freshman forward Emily Murphy, who will miss this game due to an ankle injury. Murphy accounted for 12 total points to before being sidelined, it'll be up to players like Emily Colton and Rachel Dorwart to lead this offense tonight. 

Here's the schedule for Thursday's game taking place in Chapel Hill: 

2:14 pm, September 17, 2021

Undefeated rivals No. 2 North Carolina and No. 4 Duke face-off on Friday

North Carolina Athletics Duke vs UNC

No. 2 North Carolina and No. 4 Duke will compete in the 49th installment of the Tobacco Road rivalry on Friday at 7 p.m. ET at Dorrance Field in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

So far this season, both Duke and North Carolina are undefeated. Here's what you need to know:

Series history

  • The Tar Heels lead the series 42-3-3, including a 5-0-2 record in the last seven matches.
  • In Chapel Hill, North Carolina leads Duke 18-3-1.
  • Last season, North Carolina beat Duke twice, winning 2-0 in Durham and 1-0 in Chapel Hill. Two of the three goals scored in last year's matchups were by Duke.
  • Duke's last win in the series was on October 16, 2015. 
  • Yet Duke’s 3 wins in the all-time series are all in Chapel Hill 

North Carolina

For the third consecutive time, the Tar Heels have started the season with at least seven wins, sitting at a perfect 7-0-0. The Tar Heels are coming off of a win against Florida last Thursday, where they outshot the Gators 21-1 and won the game 7-1. No. 4 Duke will be the fourth ranked opponent No. 2 North Carolina has faced through eight games, with previous wins coming from then No. 19 Washington, No. 13 Arkansas and No. 10 Stanford. Tonight, North Carolina will have a notable absence in leading scorer Emily Murphy, a freshman from Windsor, England, who injured her ankle in practice this week and currently does not have a timetable for return. North Carolina is 4-0 at Dorrance Field this season.


The Blue Devils wrapped up non-conference play with a dominating 5-0 win over ECU last Thursday. Duke currently sits at 6-0-0 on the season and is ranked No. 4 nationally. Junior goalkeeper Ruthie Jones has posted a strong showing so far this season, allowing just three goals on 31 total shots faced. She has recorded a .812 save percentage through six matches. Freshman Michelle Cooper has also been a standout, leading Duke in total points with 14. She has scored six goals in six matches played. The last time Duke opened ACC play on the road was back in 2018. Duke looks to pick up its sixth win in its last seven road matches. All three of Duke's wins in the series against North Carolina have come in Chapel Hill.