Last Updated 10:45 PM, September 08, 2022

No. 2 North Carolina blanks No. 3 Duke, 3-0

1:56 am, September 9, 2022

North Carolina handles Duke, 3-0

North Carolina Athletics North Carolina beats Duke in women's soccer

The full-time whistle has sounded at Koskinen Stadium, and North Carolina beat Duke in Durham — again. The No. 2 Tar Heels scored once in the first half and twice in the final 15 minutes to take care of the No. 3 Blue Devils, 3-0.

This was the first time in 20 matches the Blue Devils were kept off the scoresheet, and they never came close. Duke registered just two shots all night, and even the one on target was an easy gather for UNC goalkeeper Emmie Allen. 

By contrast, North Carolina attempted 15 shots, including 10 in the second half. The Heels were much more dangerous when in possession, making Duke deal with several crosses into the area and even a goal-line clearance.

For Duke, it’s the team’s second consecutive loss at home after losing to then-No. 3 UCLA on Sept. 1, though the opposition could not have been any tougher. The Blue Devils enjoyed a landmark win in Chapel Hill last season, just their fourth ever in this rivalry. This time around, they could not get the job done at home.

For North Carolina, the win was the perfect way to rebound from a 2-1 loss at home to No. 1 UCLA on Sept. 4. It also extended the program’s unbeaten record in Durham, where the Heels are 19-0-2 all-time.

Here are the stats from the 50th meeting between these rivals:

UNC-Duke stats
1:45 am, September 9, 2022

UNC doubles lead through Murphy

GOAL, North Carolina 2-0. In the 75th minute, Sam Meza put in an inch-perfect cross from deep on the right flank. Emily Murphy got on the end of it with a slight touch into the bottom corner, giving the Tar Heels a comfortable lead to see out.

12:56 am, September 9, 2022

North Carolina leads Duke 1-0 at halftime

The first half of this game has been physical, as you could expect from this rivalry. There have been 11 fouls called and three North Carolina players are on yellow cards. Before Tori Hansen’s opener, neither team had created a clear-cut chance.

The opening 30 minutes of this match was a test of physical strength as much as a soccer game, with both teams dishing out crunching tackles and rushing into duels. The majority of the physical play came from the Tar Heels, who have made Duke star forward Michelle Cooper uncomfortable any time she got on the ball.

That said, a player of Cooper's quality was always going to be trouble. Her creativity with the ball and movement without it caused North Carolina a few issues, but Duke could only muster one shot.

The Tar Heels finally settled into their possession-focused offense in the final 15 minutes of the first half. They found space on the wings several times to swing in crosses, pushing the Duke defense further and further back. Thanks to Hansen, the Heels are just 45 minutes away from winning yet again in Durham, a place where North Carolina has never been beaten.

A look at stats from the first 45:

UNC-Duke stats
11:42 pm, September 8, 2022

Hansen puts North Carolina in front

GOAL: North Carolina 1-0! The game so far lacked chances, but the Tar Heels needed just one. Tori Hansen takes advantage on a corner kick to head North Carolina into a first-half lead at Koskinen Stadium.

9:29 pm, September 8, 2022

How to watch North Carolina-Duke on Thursday

  • When: 8 p.m. ET
  • Where: Koskinen Stadium in Durham, North Carolina
  • How to watch: ACC Network | Streaming link
8:18 pm, September 8, 2022

Previewing UNC vs. Duke

UNC women's soccer

Perhaps fittingly, the main event of this appointment viewing week of women’s soccer will culminate with the 50th meeting between Duke and UNC. This rivalry is rekindled every year, even when the ACC scheduling rotation means they don’t meet in conference play. This is technically a non-conference game, according to both teams’ schedule webpage, but it may be the most hotly contested of the year. 

Both teams fell a spot in the latest United Soccer Coaches top 25 after losses to new No. 1 UCLA last week, though Duke rebounded with a 3-1 win over No. 6 TCU on Sept. 4. Michelle Cooper scored twice in the win to increase her goal tally this season to team-high five. Her 13 total points are nearly double the next-best on the team. The Tar Heels are led by the prolific Avery Patterson who has also scored five times this season. Alongside her is freshman Tori Dellaperuta, who has made a fast start to her collegiate career. With her goal against UCLA, Dellaperuta has scored in three consecutive matches.

The last time the rivals met, the Blue Devils left Chapel Hill with a narrow 1-0 win a year ago, their first over UNC since 2015 and just their fourth all-time victory in the series (UNC leads 42-4-3). 

In most cases, I’d say it’s too early to look at these results through the lens of the NCAA tournament, but with these programs, late November soccer is all but a guarantee. Let’s just sit back and enjoy some high-level play in early September.