Women's soccer: North Carolina downs top-seeded rival Duke for first ACC title since 2009
CHARLESTON, S.C. — The North Carolina women's soccer team defeated top-seeded Duke Sunday afternoon to win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship at MUSC Health Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina. Zoe Redei's goal on a rebound in the first minute of the second half was the difference as the Tar Heels prevailed by a score of 1-0 over their archrivals.
With the victory, the Tar Heels earned their first ACC championship since 2009 and their 21st ACC tournament title overall since the first event in 1988.
North Carolina outshot the Blue Devils 11-10 in the game and had a 3-0 edge in corner kicks. UNC had five shots on goal in the game and Duke just two. E.J. Proctor made four saves for the Blue Devils while Samantha Leshnak had two saves. Leshnak recorded her 11th solo shutout of the season in 19 games with nine of those shutouts coming against ACC teams.
Alessio Russo was named the tournament MVP after scoring the game-winning goal against NC State in the semifinals and assisting on the game-winning goal in the championship match.
The complete All-Tournament Team is as follows:
Veronica Latsko, Virginia
Tziarra King, NC State
EJ Proctor, Duke
Ella Stevens, Duke
Schuyler DeBree, Duke
Kayla McCoy, Duke
Julia Ashley, North Carolina
Joanna Boyles, North Carolina
Dorian Bailey, North Carolina
Abby Elinsky, North Carolina
Alessia Russo, North Carolina – MVP
The only goal of the game came in the first minute of the second half. Alessia Russo had a shot in box on the left side that was deflected by a Duke defender. The ball fell directly into the path of Zoe Redei who blasted a shot from 10 yards out into the top shelf of the goal for the eventual winning score. It was Redei's second goal of the season, both in the last seven days and both on rebounds.
It's like we've seen this before...— UNC Women's Soccer (@ncwomenssoccer) November 4, 2017
Alessia Russo strikes from distance to give the Tar Heels the victory over NC State! pic.twitter.com/Iy3Xt8j4V8
With the win, the Tar Heels have clinched an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The selection show will air at 4:30 p.m. ET on NCAA.com on Monday.
North Carolina heads into the NCAA tournament with a 15-2-2 record. Duke is 19-2-0. The only losses for the Blue Devils this year came against North Carolina. The Tar Heels beat Duke 2-1 on Aug. 18 in the season opener between the two teams.