TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Freshman forward Rachel Jones scored her first career goal in the 29th minute of play and that was just enough to lift the sixth-ranked University of North Carolina women's soccer team past second-ranked Florida State Friday night before a crowd of 3,146 fans at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
After dropping games at Santa Clara and Stanford last weekend, UNC broke a two-match losing streak and improved to 6-2-1 overall and 1-0 in the ACC. Florida State, which trailed for the first time all season, fell to 7-1-1 overall and 0-1 in the ACC. The Tar Heels return to action Thursday against Pittsburgh at 4 p.m. ET at Finley Fields South in their ACC home opener. The match will be nationally televised on ACC Network Extra.
Carolina has now won its last three meetings against the Seminoles, including 1-0 regular season wins in each of the past two seasons in Tallahassee.
UNC outshot the Seminoles 12-8 and held the Seminoles without a shot on goal. UNC had just three shots on goal in the game as just three of the 20 shots combined between the two teams were on frame.
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The only goal of the game came at 28:24 when sophomore midfielder Taylor Otto send a ball from the Tar Heels' defensive end on to the foot of sophomore striker Alessia Russo. The English youth national team player dribbled down the middle of the pitch and found Rachel Jones on the left side of the penalty area and the freshman from Georgia finished from 15 yards out into the lower right corner of the goal.
Florida State's best chance to score in the game came in the sixth minute off a corner kick. Anna Patten got herself free at the near post but her header went wide from short range. In the 19th minute, a nifty passing combination got the Tar Heels into the penalty area against FSU goalkeeper Brooke Bollinger but Bridgette Andrzejewski's volley went wide right of the goal.
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The Tar Heels had the next three shots of the game and broke through at 28:24 with the goal by Jones. FSU then had the last four shots of the first half but the first three were not on frame and the last was blocked.
In the second half, the Tar Heel defense clamped down, limiting the Seminoles to just two shots, neither on goal. The Seminoles had a shot a minute into the second half and then took their final shot in the 75thminute.
UNC pressed to get an insurance goal, outshooting FSU 8-2 in the final 45 minutes. Alessia Russo forced a save by Bollinger in the 56th minute and Morgan Goff's header off a corner kick was saved by Bollinger at the 68:46 mark.
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UNC has now won its last three meetings between the two teams and it is now 4-0-1 in its last five meetings against Florida State. That follows a seven-game span in which Florida State went 6-0-1 against the Tar Heels from 2011 through 2015. Carolina is now 28-8-4 all-time against the Seminoles. FSU has the most wins by any team against Carolina, earning eight wins. UNC has lost just 72 matches since the varsity program started in 1979.