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Zach Pekale | | September 15, 2019

Women's college soccer: Arkansas downs No. 1 North Carolina to cap wild weekend

Women's soccer plays of the week

Arkansas women's soccer put together a strong opening act this week with a 2-0 win at No. 22 Baylor on Thursday. But the Razorbacks' encore performance was far more captivating — a 2-0 win over No. 1 ranked North Carolina on Sunday.

Second-half tallies by Anna Podojil and Parker Goins, complemented by a clean sheet from goalie Katie Lund, were more than enough to sink the previously undefeated Tar Heels in Fayetteville. 

Top-ranked UNC had not allowed a goal in 468 minutes, dating back to its Aug. 29 win over Washington. That shutout streak came to an end after Podojil slipped in behind the Carolina defense, pushing a shot into the lower right corner of the net in the 63rd minute.

Goins provided the home side with an insurance goal following a one-timer in the 81st minute.

Defensively, the Razorbacks looked sharp in keeping the UNC offense at bay. The Tar Heels amassed 12 goals in their previous two matches but were unable to find the back of the net on Sunday. Though they had 12 shot attempts, three were on target, all taken care of by Lund.

The Razorbacks have now recorded five consecutive clean sheets while the Tar Heels were shut out for the first time this year. 

Following Sunday's result, Arkansas finds itself on a five-game winning streak with a strong case to receive votes in the upcoming poll heading into SEC play. UNC concluded non-conference play with its first loss of 2019 and will likely drop in Tuesday's rankings.

Zandi's goal helps Virginia edge Penn State in final minutes

Sunday's top-10 matchup between Virginia and Penn State provided a glimpse of an atmosphere similar to a late November match. Through 84 minutes, the difference for the No. 4 Cavaliers was a lone goal by Meghan McCool.

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A strong performance in net from Penn State keeper Katherine Asman contained an offense churning out goals at the second-highest rate in Division I. With only minutes remaining, the Cavaliers had been held to a single tally despite registering 17 shots (six on target).

Asman's five-save afternoon stifled Virginia, allowing the No. 8 Nittany Lions to bide their time until Ally Schlegel equalized off a free kick in the 85th minute. But 26 seconds later, on Virginia's 18th and final shot,  Sydney Zandi located an incoming cross in front of the net to tap in the winner.

Virginia is now up to eight consecutive games scoring at least two goals as the Cavaliers picked up a third win against the top 25 to continue their perfect season. Penn State is now 0-2-1 in such matches and has dropped back-to-back matches after falling to Oklahoma State in double-overtime.

With both No. 1 North Carolina and No. 2 Stanford dropping games over the weekend, Virginia will be in the running for the top spot when the next poll releases on Tuesday. 

Clemson hands rival South Carolina its first loss in top-20 upset

Maliah Morris' 44th minute goal was the difference in No. 20 Clemson's 1-0 win over in-state rival No. 7 South Carolina. 

Off an assist from Renee Guion, Morris beat Gamecocks goalie Mikayla Krzeczowski with a strike to the top-right corner of the net just before halftime. It was the freshman's second goal of the season.

Clemson now leads the all-time Palmetto Series rivalry 14-11-1 and avenged last year's 1-0 head-to-head loss. 

The Tigers outshot the Gamecocks 10-4, including a 4-2 edge on shots on goal. Sunday's win marked Clemson's fifth shutout victory on the year. The Tigers moved to 6-0-1 overall while South Carolina dropped to 6-1-0 with its first loss of 2019.

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