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Alberto Camargo | | September 8, 2022

No. 2 North Carolina blanks No. 3 Duke, 3-0, in women's soccer

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When the full-time whistle sounded at Koskinen Stadium, 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.

SUPERPAGE: Here's more on how North Carolina bested Duke

The first half was plenty physical, as you would expect from this rivalry. It took over 30 minutes for either team to create a clear chance at goal, and the Tar Heels took advantage. Tori Hansen attacked a corner kick from Emily Moxley for her second goal of the season.

The goal allowed North Carolina to settle into their offense, finding much more space on either side of the penalty area to whip in crosses. That pattern continued into the second half, with the Tar Heels continuing to test the Duke defense. Even as the Blue Devils wrestled control away from North Carolina in the second half, playing on the front foot more regularly, the Heels’ defense kept them at arms’ length. 

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. The Tar Heels employed an aggressive defensive gameplan for Duke forward Michelle Cooper, not allowing her much time on the ball and putting in tackles when she was.

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In the 75th minute, North Carolina’s 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.

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.

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