As the UNC women’s soccer regular season comes to a close, the team heads to the ACC Tournament hoping to beat out their competition over the next week. After a tough season that began with a major drop in the rankings, North Carolina clawed its way back up to be the No. 4 seed in the tournament.
UNC saw their place in the standings drop for the second year in a row as they finished with a 11-3-3 record and 6-2-2 in conference play. Much of their problems came from losing to lower-ranked teams. As the No. 8 ranked team, their second game of the season ended in a 3-0 loss to No. 9 USC, which was followed up with an absolutely devastating loss to the unranked NC State. It was only the second time ever that the Wolfpack beat the Tar Heels, the last time being in 2002. The loss torpedoed their season, dropping the team’s ranking from No. 7 to No. 18.
Three games later and North Carolina fell to No. 20 Notre Dame in a 1-0 game. The loss dropped them down from No. 11 to No. 18 again, and also helped propel the Fighting Irish to becoming the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament. UNC managed to end the season on a high note, winning a season-high three in a row against Pitt, Syracuse, and the No. 8 Florida State. It wasn’t all bad, though, because they managed to tie against two tough opponents late in the season in the No. 13 Clemson and No. 7 Virginia.
The 2016-2017 Tar Heels team is led by forward Bridgette Andrzejewski. As the team’s leading scorer, the offense goes through her. She ranked fifth in the ACC with nine goals, and easily led all UNC players with 22 shots on goal. If they are to advance in this tournament, Andrzejewski will play a role. Goalkeeper Lindsey Harris had a .829 save percentage on the season, allowing 13 goals while making 63 saves.
The first round of the ACC Tournament will begin at 1 PM on Sunday, October 30 with UNC playing host in Chapel Hill for their first game.
- No. 8 NC State at No. 1 Notre Dame
- No. 5 Virginia at No. 4 North Carolina
- No. 6 Florida State at No. 3 Duke
- No. 7 Miami at No. 2 Clemson
Four teams will advance to face off in two different matches in the semifinals on Friday, November 4 in Charleston, South Carolina. One match will be played a 5:30 PM and the other at 8 PM. The championship match will be held on Sunday, November 6 in Charleston at 12 PM. All games will be available on the ACC Network Extra.
Once an annual tradition for North Carolina, the team hasn’t won the tournament since 2009. Since then, Florida State has won four out of six years.