While Hurricane Florence caused many of UNC’s sporting events to be cancelled this weekend, one event that stayed on schedule was the women’s soccer team’s trip to Tallahassee to play Florida State.
The Tar Heels came into the game as the #6 ranked team in the country, but I think they’ll leave it ranked higher than that after taking down second-ranked Florida State with a 1-0 win thanks to a goal by Rachel Jones.
After the first 28 minutes went by scoreless, Jones’ goal broke the deadlock near the end of the first half. It was the freshman’s first in her Tar Heel career. Despite having nearly an hour left to play, the Carolina defense kept out FSU for the remainder of the game. Bear in mind that this Florida State team scored four goals against #8 UCLA two weeks ago.
Goalkeeper Samantha Leshnack obviously deserves some credit for that, but she made zero saves, meaning that she and the back line as a whole held Florida State to zero shots on target for the whole match.
With two losses on the year, and several teams still undefeated, the Tar Heels might not jump to #1 in the rankings, but they should still crack the top five. And regardless of that, this is quite a statement win.
North Carolina came out on top in the ACC preseason poll, but not that much ahead of the Florida State team they just knocked off; FSU actually received more first place votes. Going to Tallahasse and knocking one of their conference championship rivals is a pretty big deal.
UNC seemingly get a slight respite after this, as they next will take on Pitt at home. The Panthers have a winning record on the season so far, but they were picked last in the aforementioned preseason poll.
Unsurprisingly, UNC women’s soccer looks to be in the midst of another great season.