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UNC Women’s Soccer obliterates Belmont 5-0 in NCAA Tournament opener

The Tar Heels outshot the Bruins an astounding 44-0.

NCAA SOCCER: NOV 19 Women’s Third Round - Princeton at North Carolina Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Soccer can be a funny sport. Oftentimes, due to the nature of the game, the final score or even the statistical tally does not accurately reflect the ebbs, flow, and overall feel of the game. A team can dominate possession, create the bulk of chances, and yet come away defeated or drawn. This...was not the case Saturday night in Chapel Hill.

The #1-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels dominated the Belmont Bruins to a record-setting degree. UNC (20-1-1) tied an NCAA tournament record for shots attempted in a game with 44. Nineteen attempts were on goal, requiring fourteen saves from Belmont keeper Lilly Herman. The Bruins, on the other hand, didn’t manage to get off a single shot. Five Tar Heel blasts found the net, giving the Tar Heels a decisive margin that still doesn’t adequately convey just how thorough and comprehensive a pasting this was.

Alessia Russo, the newly redubbed MVP of the ACC Tournament, stayed hot with two goals to the good on Saturday. The first came in the 22nd minute on a fabulous solo effort that saw her juke around four different defenders before blasting the ball into the net. Her second came in the second half on a terrific turn and shot to put the Tar Heels ahead 4-0.

In between and after Russo’s strikes, Bridgette Andrzejewski nailed home a header in the 23rd minute off an Emily Fox cross and Fox added a long distance solo goal of her own in the 28th minute. The final goal came from super sub Ru Mucherera in the 64th minute after a scrum in the box saw the ball fall right to her feet courtesy of an pressure-escaping backheel tap from Zoe Redei.

The Tar Heels now advance to the round of 32, to take on the Colorado Buffaloes (11-7-2). The two teams will meet on Dorrance Field in Chapel Hill on this Friday night at 6:00 pm. The game will be shown on ACC Network Extra.