Tar Heels left searching for answers

CorrespondentSeptember 26, 2011 

— Anson Dorrance couldn't quite put his finger on the reason his North Carolina women's soccer team had just lost to Virginia 1-0 in double-overtime.

He speculated the cause could've been the ESPN crew at Fetzer Field nationally televising a regular-season game for the first time. Senior forward Courtney Jones considered that the alternate pink jerseys the team wore, in a nod to breast-cancer awareness, might have shifted focus from the game.

Whatever the reason, the Tar Heels (6-2, 1-1 ACC) suffered their second loss in three games and against a Virginia team that won its first game in the 37-match history of the series.

"I don't think we played with a passion that could have given us a victory," Dorrance said. "We came out flat, and we played a little bit better in the second half in a different system. But obviously we've got to get back to work and see if we can regain a passion to play."

Caroline Miller scored in the 105th minute when she received a Morgan Brian through ball and finished to the left side of the net past a diving Anna Sieloff. The goal was the sixth shot the Cavaliers put on frame compared to UNC's two.

The Tar Heels had a tough time against Virginia goalie Chantel Jones. The 5-foot-11 senior was no stranger to UNC, having played against North Carolina in the 2008 and 2009 matches that were decided by one goal.

"She's a wonderful goalkeeper," Dorrance said. "And her dimensions aren't just her size and shot-stopping ability; they also use her on set pieces by rolling her out there and strike balls on distance in goal. So, she's a very complete player and has done a really nice job for them."

The Tar Heels began the game in their usual 3-4-3 formation, but Dorrance, after going to his bench, switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation 30 minutes into the Cavaliers-controlled match.

Courtney Jones, who last year registered 11 goals, has only one this season despite shooting a team-high five shots Sunday. She's been a part of two Tar Heels national championship squads and knows how the team needs to play to get back to that level.

"We have this concept of playing like Tar Heels, like the ones before us," Jones said. "And we had glimpses of that this season. Against N.C. State (a 5-1 North Carolina victory), we came out on fire and played like (previous squads).

"We just need to be more consistent."

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