GAINESVILLE — North Carolina womens soccer coach Anson Dorrance has tried just about everything to get more shots on net this season.
Hes had assistant coach Bill Palladino stay an extra 15 minutes after practice two days a week to work with the strikers on shooting.
Hes had players do extra sit ups and push ups if they miss shots during drills.
Hes even pitted blondes versus brunettes in an elimination shooting game.
Theres a certain amount of pride there, Dorrance said.
On Friday against Baylor, that hard work paid off. With four goals in the first half, North Carolina overwhelmed Baylor 5-0 in an NCAA Tournament second round game at James G. Pressly Stadium.
The Tar Heels (13-5-1) will face the winner of Florida-UCF on Sunday afternoon at 1 in an NCAA Tournament third-round game.
Theres no mystery to what all the teams are trying to do, just basically advance, Dorrance said. But you also want to be able to advance the way we did, with some goals and shutout. Thats always good for our confidence.
The Tar Heels had issues putting shots on net throughout the season, getting just 3 of 18 shots on net in its ACC Tournament quarterfinal loss to Florida State. Against Baylor, North Carolina finished the game with 12 of 14 shots on net.
In the blondes vs. brunettes drill, Dorrance had his players take one stationary shot from 18 feet and another with the ball moving. If players missed both shots, they were eliminated.
Whats really cool is it forces the girls to concentrate, Dorrance said. If they miss both shots, they are done. The girls have a better focus in finishing and I attribute that to certainly their work.
North Carolina struck quickly, scoring its first goal 13:18 into the half off a broken play inside Baylors penalty box. Kelly McFarlane booted in the goal from seven yards out on assists from Crystal Dunn and Kealia Ohai.
The Tar Heels maintained their pressure on Baylor throughout the half. The Tar Heels jumped ahead 2-0, forcing an own goal off the leg of Baylor midfielder Hanna Gillmore.
Four minutes later, Megan Brigman scored off a corner kick, extending North Carolinas lead to 3-0. Elizabeth Burchanel rounded out the first half scoring, putting UNC up 4-0 with an unassisted goal at the 39:59 mark.
Of North Carolinas seven shots in the first half, six were on net. The Tar Heels had four first-half corner kicks.
Emmalie Pfankuch scored North Carolinas lone goal of the second half on an assist from Maria Lubrano. Goalkeepers Adelaide Gray and Anna Sieloff each had a save to combine for the shutout.
After an inconsistent regular season, North Carolina has won its first two NCAA Tournament games by a combined score of 9-1.
We just are just kind of going in with the mentality that we want to mess everyone elses day up, kind of shuffle the bracket, North Carolina midfielder Amber Brooks said. So obviously if we have to be the underdogs, we embrace that role.