CHAPEL HILL — With temperatures in the low 30s and the wind chill dipping into the 20s at frigid Fetzer Field, all North Carolina needed was a touch – or two – of Summer.
Summer Green kept up her late-season scoring surge with two goals, and goalkeeper Anna Sieloff turned in her third straight shutout of the postseason as the reigning champion Tar Heels advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA women’s soccer tournament by eliminating fourth-seeded Texas A&M 2-0 Sunday afternoon.
UNC (20-4) will host UCLA at 5 p.m. Saturday in the quarterfinals. The Bruins beat Pac-12 rival Stanford 2-0 Sunday.
Green struck for the first goal less than three minutes into the game, when the sophomore forward’s shot from 20 yards on a solo fast break deflected in off an A&M defender. Less than two minutes into the second half, another luckless defender for A&M (18-6-2) was called for a handball trying to block Green’s rocket from 12 yards. Green calmly put the penalty kick in the left-hand corner for her 10th goal of the season and fifth on penalties, negating a five-save performance by A&M goalkeeper Jordan Day.
“Obviously I’m pretty proud of Anna,” UNC coach Anson Dorrance said. “That was her best performance in a Carolina uniform. And Summer Green, she’s getting back to where she was the first month and a half of her freshman year.”
Over the past nine games, Green has totaled five goals and five assists. Coincidentally, that scoring burst came after she was held out of the starting lineup for a match against Boston College.
“I think I got a little too hard on myself,” Green said. “One of my best friends on the team, Katie Bowen, said you have to take care of the simple things on the field, to play simple. It’s not one single thing. It comes from all the little details.”
Green’s offense loomed even larger because the Tar Heels, who outshot A&M 19-11, lost center midfielder Crystal Dunn, their leading scorer, to an injury in the first half. Dunn appeared to hurt her ankle trying to cross a ball along the goal line and left the game for good moments later in the 16th minute.
Dunn had missed two recent games with a hamstring injury but returned for UNC’s 4-0 second-round win over Indiana on Friday night.
“We don’t know what her injury is,” Dorrance said. “Hopefully we’ll have her back.”
Sieloff, a senior, survived a hectic 20-minute stretch of the second half when she was called upon to make three of her four saves. With 19:21 remaining Sieloff charged off her line trying to block a fast-break shot by Shea Groom that went wide. Sieloff got there late however and was assessed a yellow card for running into Groom.
Both players were shaken up on the play, and when the action resumed Sieloff picked off Kelley Monogue’s low shot on the free kick for another save. That would prove to be A&M’s final good look at a goal.
Sieloff said she relished those opportunities to prove herself.
“That’s why I love playing goalkeeper,” she said. “I like those high-intensity moments. Go big or go home.”