The North Carolina women’s soccer team’s season ended this past Friday, losing 1-0 to West Virginia in the Final Four. The men’s soccer team faces Stanford Friday in the Final Four, while the school’s volleyball team has similar potential.
Men’s soccer: The North Carolina men’s soccer team advanced to the Final Four by beating Providence 1-0 this past Friday. Redshirt junior midfielder Drew Murphy, who has played in only six games this season because of a foot injury after transferring from UC-Santa Barbara, scored the winning goal on a 25-yard rocket in the second overtime.
Murphy was on the field due to an injury to freshman midfielder Cam Lindley. His shot in the 102nd minute bounced off the hands of Big East keeper of the year Colin Miller and into the goal. The Tar Heels will play Stanford at 8:45 p.m. on Friday for a berth in the NCAA title game.
Women’s basketball: The North Carolina’s women’s basketball team (7-1) finished the week with a pair of wins against Wisconsin on Wednesday and Elon on Sunday. UNC sophomore guard Stephanie Watts is working on her case for ACC player of the year after nabbing the honor for best rookie last season. She had 23 points and 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season in a 72-59 win against the Badgers in the ACC/Big Ten challenge on Wednesday night.
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The Tar Heels struggled on Sunday against Elon. The Phoenix exploited a size mismatch on the interior and kept pace with the Tar Heels. UNC won 78-73, but Elon outrebounded the Tar Heels 42-28. Redshirt sophomore Paris Kea had 20 points. Coach Sylvia Hatchell said she expects to see Elon in the NCAA tournament at the end of the season, but size and post play looks like it might be problem for the Tar Heels this season.
Women’s soccer: Anyone watching the North Carolina women’s soccer team in August would have had a hard time believing they’d make it to the Final Four this season.
That’s where the run would end, however, as UNC fell to top-ranked West Virginia 1-0 on Friday. The Mountaineers’ junior forward Michaela Abam scored on UNC goalie Lindsey Harris, who set the UNC record for saves this season. UNC freshman Madison Schultz, who had scored five times in the past eight games, couldn’t finish an open shot right in front of the goal.
Volleyball: The North Carolina volleyball team passed its first tests of the NCAA tournament, toppling both High Point and Coastal Carolina in the opening two games of the postseason on Friday and Saturday. The Tar Heels had little trouble with High Point in the first game, sweeping the Panthers 3-0 and putting up seven aces. The Tar Heels were out-blocked 12-4.
UNC dropped a tightly contested first set against the Chanticleers in the second round game on Saturday, before rattling of three match wins to advance to the second round.
The Tar Heels will play the overall 10th-seeded UCLA at 10:45 p.m. on Friday in Minneapolis. The winner will play the winner of the Minnesota-Missouri match. Second overall seed Minnesota handed UNC its first loss of the season back on Sept. 10 in the ACC/Big Ten challenge.