Friday was a big one for North Carolina, as both the men’s soccer and volleyball teams toppled the No. 2 teams in the country. Here’s how that happened and more from this weekend’s action.
Field Hockey: Scoring hasn’t come easily for the No. 3 UNC field hockey team this season. But the Tar Heels (4-1) broke through this weekend, beating No. 9 Wake Forest 4-1 on Saturday and Virginia Commonwealth 6-0 on Sunday.
Nine players scored UNC’s 10 goals this weekend.
UNC coach Karen Shelton says that’s how it’ll be for the team; they’ll “piecemeal” wins together with a deep roster with no one go-to offensive threat. Junior Gab Major — who has four goals on the season, including two against VCU — is the closest thing to that. But 11 other Tar Heels have scored so far this season. That type of offense will be difficult to plan for as the season progresses.
Men’s Soccer: The No. 3 men’s soccer team beat No. 2 Clemson 1-0 in the first of this season’s many tough road contests. It took 87 minutes, but junior Zach Wright scored the game’s lone goal.
The win was the first against a marquee opponent for the Tar Heels (4-0), who have high hopes for a stacked roster. UNC will be tested the rest of the season withfive more games against teams ranked in the top 25 of the NSCAA poll, including two on the road against No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 6 Syracuse.
Women’s Soccer: With a 2-1 win over No. 9 UCLA on the road Friday, the No. 8 Tar Heels (5-1-1) proved they’re better than their 0-0 draw against now-No. 6 Duke on Sept. 2.
But on Sunday, the Tar Heels were shut out 3-0 by USC, the fourth time since 1985 UNC lost by multiple goals. The Tar Heels are relying on younger players to replace the scoring punch they lost after a rash of ACL injuries late last year, with mixed results.
Volleyball: North Carolina’s volleyball team isn’t a stranger to big games — or winning big games. But in its biggest game of the season so far, and in the first win over a top-two team in program history, the No. 11 Tar Heels beat No. 2 Wisconsin 3-2 in five sets on Friday. UNC leads the nation in blocks per set with 3.67, and redshirt freshman Sydnye Fields and former Badger Taylor Fricano, a redshirt junior, combined for six and seven blocks respectively in the win.
Two top-five wins in two days was too much for the young Tar Heels. Playing No. 5 Minnesota on Saturday, the Tar Heels lost the first two sets before rallying for a win in the third. The Gophers pulled out the fourth set for the 3-1 win.
Logan Ulrich: @loganulrich