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    Tennessee Falls To #1 North Carolina

    CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – On a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon at historic Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C., the Tennessee Lady Vol soccer team suffered a 7-2 defeat at the hands of No. 1 North Carolina (4-0-1) to fall to 2-2 on the campaign.

    UNC out-shot the Big Orange by a 26-6 total (15-3 in shots on goal), although its margin was just 8-5 during the second stanza, and managed a 12-1 discrepancy on corner kicks. 

    Tennessee junior midfielder Emily Shore registered her first career goal on a second-half penalty kick conversion (foul drawn by junior forward Emily Dowd) while junior forward Chelsea Hatcher tallied her team-best second score of the campaign on a shot from approximately 35 yards out during the 78th minute.  Senior goalkeeper Molly Baird corralled eight saves in the match while seeing all 90 minutes of action between the pipes.

    “Congratulations to Anson Dorrance on his 700th career win,” Lady Vol head coach Angela Kelly said.  “He has built such a remarkable program and tradition at UNC, and his success is well deserved.  I’ll actually take a lot of positives out of this match.  Carolina is the best team in the country, and as I always say, we play August and September to be challenged and exposed in order to shore up our team before entering Southeastern Conference play.  They just gave us a clinic on set pieces, so we will be working on them endlessly to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.  In the run of play we scored two goals and UNC had three, so we need to learn to be as disciplined as Carolina.  There are a ton of positives to take from this as we move forward.”

    The initial corner kick of the match went the way of the Tar Heels just a couple of minutes into the contest.  Off an eventual clearance of the cross out in front, a through pass found Dowd one-on-one up the middle in Tar Heel territory with a UNC defender. 

    The Gainesville, Fla., native controlled the ball and waited for help that was streaking up the right wing in the form of Hatcher.  Dowd’s lead pass proved to be just a yard or two too far out in front to get off a shot, however, as North Carolina keeper Hannah Daly came racing off her line to nab the ball.

    After a save by Baird at Tennessee’s end on a drive from forward Alyssa Rich, UT came right back down the pitch to tally its first shot of the match at 4:25.  Hatcher managed a cross from the right wing to the middle that found the feet of senior forward Anna Fisher.  The Franklin, Tenn., product attempted to one-time the ball into the net off the cross but her drive from about 16 yards ventured wide right of the post.

    North Carolina managed to get on the scoreboard at 6:41 as UNC goal-leader Kealia Ohai gathered in a deflection, broke up the middle and beat Baird from 15 yards out to make it 1-0.

    Continuous pressure from the Tar Heels forced back-to-back corner kicks at 8:30 and 9:02.  The latter ended up at the feet of Meghan Klingenberg standing out on the left wing.  She swung a cross towards the far post that was headed home by leaping defender Megan Brigman to make it 2-0.

    Just 1:02 later, defender Rachel Wood launched a blast on frame off a long free kick that Baird managed to save, but the ball popped off the crossbar and straight up in the air.  Forward Courtney Jones raced in, colliding with UT’s net minder in the process, to head the ball home for a three-goal advantage.  The trio of scores occurred just 3:31 apart to grant the ‘Heels firm control of the match.

    The lead grew to four tallies at 19:27 as a feed from UNC’s Ohai reached Rich in the middle of the pitch.  She turned and fired a shot from about 18 yards out that managed to beat Baird into the lower left corner of the twine.

    At 41:13 Brittani Bartok scored from about 12 yards out on the right wing into the top left corner of the net, off a feed from Ranee Premji, as the UNC advantage expanded to 5-0.

    In the 49th minute a long ball up the left wing was chased down on a hustling play by Hatcher.  After beating a Tar Heel defender for the ball, the Cincinnati, Ohio, product worked the sphere near the end line before crossing to Dowd who was marked out in front of the left post.  She passed to Fisher who fired off a shot that was blocked by a UNC player before being cleared out of harm’s way.

    A foul by North Carolina granted Tennessee a long free kick in the 61st minute.  Hatcher blasted a shot from about 30 yards out on the right wing but it was blocked out of play for a throw-in.

    With some momentum in UT’s favor on the offensive side of the ball, Dowd managed to help get the Big Orange on the scoreboard at 61:03 by drawing a penalty about five yards out from goal that forced the referee to point to the spot. 

    Shore calmly stepped up and drove home the first score of her career past back-up keeper Adelaide Gay to cut the Lady Vol deficit to 5-1.  At that point it made it seven goals for Tennessee in 2010 scored by seven different players.

    Lady Vol freshman midfielder Sanna Saarinen launched an ambitious drive on goal from about 35 yards out at 68:38 that forced the first UNC save of the match.

    Following a long pass up the middle that brought UNC net minder Amanda Tucker way out off her line to punch the ball away, the deflection ended up right at Hatcher’s feet.  She blasted a shot toward goal from about 35 yards out that bounced off a defender’s leg on its way into the net at 77:26.  Hatcher’s Lady Vol-best second tally of the ‘10 season cut the gap to 5-2, North Carolina.

    The Tar Heels did manage to add two more scores down the stretch, however, with 8:38 remaining on a tally by midfielder Amber Brooks and in the 85th minute by Elizabeth Burchenal off a corner kick, to finalize the count at 7-2.