Top-ranked Tar Heels drop Blue Raiders
Middle Tennessee completes first game of Duke Nike ClassicSeptember 17, 2010 · Athletic Communications
DURHAM, N.C. - Middle Tennessee made the most of its chances, scoring on one-half of its shots, but the Blue Raiders could not overcome No. 1 North Carolina in a 7-1 loss Friday afternoon during game one of the Duke Nike Classic in Durham, N.C.
Senior Vanessa Mueggler tallied the Blue Raiders' goal at 49:28. After receiving a long through ball from redshirt sophomore Charity Blair behind the Heels' defense, the All-Sun Belt selection placed the ball behind Anna Sieloff from 30 yards out into the right corner to trim the deficit to three, 4-1.
Redshirt sophomore Regina Thomas was credited with the team's first shot of the tilt, placing the ball on net against starting UNC goalie Hannah Daly. The Tar Heels jumped in front early, at 5:47, on Rachel Wood's header to the right post. North Carolina had the scoring chance when Courtney Jones rifled a shot on which goalkeeper Rebecca Cushing made a leaping save to punch it over the net. Alyssa Rich then sent the ensuing corner kick into the far side of the box, finding Wood's head as the Blue Raiders surrendered another early goal.
Rich then tallied a goal of her own, at 8:56, when she received a back pass from Meghan Klingenberg along the left side and found the back of the net from 25 yards out behind Cushing for a 2-0 UNC advantage.
Rich added her second mark at 22:06, obtaining a pass from Jones along the right side and burying it into the netting. North Carolina (7-0-1) tacked on another mark less than a half-minute later, at 22:31, when Ali Hawkins and Elizabeth Burchenal found Klingenberg from 15 yards out.
The Heels continued to be on the offensive throughout the half, mounting 15 shots before the break to just the one by Middle Tennessee (3-5).
The pressure by North Carolina continued in the second half with the Tar Heels' first attempt came when Jones ricocheted a shot off the crossbar, the third attempt to touch frame in the contest. UNC countered Mueggler's goal when Crystal Dunn located Rich near the top of the penalty box. Rich then raced across the 18-yard line and placed the ball back inside the left post for the hat trick at 50:26.
Klingenberg chipped in her second score of the afternoon at 54:32 on a penalty kick following a MT foul inside the box for a 6-1 lead.
North Carolina contributed its final goal at 77:23 when Burchenal headed home an opportunity following a corner kick. Katie Klimczak sent the corner to the far side of the box, where Megan Brigman redirected the ball back to Burchenal with her head. Burchenal then placed it over the outstretched arms of freshman Lindsey Sisco, who was making her first collegiate appearance in the cage.
The Tar Heels finished with a 31-2 shot margin and dominated much of the possession throughout the game.
All healthy Blue Raiders on the trip saw action, including Sisco in net and senior Emily Harris played for the second time this season.
Middle Tennessee will return to action at 1:30 p.m. (Central) Sunday against the host Blue Devils in the final game of the Duke Nike Classic.
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