UNC women’s football drop in College Cup semi-finals in Santa Clara, 3-1 :: WRALSportsFan.com
CARY, NC – There haven’t been many College Cup title games without North Carolina women’s football, but this year will be one of them.
No.2 UNC (18-2-0) fell to 27-3 in the College Cup semifinals with a loss to No.11 Santa Clara (10-1-0), 3-1.
The Tar Heels came into the game after scoring seven straight wins and not allowing a goal in one of those games, edging their opponents 23-0 in that streak.
Just 2,800 miles from home versus the 22-mile UNC bus ride, the Broncos enjoyed some good early rebounds before taking complete control of the game in the second half. It was as if the UNC had just failed to capitalize on its chances and it would only be a matter of time.
They weren’t necessarily a vintage North Carolina team, especially after losing six of their players to injury or players entering the pro ranks after the fall.
But even if it was, Jerry Smith and his Santa Clara team weren’t going to be intimidated. They have won three straight victories against UNC when they were faced in the College Cup, and they have beaten UNC six of the last nine times they have faced them in total. Few teams can say that.
Even a UNC list without a few current pros isn’t without future pros, however. But it’s a young team, and that youth has shown itself at some of the worst possible times against the Broncos.
The two games UNC lost this year were both after their opponent scored first, which Santa Clara did 19:31 in the first half to take a 1-0 lead.
UNC had the best chance in the first half and beat the Broncos, 7-5. Then, just five minutes into the second half, UNC star Brianna Pinto scored to tie things up to one piece.
Thirty seconds later, Santa Clara took the lead again and they wouldn’t give up. The momentum seemed to irrevocably change at this point, and Santa Clara began to control the ball and possession.
After that, it was as if Santa Clara had taken control. The chances UNC had had in the first half and early in the second were not as good, if any. Santa Clara beat UNC in the second half, 7-3. Any mistake the Tar Heels made, the Broncos made them pay. When the Broncos scored after another poor rebound to make it 3-1 almost 60 minutes, it seemed overwhelming with the control they had gained. And it was.
A two-goal lead over North Carolina is a rare feat to only occur 28 times in UNC’s last 998 games. The UNC tried to attack and find chances, but just couldn’t.
The loss brought UNC down to 27-3-0 in the College Cup semifinals. The Tar Heels were looking to win their first national title since 2012.
Three ACC teams have competed in the College Cup, and only one remains – Florida State, the No. 1 seed overall, who will face Santa Clara (No. 11 overall) for the title Monday night in Cary.