NOTRE DAME, IND. – Freshman forward Summer Green had a goal and an assist Friday night as the 19th-ranked North Carolina women’s soccer team defeated Connecticut 2-0 at Alumni Stadium in the first game of the 2012 Notre Dame adidas Invitational.
The Tar Heels, who had been held scoreless in back-to-back games for the first time in their history in their opening two matches of the campaign, improved to 1-1-1 on the year while the Huskies fell to 2-2 with the loss.
Green, who missed last Friday’s game against Florida while she was in training camp with the U.S. Women’s U17 National Team, was welcomed back with open arms as she scored the game-winner and then assisted on the insurance goal.
A dynamic attacking presence, Green, who will miss seven games later in the season while playing in the U17 World Cup in Azerbaijan, scored the game-winning goal at the 27:12 mark on Carolina’s second shot of the game. UNC midfielder Ranee Premji intercepted a short pass by a UConn defender and fed the ball to her right to Green. The freshman from Michigan took a pair of dribbles before unleashing a 35-yard bullet into the upper right 90 past Huskies’ goalkeeper Allison Saucier.
Green was also involved in a second half tally that gave the Tar Heels a 2-0 lead. Green took the ball and dribbled to the end line where she beat a pair of UConn defenders and then sped into the penalty area. Sophomore Brooke Elby broke free down the middle, took the low cross from Green in stride and then buried a shot from eight yards out into the lower left corner of the goal.
UConn finished with a 10-8 edge in shots while North Carolina led in corner kicks 3-1. Saucier made one save for UConn while two Carolina goalkeepers split time and both made big saves to share the clean sheet. Adelaide Gay played the first 45 minutes and made three saves while Anna Sieloff played the second 45 minutes and had two saves.
The Huskies had the first good chance at goal as Adelaide Gay made a diving save to her right to deny a shot by Danielle Schulmann in the 20th minute. After UNC went ahead on Green’s goal in the 28th minute, the Huskies had the final three shots of the first half. Gay was forced into a pair of saves 55 seconds apart late in the half as Andrea Plucenik and Stephanie Ribeiro both had good looks at the frame.
Coming out of halftime, UConn seized momentum in the early stages of the second 45-minute period. Anna Sieloff, who had come on in goal at halftime, made two big saves for the Tar Heels to preserve the lead. Sieloff denied Devin Prendergast at 48:58 and then a minute and a half later she made one of the key plays of the game as she tipped away Danielle Schulmann’s shot on a breakaway. Sieloff tipped away the ball at the last second, hugging the left post and knocking it over the end line for a corner kick.
From that point on, Carolina buckled down on defense, limiting the Huskies to long distance shots that were not on frame. The Tar Heels got their insurance goal by Elby in the 61st minute and maintained their defensive clean sheet for the second game in a row.
The Tar Heels return to action on Sunday when they play tournament host Notre Dame in the final game of the adidas Invitational. Game time is 1:30 p.m. and the game will be webcast live on Notre Dame’s website at www.UND.com.