If there ever was a season the Virginia women's soccer team could snap its program-long losing streak against North Carolina, 1999 was it. Yet even with one of the finest mixes of talent, depth and experience the No. 7 Cavaliers have put together, the No. 2 Tar Heels left Klockner Stadium tonight with a 2-0 victory.
Sophomore forward Anne Remy scored the first goal for North Carolina (13-2-0, 4-0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) and set up senior defender Lorrie Fair on the second, and the aggressive play of Tar Heels freshman goalkeeper Jenni Branam sealed the victory against a Virginia squad (11-5-0, 4-2-0) that never stopped attacking. Virginia has lost to North Carolina in 28 consecutive matches, dating from the program's inception in 1985.
"I think we played extremely well," said Cavaliers Coach April Heinrichs, a former North Carolina star. "Our effort was huge and our possession was outstanding. They're athletic, they're strong, they're dangerous. We gave away an easy goal early on and that put us in a hole."
The Tar Heels took the lead in the 12th minute, when Remy blew by Virginia defender Tammy Westinghouse and beat goalkeeper Julie Harris. In the 59th minute, Remy's cross from the end line set up Fair's goal.
Fair, a member of the United States' Women's World Cup championship team, has scored in four consecutive games.
The Cavaliers were able to fashion numerous scoring opportunities, including a looping shot off the foot of midfielder Katie Tracy that bent wide of the far post less than two minutes before halftime.
"We had some chances," Heinrichs said. "I think we could've created more if we'd had a little more patience in our possession."
Six minutes into the second half, senior forward Angela Hucles, Virginia's all-time leading scorer, broke past the stingy North Carolina defense in pursuit of a loose ball, but Branam got there first. The Cavaliers controlled the rest of the game, but could not dent the Tar Heels' freshman goalkeeper.
"Virginia did a great job in the second half," Tar Heels Coach Anson Dorrance said. "We were sort of hanging in there at the end."
Branam was credited with only one save, but her superb goalkeeping preserved the shutout.
"Jenni Branam is one of the most incredible goalkeepers I've ever seen in my life," Dorrance said. "She's absolutely fearless and her hands are really soft."
Virginia fifth-year defender Carryn Weigand saw a silver lining in her sixth loss to North Carolina: "It'll hopefully be a confidence-builder, because we know we can penetrate their defense. Come ACC tournament time, we'll just get them when it counts."