Northwestern vs North Carolina looked like a game of ping-pong all game long. The biggest lead by either team was 2-0 UNC. For the last 50+ minutes of the game, the teams were within one goal of each other. Unfortunately for Northwestern, it would be the Tar Heels who came out on top.
North Carolina’s balanced attack was led by Sammy Jo Tracy and Maggie Bill, who both grabbed hat tricks. The 6 other UNC goals were scored by 6 different players, as the Tar Heels flaunted their attacking depth. North Carolina played a clean game, with just 8 turnovers and a sparkling 13/14 on clear attempts.
Northwestern’s leading scorer was Sheila Nesselbush who scored on 3 of her 5 shots on the afternoon. Also chipping in were Corinne Wessels (2 goals, 2 assists), Selena Lasota (2 goals), Kaleigh Craig (2 goals) and Jess Carroll (1 goal). Northwestern struggled with turnovers, as they suffered 14 of them, and once again lost the draw control battle 15-10.
The biggest bright spot for the Wildcats was Bridget Bianco, who was a brick wall in net. Bianco had 13 saves on the game, including a couple of free-position shot saves. Bianco covered for a defense that allowed UNC a bevy of good opportunities. It’s hard to ask much more from your goalkeeper than what Bianco was able to do for NU.
Northwestern has started 3-2 for the last two seasons now. The good news? Last year, the Wildcats closed the regular season 7-3 and marched to the Final Four. Northwestern is still a young team, and as the team continues to mature, there should be notable improvement by the time the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA tournament roll around.