Joanna Boyles, photo by Turner Walston
Moments after his team exploded for seven goals against Syracuse Saturday, UNC women’s soccer coach Anson Dorrance was told that his group was currently outscoring its football counterparts.
“Has that game already started?” Dorrance asked. It was midway through the third quarter. “My God,” Dorrance said.
The football Tar Heels ended up losing 33-7. The women’s soccer Tar Heels fared a little better.
Senior Joanna Boyles netted her first career hat trick, Dorian Bailey had two assists, and the Tar Heels (8-2-0, ACC 4-0-0) crushed the Orange (5-4-2, ACC 0-2-1) en route to a 7-0 win.
The key to Carolina’s success? Depth.
“Obviously you can see that the quality of our roster, top to bottom, is very, very good,” Dorrance said. “We literally played every healthy player today.”
The Tar Heels’ mass substitutions reflected a larger philosophy of Dorrance’s. “We’ve always played a deep roster, and there are a lot of reasons to play a deep roster,” Dorrance said. “I think if you recruit a young woman to play for you, you should play her.”
Midfielder and first goal-scorer Alessia Russo saw the advantages of having a deep team in the win. “We had such depth to our score today,” she said. “Everyone played their part. It was great how we could sub, and the subs made a difference too.”
Russo’s goal was a high, looping ball that could’ve been either a shot or a pass. “It was a cross,” Russo said. Her intentions on that ball may have been unclear, but the Tar Heels’ plans going forward are not: they plan on riding their depth to another long postseason run.
“I think we really have a special group here,” Boyles said. “We have such talented players on this team that we can continue to make statements every game.”
Statements like a 7-goal win. Maybe the football team can take a few lessons on offense.