Early Goal Not Enough, No. 15 Trojans Fall 2-1 to No. 4 North Carolina|
Sept. 6, 2015
DURHAM, N.C. – Despite taking an early 1-0 lead on a Sydney Sladek goal, the No. 15 Trojans were unable to hold off No. 4 North Carolina, as the Tar Heels scored two unanswered goals to defeat the Trojans 2-1 at the Duke Nike Classic on Sunday morning.
The sophomore Sladek put away a ball off a deflection of a shot by Nicole Molen, slotting it near post from about five yards out at the 9:19 mark to take a 1-0 lead.
The Trojan defense continued to stop the Tar Heel offense, who outshot the Trojans 11-2 in the first half, until Jessie Scarpa put away a rebound from 12 yards out, that tipped off a Trojan defender and past the dive of goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme to tie things up in the 32nd minute.
Prudhomme was outstanding in the match, coming up with five saves in the first half and a season-high seven saves on the day.
The Trojans stepped up the physical play in the second half, putting the pressure on the Tar Heels. However, in the 68th minute, the Tar Heels took the lead as a long ball found a wide open Sarah Ashley Firstenberg yards from goal and she put it past Prudhomme who got a hand on it, but not enough.
The Trojans continued to fight and had multiple opportunities to put away the equalizer. The best opportunity came with under two minutes when Morgan Andrews cranked a shot from nearly 30 yards out that hit the crossbar.
The Trojans return to southern California and will play at McAlister Field for the first time all year on Friday, Sept. 11 when they host San Diego at 2 p.m. PT.