Rams Fall to Defending National Champ, Top-Ranked North Carolina, 4-0

FINAL: No. 1 North Carolina 4, VCU 0 (Charlottesville, Va.)

RECORDS:
North Carolina (2-0), VCU (0-2) 

VCU STARTERS: #18 Kruse (GK), #2 Krasko, #6 Ritter, #7 Kunz, #8 Conrad, #9 Wojcik, #10 Cressy, #19 Ernest, #32 Boyer, #33 Johansen, #37 Moik 

NORTH CAROLINA STARTERS: #1 Heaberlin (GK), #2 Ball, #3 Brigman, #6 Green, #7 Ohai, #8 Munerlyn, #11 McFarlane, #19 Dunn, #32 Morris, #71 Gardner, #88 Newfield

THE BASICS:

  • After battling eighth-ranked Virginia in its season opener on Friday, it didn't get any easier for VCU on Sunday as the Rams faced defending national champion and consensus preseason No. 1 North Carolina.  The Black & Gold fought once again but fell to the top-ranked Tarheels, 4-0, in their final match of the Klockner Classic in Charlottesville, Va.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Rams goalkeeper Emma Kruse, who finished with four first-half stops, collected a pair of early saves to keep the Tarheels off the board. 
  • VCU had looks in the 18th and 19th minutes.  Junior Maren Johansen's shot was blocked before sophomore Sharon Wojcik's offering sailed high a minute later.
  • Wojcik, who was at it again in the 21st minute, nearly put the Rams on the board but North Carolina goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin came up with her first save of the match.
  • The Tarheels eventually took a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute when Alexa Newfield sent a trough ball to Katie Bowen, who netter her first goal of the season from 10 yards out.
  • North Carolina followed with a series of looks and extended its lead on a Paige Nielsen goal inside the far post in the 41st minute.
  • Kruse collected three more saves between the 63rd and 66th minutes.
  • Ohai found the net for the second time in the 69th minute following a cross from Cameron Castleberry to push the Tarheels' lead to 3-0.
  • Crystal Dunn then gave North Carolina a four-goal advantage when she scored for the third time in two games with a strike into the upper corner in the 73rd minute.
  • Kruse came up with back-to-back saves in the 76th minute, her eighth and ninth of the day, before Tarheels reserve goalkeeper Anna Sieloff made a stop on senior Taryn Cressy's shot a minute later.
  • Johansen nearly put the Rams on the board with less than a minute to play but North Carolina goalie Lindsey Harris, who came off the bench nine minutes earlier, collected her first save.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • Wojcik and Johansen fired a pair shots apiece for VCU, two of which were on frame.  Cressy also had a shot on goal.
  • After collecting a career-high 12 saves Friday against No. 8 Virginia, Kruse made nine against the Tarheels.
  • The potent North Carolina attack fired 30 shots, 17 of which came in the second half.

WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU continues its six-match road swing next weekend when the Rams play in Georgetown's annual tournament beginning Aug. 30 against St. Francis (Pa.) at 1 p.m.  VCU then faces the 18th-ranked Hoyas on Sept. 1 at 1 p.m., which will mark the third ranked opponent for the Rams in their first four games.

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