UNC, Duke advance to womens soccer Elite Eight, NC State run ends

Wake Forest and UNC also advanced in the NCAA mens tournament with wins Sunday and are among eight ACC teams still alive in the national championship event

UNC's women's soccer team celebrates its 1-0 win against ACC rival Clemson on Sunday in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. (UNC athletic communications photo byJeffrey A. Camarati)

North Carolina and Duke advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division I women’s soccer tournament on Sunday while N.C. State’s Cinderella run came to an end with a 3-0 loss to Santa Clara in California. The Tar Heels and Blue Devils each scored 1-0 victories on their home fields, with UNC outlasting ACC rival Clemson and Duke getting the best of Northwestern. UNC, which has won 22 national titles, earned its first trip to the national quarterfinals since 2013 on the strength of a high arcing 22-yard shot from sophomore Dorian Bailey that beat Tigers goalie Kailen Sheridan in the game’s 71st minute. Tar Heel keeper Lindsey Harris made the goal hold up in a tight game that saw her team outshoot Clemson by only an 11-10 margin. UNC (16-3-4) will next play top-ranked South Carolina at 6 p.m. next Friday in Columbia, S.C. Duke advanced to the Elite Eight for the fifth time in the past six years and 10th time overall by dominating Northwestern on the stat sheet, if not the scoreboard. Although the defending national runnerup Blue Devils outshot the Wildcats 22-2, they were only able to score once — on Ella Stevens’ 10th goal of the season in the 33rd minute. Goalie E.J. Proctor recorded her 10th shutout of the season to preserve the victory that sends Duke (15-4-3) into a quarterfinal matchup at West Virginia next Saturday at 3 p.m. State had hoped to extend its first NCAA tournament run in 20 years by joining UNC and Duke in the Elite Eight after scoring upsets of Minnesota and Pepperdine in the opening two rounds. But the Wolfpack (11-8-2) ran out of gas despite outshooting its opponent 18-7.Santa Clara got its first goal on a penalty kick in the 21st minute. Then, shortly after Tziarra King nearly tied the game with a shot off the goalpost, the Broncos staged a counterattack that resulted in their second goal. The final goal was scored late in the 84th minute on a free kick as the Wolfpack pressed the attack in an effort to get back into the game.In NCAA tournament men’s play Sunday, ACC champion Wake Forest (16-2-3) won its opening match 2-0 against Coastal Carolina on goals by Jacori Hayes and Luis Argudo. The victory advances the Deacons (16-2-3) into a third-round matchup against Southern Illinois. UNC also advanced, but had to come from behind late to do it for a 3-2 double overtime victory against Florida Gulf Coast. The Tar Heels (12-3-3) had to rally from one-goal deficits twice in the game, the second time on a tying goal by Nils Bruening with just 5:47 left in regulation. The Tar Heels then survived, advancing to a third round matchup against Syracuse when Tucker Hume headed home a corner kick from teammate Nico Melo five minutes into the second overtime. The game-winner was Hume’s second goal of the game and sixth for the season. Melo had assists on all three UNC goals. In addition to Wake, UNC and Syracuse, five other ACC teams are still alive in the men’s tournament. The others are Clemson, Louisville, Notre Dame, Virginia and Virginia Tech.