Goff scores first goal of the season

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Former Triton star thrives in roll at UNC

University of North Carolina junior Morgan Goff of Dunn scored her first goal of the season and fourth of her career as the third-ranked North Carolina women’s soccer team defeated Syracuse 7-1 Sunday afternoon at the SU Soccer Stadium.

Carolina improved to 11-2-1 with the victory and is now 6-0 in the ACC. Syracuse is 3-11 and 0-6 in conference play. Carolina has won six in a row with four ACC regular season contests remaining.

Goff, who scored a school record 52 goals for Triton as a sophomore in 2014, had her second start of the season as center defender. Her goal came as she finished a series of passes off a corner kick by Annie Kingman. The corner kick from the left side found Brianna Pinto’s head in the middle of the box. Pinto sent it on to Taylor Otto on the right end line. Otto sent it back into the center of the box for a deft finish by Goff.

The Syracuse game was the second of two road trip victories for the Tar Heels, having faced a tough Notre Dame team in a physical match Thursday night.

After a foul on Notre Dame in the ninth minute, Pinto served a brilliant ball into the penalty area that Goff headed inside the right post only to see Notre Dame goalie Brooke Littman make a fingertip save. It was one of two saves on the night for Littman. The second save for the Notre Dame keeper came in the 32nd minute on another header by Goff off a corner kick. The Heels ended with a close 2-1 win.

The loss left Notre Dame with a 6-7 overall record and 2-3 in the ACC. Carolina now leads the all-time series between the two teams 18-7-3. They face Virginia Tech this Saturday in Blacksburg, Va.

Head Coach Anson Dorrance said of Goff: “She has the heart of a lioness. She is incredibly hard working, competitive and brave. I love the kid. So does the entire roster. She won the Kelly Muldoon award for the spring which is the peer evaluation award for character. Everyone loves her — her teammates and the coaching staff. She puts in a hard day’s work. She’s unbelievably competitive and brave — like off the charts in all those three areas.”

Goff was a key performer in the Tar Heels’ midfield and defensive units as a sophomore last season. She made seven starts at holding center midfield and left back, and played in all 22 games last year. She scored twice last season — on headed home a corner kick by Dorian Bailey in the 70th minute against Syracuse, the other against High Point. Goff was named to 2017-18 ACC Academic Honor Roll.

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