With the score tied at nine and and just under four minutes left in the game, North Carolina’s Sammy Jo Tracy received a pass.
After creating space from her defender, Tracy readied her shot and fired the ball past Florida goalkeeper Haley Hicklen.
Forty-two seconds later, Tracy came down the field and scored again, putting the game out of reach for the Gators.
Tracy scored four goals, including a second-half hat trick, while Ela Hazar led all players in points with six, which included two goals and four assists.
Both Tracy and Hazar proved to be too much for UF to handle, as No. 1 UNC (2-0) defeated No. 3 Florida (0-1) 13-10 on Saturday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.
The Gators started the game flat. Unable to get anything going against a UNC team that was controlling the match, Florida scored only three first-half goals.
Its scorers? Attacker Shayna Pirreca and midfielder Sydney Pirreca.
The Pirrecas each ended the game with hat tricks and, for most of the game, were Florida’s answer to its scoring droughts.
“I mean, there’s a reason they’re scoring those goals,” coach Amanda O’Leary said. “Every day after practice, they’re the ones staying after. They’re putting in the extra effort. So it’s not a surprise they continue to lead in goals. So it’s just the work that they’ve put in.”
The second half featured more success for Florida than the first.
Attacker Sammi Burgess opened scoring 1:16 into the second half, blowing one by UNC goalkeeper Caylee Waters.
But for the next nine minutes, both teams traded goals, negating any attempt Florida had of getting back into the game.
After midfielder Mollie Steven’s second goal of the game, however, the Gators were down by one.
But every time the Gators scored, the Tar Heels answered back.
On offense, six different Tar Heels scored at least one goal, with Tracy scoring four and Molly Hendrick scoring three first-half goals.
On defense, UNC held Florida to 22 shots on goal, and Waters was a wall in front of the goal, making 12 saves and scooping up four ground balls.
On faceoffs, UNC had 17 draw controls to Florida’s eight, helping them keep control of the ball for most of the game.
“I thought it was a good effort for a first game,” Shayna Pirreca said. “There were definitely some little kinks here and there, but that’s expected on your first game. But I thought we had a really good effort.”
Florida will need to work out those kinks before it plays No. 4 Southern California on Feb. 24, its second top-five team this month.
Before that game, though, the Gators will play the Scotland National Team in an exhibition game on Feb. 15. This is the second national team exhibition game Florida will play this season.
“It’s definitely a really good learning experience for us,” Pirreca said. “Like Mandy (Amanda O’Leary) always says, ‘To be the best, you have to beat the best’, so I think it was definitely a big test for us in the beginning of the season.
“But who knows what will happen.”
Shayna Pirreca (center) dodges defenders during Florida's 14-4 loss to Maryland on March 19, 2016, at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.