[FLORIDA STATE-NORTH CAROLINA] Making its first start in its new 4-2-3-1 formation -- its first major system change in 15 years -- No. 9 North Carolina got a pair of first-half goals from Amber Brooks and Courtney Jones and beat No. 10 Florida State, 2-0, in front of a packed house of 1,876 at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
Brooks scored in the 15th minute on a low-liner from about 16 yards that short-hopped FSU goalkeeper Kelsey Wys and trickled into the net.
The Tar Heels increased their lead to 2-0 in the 29th minute when Jones, playing with renewed confidence, got inside position on the Seminole defense running down the right side of the pitch, made a few dribbles and blasted a shot from 17 yards.
The UNC defense did the rest, limiting the Seminoles to three shots on goal in the game.
Coach Anson Dorrance said the new formation -- which replaces the 3-4-3 Carolina used since the 1996 season -- is modeled after the system France used at the 2011 Women's World Cup and the U.S. women's national team used in its recent friendlies against Canada.
In particular, he said it will benefit center froward Crystal Dunn, Kealia Ohai and Jones in the attack and allow Brooks to come forward, but he acknowledged the new formation will help cover up the Tar Heels' fitness problems caused by a rash of players coming off injuries.
"It's a way to showcase some of the kids we have," Dorrance said, "but also an excellent way to rotate players and not expose our lack of fitness."
That lack of fitness was exposed in recent overtime losses to Texas A&M and Virginia, UNC's only defeats.
North Carolina improved to 7-2-0 overall and 2-1-0 in the ACC with the win, while Florida State fell to 8-4-0 overall and 1-3-0 in conference play.
(Click here to listen to what Dorrance had to say about the Carolina win and its changes.)