photo by Turner Walston
UNC field hockey has been steamrolling competition for a number of years now, and 2017 is no different. The Tar Heels (15-4) traveled up to Louisville this weekend with 19 ACC titles to date.
The Tar Heels outscored opponents 8-1 over a three game span en route to their 20th ACC title in school history. The run to the title culminated on Sunday, as the team captured the championship in 1-0 fashion over the Louisville Cardinals.
It was a truly dominating performance by UNC over the four day stay in Kentucky, and here is the run-down of their weekend.
Thursday — first round Opponent: Wake Forest — The Tar Heels took an early lead in this one, and carried that momentum on for the victory. Fresh off her defensive player of the week award, Ashley Hoffman opened scoring with an early tally for UNC. Wake Forest answered just before half, knotting it at one for intermission.
Feline Guenther scored in the first 15 minutes of the second half, accompanied by a Marissa Creatore goal in the 56th minute to put UNC up 3-1. The Demon Deacons rallied in the final minutes, but it was all for naught. UNC 3, Wake Forest 1.
On to the quarterfinals.
Friday — Quarterfinals — opponent: Virginia — this one was pure domination from the Tar Heels. Led by senior goalie Amanda Hendry’s impressive stand in goal, UNC was able to handle Virginia easily for a 4-0 victory.
Goals from Eef Andriessen, and Malin Evert in the first 25 minutes of the game put the Tar Heels in the driver’s seat early. In a near mirror image second half, Meredith Sholder, and Catherine Hayden notched goals in the first 20 minutes of play to set the score at its final tally.
Saturday served as a day of rest and preparation for the championship on Sunday.
Sunday – Championship — opponent: Louisville — This was the Tar Heels most dominant performance in the championship run. The team captured a decisive 1-0 victory behind Malin Evert’s team leading 11th goal of the season.
Ashley Hoffman played flawlessly on defense — as she had all season, leading to ACC defensive player of the year honors to go along with her tournament MVP trophy she won Sunday — keeping the Cardinals at bay.
UNC goalie Amanda Hendry also had a great showing Sunday, leading to her placement on the All-Tournament team beside Hoffman, Evert, and Eva Van’t Hoog.
The ACC title for the Tar Heels came after a season playing away from home, and will surely give UNC momentum as they travel to Connecticut to play Saint Josephs in the first round of the NCAA tournament this weekend.