Last weekend, the North Carolina field hockey team allowed three goals in two games — all on penalty corners. Though the Tar Heels prevailed in both contests, they knew that if they could improve on anything, it was defending set plays.
UNC proved this weekend in Boston that it had taken that challenge seriously. For the second time this season, the Tar Heels (14-1, 3-0 ACC) posted back-to-back shutouts in weekend games, defeating Boston College 4-0 on Saturday and Dartmouth 6-0 on Sunday.
“On corner defense, we were a little shaky last weekend,” sophomore back Samantha Travers said. “So we really worked on boxing out — getting a body on a girl and not letting the girl get to a rebound. Even if you can’t get to the rebound, as long as the other girl can’t, you’re doing your job.”
In field hockey, penalty corners are awarded for infractions committed by the defense inside the circle — an arc with a radius extending 16 yards from the goal.
An attacking player receives the ball on the endline and passes it to her teammates positioned around the arc. Until the ball is hit, five of the defending team’s players must remain behind the endline while the other six must begin beyond midfield.