NORFOLK, VA. — After watching Syracuse’s defense deny her first three shots, North Carolina forward Charlotte Craddock finally found her opening.
Before Craddock’s goal in the 32nd minute, the No. 1 Tar Heels (23-1) earned four penalty corners, but were unable to convert on any of them. Craddock took the shot on two of those corners, but both times saw the ball deflected away from the cage by Syracuse goalkeeper Leann Stiver.
But once Craddock found the opening on the fifth penalty attempt, there was no looking back for North Carolina’s leading scorer.
With just more than three minutes left in the first half, senior Katie Ardrey drew a penalty corner. As
Ardrey pushed the ball in from the end line, Syracuse’s defense rushed out of the cage to smother UNC’s impending attack.
But the scramble didn’t faze Craddock. She received the ball from Ardrey off the push-in, wound up, and sent a powerful drive into the back of the cage to record the first goal of her hat-trick in UNC’s 6-1 win against No. 5 Syracuse (19-3) in the semifinals of the NCAA championship.