Current Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2013 03:35:12 -0500
The No. 2 North Carolina field hockey team had been on an absolute tear offensively, scoring four or more goals in each of its five games since the Oct. 5 loss to Maryland.
But the Tar Heels saw that scoring streak end Saturday in a 2-1 victory against No. 4 Connecticut, then had their six-game winning streak snapped Sunday in a 3-2 overtime loss to No. 10 Old Dominion.
The loss to ODU was just UNC’s third of the season, all of which have come in overtime games.
Coach Karen Shelton said the team’s overtime struggles can be attributed to not capitalizing on opportunities.
“Obviously we need to work on our overtime,” she said. “Whether it’s personnel, formation, execution — I don’t think we truly have been outplayed in any of the overtimes, we’re just not finishing.”
Despite the loss on Sunday, Shelton was happier with the team’s performance against ODU than in its victory the previous day.
“In the first half (Saturday) we did not play very well,” she said Sunday. “So we looked at videotape last night, we made some great adjustments, I thought. We played better, we made better decisions, and our outlets were, at times, strong.”
Sophomore midfielder Emily Wold agreed with Shelton, saying the Tar Heels played one of their best games Sunday, regardless of the loss.
“I thought it was an all-around great game, like 70 minutes of just good hockey,” said Wold, the 2012 ACC Freshman of the Year.
While the Tar Heels outshot the Huskies 17-6 on Saturday, the Lady Monarchs put up 14 shots to UNC’s 10 on Sunday.
Junior forward Loren Shealy, who scored the Tar Heels’ first goal on Sunday, said she was frustrated with the team’s inability to convert opportunities, but doesn’t blame the loss on the missed chances.
“I think it was a combination of playing really good, high quality teams this weekend,” she said. “We just couldn’t get it in the back of the net and I attribute that a lot to our opponents’ defense, it was pretty spectacular.”
Despite being frustrated in her team’s third overtime loss, Shelton looked on the bright side and saw the game as a learning experience.
“We like to put ourselves in a tough environment,” Shelton said. “We grow from that, and I think we’ll grow from today’s game.”