WINSTON-SALEM — The No. 1 North Carolina field hockey team lost in heartbreaking fashion, 1-0, to No. 10 Michigan in its season opener at Kentner Field in Winston-Salem on Saturday.
UNC started off the game strong. The Tar Heels outshot the Wolverines 6-1 in the first half. North Carolina nearly had a goal off sophomore Malin Evert’s ball into the circle, but a goal-line save by Michigan senior midfielder Esther de Leijer denied the goal.
An hour-long lightning delay at halftime zapped some of the mojo out of the Tar Heels. While the team showed flashes of the brilliance the program is historically known for, the Wolverines stole the ball from UNC often in the open field, resulting in the Tar Heels never really finding an offensive rhythm in the second half.
Michigan didn’t have many scoring chances with UNC’s dominance in possession until late in the second half, when the team got two penalty corners with less than a minute left in the game. The Wolverines converted the latter of these off a rebound to win the game with no time left on the clock.
Who stood out?
Redshirt senior Emma Bozek was a force in the midfield, having several nice bits of play that put pressure on the Michigan defense in her first game since 2014. While she had no shots, she was always around the play when something good happened for UNC.