The No. 4 North Carolina field hockey team opened the NCAA Tournament Saturday in College Park, Maryland by defeating No. 12 Stanford 3-0.
UNC used momentum from an early goal to move past the Cardinal 3-0. It was Eva van’t Hoog that fired the opening salvo just 3:30 into the game. The Tar Heels were able to increase their lead on an Ashley Hoffman goal with nine minutes left to play in the opening period, taking the game into halftime with North Carolina holding a 2-0 advantage.
After the half, the Tar Heels put on a defensive clinic. UNC held Stanford to just one shot in the second 35 minutes of play. North Carolina maintained that 2-0 advantage until Emma Bozek was able to push across the finalizing goal off a corner just seconds before the buzzer sounded.
Who stood out?
North Carolina’s defense held the Cardinal to just three shots on the afternoon — only one of which came after halftime. The stout defense led to an easy afternoon for goalie Shannon Johnson, who did her part by saving a shot that the Cardinal put on target. The Tar Heel defense also held Stanford to just two corners as well, with neither coming in the second half. Captain Julia Young was voted as the player of the game by the UNC team as she anchored the back line today, as she has done all season.
Passing and composure were huge for the Tar Heels in this one. Coach Karen Shelton was pleased with the way UNC passed and had quick touches on the ball, opening up the offense.