UNC rebounds from weekend loss with 6-1 domination of Appalachian State
The No. 4 North Carolina field hockey team dominated Appalachian State, 6-1, in Boone, N.C. on Sunday, moving to 4-2 on the season.
The game got off to a perfect start for the Tar Heels, as junior midfielder Ashley Hoffman picked up her third goal of the season to open the scoring at the 7:41 mark of the first period.
UNC’s forwards continued to attack the Mountaineers’ goal throughout the period, and the pressure paid off as first-year Meredith Sholder doubled the team’s lead at the 23:10 mark to send the game into the break at 2-0.
North Carolina came out firing after the break as well, with senior Gab Major picking up her third goal of the season just 51 seconds into the second period.
UNC’s attack continued to wear down the Appalachian State defense as the period wore on, as Hoffman grabbed her second goal of the game before Kathryn Holland and Catherine Hayden notched a goal each to make it a 6-0 game in favor of the Tar Heels.
Appalachian State managed to grab a consolation goal in the final three minutes of the game, but it was too little too late, and UNC closed out the game for a comfortable victory.
Who stood out?
North Carolina’s leading scorer for the season, Ashley Hoffman, continued her great form, picking up two more goals to up her tally to four for the season.
Gab Major also continued to be crucial to the Tar Heels attack, as she picked up a goal and two assists to increase her count to three goals and six assists for the season.
However, head coach Karen Shelton emphasized after the game that it was a collective team effort rather than the play of certain individuals that earned North Carolina the win.
“It’s hard to pick out individuals,” Shelton said. “Ashley Hoffman played well and scored two goals… but I was really pleased with the diversity of the scoring and I really think it was about the team effort.”
Why does it matter?
After two unexpected early season losses to Michigan and Wake Forest, UNC desperately needed a win to regain some momentum as the season picked up steam.
Shelton emphasized this after the game.
“We were coming off of a loss (to Wake Forest),” she said. “So I really wanted to see some energy and some improvement.”
Fortunately for her and her team, she got that, and they’ll now return home to begin a three game stand in which they’ll take on two ranked teams in No. 8 Boston College, No. 15 James Madison, as well as Davidson.
“We have to continue to fine tune, get better, and worry about how to improve,” Shelton said.
Where do they play next?
The Tar Heels have six days off before they return to action at 12 p.m. on Saturday, September 16th against Boston College at their temporary home of Jack Katz Stadium in Durham, N.C.