Kent State field hockey coach Kerry De Vries looked slightly stunned Saturday while trying to explain to the media why North Carolina ran over her team.
Sunday, the scene was repeated, except Massachusetts coach Patty Shea was the one in the hot seat.
"Carolina has a lot of weapons, and you have to try to minimize them as much as you can," Shea said. "They play well together as a team, they pass the ball well."
The Tar Heels rolled through their first- and second-round games of the NCAA tournament, amassing 5-3 and 5-1 victories at Henry Stadium this weekend.
The two wins earned UNC (19-3) a ticket to Norfolk, Va., and a game against Maryland in the final four.
UMass (19-4) picked up the early
1-0 lead. With 27:18 left in the half, Patty Robinson fed Kristen Schmidt, who tapped the ball into the left corner of the net past a diving Amy Tran.
That would be Tran's only chance at the ball - she finished with no saves.
But her UMass counterpart, Zowie Tucker, would have her hands full with the Tar Heel offense. UNC had 26 shots and 14 penalty corners on the day.
"I think we did what we needed to do in the first 10 minutes," Shea said. "Then, when we got the goal in, we went away from what we needed to be doing."
After those 10 minutes were up, it became UNC's game. The Tar Heels controlled the game, allowing UMass only two other chances to get near the goal and preventing the Minutewomen from getting any shots off.
"The fact that (UMass) scored so early in the game can have a calming effect because there's so much more time to play," UNC coach Karen Shelton said.
UNC didn't let UMass hold the lead for long, tying the game six minutes later. UNC back Jana Toepel passed the ball to Carrie Lingo, who was waiting at the top of the circle. Lingo drove in a few feet and shot straight into the net.
Abbey Woolley added the game-winning goal with 19:01 left in the first half.
"It's been a been a point of contention for us that we haven't been scoring as many goals as we think we are capable of doing," Shelton said. "I'm pleased when we're able to generate so much offense against a talented UMass team."
Lingo finished the game with two goals, as did sweeper Abby Martin. Martin had a big weekend for UNC, scoring four goals and tallying two assists.
UNC held UMass in check for 60 of the 70 minutes but had a bit of trouble finishing off Kent State on Saturday.
Forward Els Brouwer had a hand in each of the Golden Flashes' three goals. She scored with eight minutes left in the game and assisted Arlette van Cleeff's goal with 5:52 remaining.
Awaiting UNC in the final four will be a Maryland team with revenge on its mind. UNC topped the Terps 1-0 in overtime in College Park on Oct. 22.
"Our execution was amazing (Sunday) - our execution all weekend, and we hope to carry it into the final four and bring home a ring," Martin said. "I know I want one. Bad."
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