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The Daily Tar Heel

Chapel Hill High teacher attends freedom writers convention

On Saturday, the No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels gave up a season-high 10 penalty corners and allowed nine shots, the most since yielding 13 from Wake Forest more than a month ago.

But for the tenth time this season, they did not surrender a goal, extending their year-long unbeaten streak to 12 with a 4-0 win over No. 9 Boston College at Henry Stadium.

The shutout is the Tar Heels’ ninth in a row, which ties an ACC record last achieved by the 2007 squad, which went undefeated on the way to the school’s fifth national championship.

While Coach Karen Shelton noted that this year’s team does not have a player of the same caliber as 2007 National Player of the Year Rachel Dawson, she believes it may be a better team overall.

“We don’t have the lone superstar but I think the strength and depth of the team might be a little bit better,” she said.

This depth was on display Saturday afternoon. With starting keeper Jackie Kintzer out due to injury, second-string goalie Brianna O’Donnell gave an impressive performance, keeping the Eagles off the scoresheet with four saves.

“We compete with each other in such a way that drives us both to newer levels,” said O’Donnell of her friendly rivalry with Kintzer.

“I think that was the coolest thing of the day, just to see how equally the trust is distributed amongst everyone.”

While defense was the theme of the afternoon, the UNC attack had a nice day for itself as well. The Tar Heels were particularly potent on penalty corners, something they have had trouble with this season.

The home side scored all three of its first half goals off penalty corners — two from Melanie Brill and one from Illse Davids, who would tack on a second goal early in the second half.

“I’m delighted with our penalty corner execution,” Shelton said. “To get three out of four in the first half, I was ecstatic. I felt like that was the difference in the game.”

Though her team had not allowed a goal in its last 671 minutes of play, senior back Brill expressed a desire on Saturday to further limit opponents’ scoring opportunities in UNC’s game against Duke on Sunday.

“Today we were off a little bit defending from the front to the back, which is what our team is generally known for,” Brill said.

“I think overall we were just a little slow today, and tomorrow we’re going to really work on stepping it up and making it even better so that they don’t get any corners and any shots.”

The Tar Heels will need that defensive execution down the stretch, as their final four games are all against ranked opponents, including eagerly anticipated contests with No. 3 Virginia and first-ranked Maryland.

“Virginia is capable of beating our team, James Madison is, Old Dominion, Maryland certainly,” Shelton said.

Still, Shelton believes her players need to focus on their own progress and not get caught up in worrying about their upcoming opponents.

“We just want to get better,” she said.

“We’ve got a lot of room for improvement, and I just want to keep pushing the girls there. My job is to not let them think that they’re better than they are.”

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