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The Daily Tar Heel

North Carolina field hockey team dominates Wake Forest

The North Carolina field hockey players know that the first five minutes of a game are critical for setting the pace and securing a win.

So it came as no surprise when the Tar Heels scored their first goal just two minutes into the game, with junior forward Elizabeth Stephens leading the charge.

The goal was Stephens’ third this season, and it would give the No. 2 Tar Heels the momentum they needed to take control of Saturday’s match against No. 9 Wake Forest to claim a 5-1 victory.

“Getting on a team fast like that, they get shocked, and it gives us momentum to keep going and keep scoring,” sophomore Kelsey Kolojejchick said.

The early scoring helped secure the team’s win, as the team’s offense slowed down at the end of each half.

North Carolina improved its record to 11-0 overall and 2-0 in the ACC, while the Demon Deacons fell to 6-5 overall and 1-2 in the conference. In the two meetings between the teams this season, UNC has outscored Wake Forest 10-1.

A second North Carolina goal came just seven minutes later with an unassisted goal from sophomore forward Katie Ardrey. The goal was Ardrey’s second of the season.

Twenty minutes later, the Tar Heels tallied a third goal, which was sophomore Caitlin Van Sickle’s eighth of the season. She snatched a rebound from a shot by senior Elizabeth Drazdowski.

A strong North Carolina counterattack overpowered Wake Forest’s offense, forcing the ball back into the Tar Heels’ possession again and again.

The Demon Deacons went scoreless in the first half and only took one shot against UNC goalkeeper Jackie Kintzer.

Going into the second half, the Tar Heels came out strong again, scoring their fourth goal of the game less than two minutes into the half. Junior Taryn Gjurich scored her third goal of the season off an assist from Stephens on the counter-attack.

But the Demon Deacons hadn’t given up yet, and less than a minute after Gjurich’s goal, Wake Forest posted its first score of the game.

The goal was just the fifth score Kintzer and the UNC defense have allowed this season.

The Tar Heels wouldn’t score again until the 58th minute of play, but the team held off the Demon Deacons as the clock ran down. Sophomore Katie Plyler earned her first goal of the season with an assist from Van Sickle to tally North Carolina’s fifth and final goal.

“We had two counter-attack goals,” UNC coach Karen Shelton said. “We were just able to string some passes together and get some outcomes.”

North Carolina racked up 10 penalty corners during the game while only allowing four for the Demon Deacons. Only one of the Tar Heels’ five goals came from a penalty corner.

Shelton said that while she was pleased with the number of penalty corners the team earned, she wants to capitalize on them more.

“We would like to score on 30 percent of our corners,” Shelton said.

“Overall I think our corners are getting better, but I don’t think we scored them today.”

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