The Demon Deacons took the lead two minutes into the game, but sophomore Nina Notman said that she knew her team would respond.
“I looked around and was looking for people who had their heads down because that’s something you do not want to see.” Notman said, “But I didn’t find anyone, so I think we believed in each other and knew that we had plenty of time to change the game, and we did.”
About six minutes later, Notman scored her first goal of the game on a penalty corner with a drag flick that soared past the goalie’s outstretched hand. Notman scored her second goal on a penalty corner after the Demon Deacon goalkeeper blocked the initial shot and she was the first to get to the ball.
The three remaining Tar Heel goals were scored in the second half in the unselfish manner that Shelton said she admires her team for.
Sophomore Casey Di Nardo scored her 14th goal of the season off of a give-and-go play inside the circle. She said that the team has been practicing their passing recently and wanted to incorporate it into their scoring throughout the tournament.
“That was one of our main goals this weekend, to be unselfish.” Di Nardo said. “It’s not about who scores, it’s about scoring as a team and moving on and advancing.”
Di Nardo said that the losses heading into the tournament encouraged the team to work together to put themselves in a position to fight for the national championship.
“Those three games really fired us up, we don’t like losing.” Di Nardo said. “I think we really wanted to come out hot and make a statement that we are a team to contend with, and the teams in the final four are going to have to watch out for us.”
Shelton said that she thinks her team is ready for the semifinals, but they have to be ready to play every minute of every game.
“Going forward, you have to play every minute of every game.” Shelton said. “It’s 70 minutes and you have to stay incredibly focused.”