All three were sidelined for the whole 2014 season with injuries.
On Sunday, the trio returned to Fetzer Field and each scored once again, collaborating with a mixture of other new and familiar faces to earn a 13-9 season-opening victory for the No. 2 Tar Heels against James Madison.
“I think a year off has made me want it a lot more than I ever have in my whole life,” said Coppa, now a senior captain. “It was great to be back out there, and it was great to get a win on our home field for our first game.”
Coppa’s eagerness to return to the field was quickly made apparent: Her goal came just 37 seconds into the game and set the tone for an aggressive UNC attack.
“I liked our aggressiveness and how tough we were,” Coach Jenny Levy said. “I thought JMU did a great job of challenging us today, and they’re a good team. This was a great start to our season.”
The Dukes displayed their toughness all game long, even taking the lead temporarily seven minutes into the second half, until the Tar Heels responded with a streak of five unanswered goals to seal the victory.
Of UNC’s 13 goals, only three came from Tar Heels who played for the team last year.
Leading the team this time was sophomore attacker Alex Moore, who transferred to UNC after leading Southern California’s team in goals last year as a freshman.