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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC field hockey splits against top-10 opponents

No. 2 UNC (5-1, 0-1 ACC) dropped its first game of the year in a 4-2 loss at No. 3 Syracuse on Saturday before claiming a 4-2 win against No. 7 Albany on Sunday.

The Tar Heels took their undefeated record into their ACC opener against the Orange (5-0, 1-0 ACC), who presented a challenge to UNC — but not until the second half.

The Tar Heels had a 2-0 lead going into halftime with goals from seniors Nina Notman and Emily Wold. UNC outshot the Orange in the first half 6-1, but the Tar Heels were outshot 8-4 in the second half. Syracuse came out firing and scored four straight goals while keeping UNC scoreless.

The 4-2 loss to Syracuse handed North Carolina its first loss of the young season. With a second challenging match against another top-10 opponent in Albany (4-1), the Tar Heels knew they needed an improved shot ratio to have a chance of success.

UNC started out strong with a 2-1 first-half advantage, once again with goals from Wold and Notman. But when Albany scored a goal 10 minutes into the second half, North Carolina’s chances looked bleaker.

But the Tar Heels responded with yet another goal from Wold and an additional goal from freshman Eva van’t Hoog to put the game away.

UNC outshot the Great Danes 19-8 — an improvement from the previous game against Syracuse — to secure the 4-2 victory.

Quotable

“It’s a little bit bittersweet. I’m glad that we handled our situation, but I think that we learned a lot.” — Coach Karen Shelton on the team’s performance this weekend.

Notable

North Carolina has played six-straight road games and finished the stretch with a 5-1 record. UNC will play its next three games at home.

Van’t Hoog was the only non-senior to put points on the board for the Tar Heels this weekend.

Three numbers that matter

19: The total number of shots UNC took against Albany on Sunday.

5: The number of top-20 teams North Carolina has played this season.

3: The number of goals by Wold on the weekend.

What’s next?

UNC hosts its first home game of the season against Louisville on Friday at 6 p.m.

@MichaelFreije

sports@dailytarheel.com

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