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The Daily Tar Heel

Gab Major, UNC field hockey topple Virginia on the road

A steady rain fell in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Friday evening, but the field hockey field was not the only thing flooded.

Sophomore forward Gab Major poured in five goals, pacing No. 3 North Carolina’s decisive 8-3 win against the fourth-ranked Virginia Cavaliers.

With the win, UNC moves to 10-1 and pushes its ACC mark to 3-1. UVa. drops to 8-2 and now carries a 2-2 mark in ACC play.

While the Cavaliers outshot the Tar Heels in the first half — UVa. and UNC had nine and seven shots, respectively— North Carolina capitalized on its chances more often.

The Tar Heels struck first in the seventh minute off of a penalty corner, as Major and senior Emily Wold assisted on a goal by senior Nina Notman. The Cavaliers notched a goal less than 10 minutes later, and the score remained tied at 1 for about nine minutes. 

But with about 10 minutes left in the first half, Major — who is the reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Week — began her scoring onslaught, tallying the first of seven-straight UNC goals. 

Major scored four more times during the Tar Heels' run, and her five goals tied the single-game school record. She has now scored nine times in the past three games and leads UNC with 11 goals.

In addition to Major, Notman and freshman Malin Evert scored during the Tar Heels' streak to help UNC seal the victory. 

The final score didn't reflect how tight the game was at times. UVa. recorded 18 shots compared to UNC’s 22, and both squads had nine penalty corners.

The Cavaliers recorded two goals in the final three minutes to draw within five, but Major's performance proved to be the difference.


“Gab has been gaining confidence, and she is really coming into her own. We had a test tonight, and I’m just very proud of the whole team. Tonight tested our toughness, and I’m pleased with the result.” — Coach Karen Shelton on her team's performance.


The Tar Heels' dynamic offense forced the Cavaliers to pull starting goalkeeper Rebecca Holden in the 38th minute. She allowed three goals, and UNC manufactured five goals against her replacement, Carrera Lucas. UVa. hadn't surrendered more than four goals in a match entering Friday's contest.

Three numbers that matter

5: Major's five goals against UVa. matched her total from the entire 2014 season.

21: Major recorded 11 points during Friday's game. With an assist and five goals scored, she has tallied 21 points over the past three games.

4: Saves by UNC goalkeeper Shannon Johnson during Friday's match.

What’s next?

The Tar Heels host Longwood at 6 p.m. on Friday at Francis E. Henry Stadium.


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