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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC field hockey defeats No. 4 Duke, 2-1

In a rivalry game, anything can happen.

This old proverb proved true on Friday night, as the No. 3 North Carolina field hockey team came away with a wild 2-1 win against No. 4 Duke at Francis E. Henry Stadium.

The Tar Heels (12-1, 4-1 ACC) set the tone early, as freshman Malin Evert found the back of the cage in the sixth minute of play. The goal marked her seventh of the season.

The defenses traded stops for the next 20 minutes until senior Casey Di Nardo pushed the Tar Heel advantage to 2-0 on a goal in the 27th minute. But that cushion did not last long.

Duke (10-4, 2-3 ACC) scored with less than two minutes left in the first half, cutting the Tar Heels' lead to one. But the Blue Devils' goal turned out to be the last one of the contest.

Led by junior back Julia Young, the Tar Heels' defense clamped down in the second half.

Duke found multiple chances in the second half, but Young rose to the occasion. The Tar Heels held the Blue Devils to just three second-half shots, and goalkeeper Shannon Johnson made sure none of those reached the back of the net. 

Tensions rose in the final two minutes, as the Blue Devils pulled their goalkeeper in hopes of garnering the tying goal. But the UNC defense held on for the victory. 


"Both teams, I thought, gave it everything that they had. It’s not easy to score on Duke and we’re happy to come away with a big win.” — Coach Karen Shelton on Friday's rivalry win.


Johnson — whose older sister, Aileen, started in Duke's midfield — earned her 14th win of the season on Friday. 

Three numbers that matter 

8: The Tar Heels now have eight wins against top-25 teams this season. Their lone loss of the season came against then-No. 3 Syracuse on Sept. 12.

0: Goals were scored in the second half, even with 12 combined shots by the two squads. UNC tallied nine second-half shots, while Duke had three. 

5: With Friday's win, UNC is 5-0 at home this season. 

What's next?

North Carolina plays at Virginia Commonwealth at 2 p.m. on Sunday.


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