After grinding all season long to compile a 15-2 record, the No. 3 North Carolina field hockey team finally began its postseason slate on Thursday with an ACC Championship match against the No. 9 Louisville Cardinals.
And in the quarterfinals in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Tar Heels came out strong, seizing a 2–1 victory as they vie for their first ACC title since 2012.
In the teams' previous meeting, North Carolina dismantled Louisville to the tune of a 5-0 win at Francis E. Henry Stadium. But Thursday’s match was a different story.
Possession alternated often in the first few minutes of the game, and each team saw its fair share of scoring chances. Stellar defensive efforts from the Tar Heels' defense stymied the Cardinals' attack.
In the 15th minute of play, the stalemate was broken. Courtesy of forward Nina Notman’s penalty stroke, North Carolina garnered a 1-0 advantage.