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Emma Bozek scores game winner in No. 3 UNC field hockey's 3-2 win over No. 10 Virginia

The UNC Women's Field Hockey team overcame Virginia in 3-2 overtime victory on Friday, October 7.
The UNC Women's Field Hockey team overcame Virginia in 3-2 overtime victory on Friday, October 7.

With the No. 3 North Carolina field hockey team struggling to defeat No. 10 Virginia in overtime, the team turned to fifth-year senior Emma Bozek to make a play.

But three minutes into the extra period, Bozek lured Virginia goalkeeper Carrera Lucas out of the box to score and give the Tar Heels (11-2, 3-1 ACC) a 3-2 win on Friday over the Cavaliers (8-5, 2-2 ACC).

“I kept telling myself, ‘Don’t miss,’” Bozek said. “I knew I had a one-on-one with the defender, and I could feel her presence, and I knew that as soon as I received the pass that I could beat her.

"And when you are faced with an aggressive goalie like Virginia’s, you have to remember that you are more mobile than they are.”

The game winner served as another memorable highlight in Bozek’s final season at North Carolina, after she was forced to sit out the entire 2015-16 season.

During the summer of 2015, Bozek was diagnosed with a sequestered lung — and later a collapsed lung — which threatened both her playing career and her life. But since returning this season, Bozek has emerged as one of the leaders of the Tar Heels.

“I’m really happy for everyone tonight, especially (Bozek) in particular,” Coach Karen Shelton said after the game. “She’s been through a lot of hardships. And for her to come back and score a game-winning goal against a strong team like Virginia, I couldn’t be happier for her.”

Shelton said she was disappointed by her team's slow start, as the Cavaliers took advantage of Tar Heel mistakes.

Though UNC outshot the Cavaliers 19-16 on Friday, Virginia controlled the tempo early. The Tar Heels saw three straight penalty corners at one point, but they couldn't convert those chances into goals.

“Overall, we’re a little disappointed in how we played in the first half,” senior Lauren Moyer said. “Virginia is a great team, and I’m proud of how we finished the game. But we have yet to play a full 70 minutes as a team, and that’s something we need to work on moving forward.”

Despite the inconsistent play in the first half, UNC showed it was a team with the ability to overcome adversity — just as Bozek did to get back on the field.


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