The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 28th

UNC field hockey falls 3-2 to Delaware in national title game

The North Carolina field hockey team lost 3-2 to the Delaware on Sunday afternoon in Norfolk, Virginia, in the national championship game. The Tar Heels outshot Delaware 16-5, but lost in the final minutes.

What happened?

The Tar Heels came out a little flat. The Blue Hens owned the ball for a good deal of the first half, pushing two goals in the first 35 minutes of play. 

After going into halftime down 2-0, UNC looked like a different team in the second half with a more aggressive attack. A goal by Lauren Moyer in the first three minutes of the half cut the Hens to one and changed the complexion of the game. 

North Carolina piled up shots in the second half, but with 18:03 remaining, the Tar Heels — still trailing a goal — called for a video referral. It overturned a Hens' corner and gave UNC the ball. The Tar Heels used this momentum to attack relentlessly. 

Moyer played with a ferocious intensity that gave the Tar Heels life. The emotional leader stayed all over the Hens defense, seemingly daring the opposition to make a mistake. The Tar Heels fired shot after shot, but to no avail. 

With 7:24 left, UNC found the cage when Emma Bozek found Malin Evert, culminating in a Megan DuVernois finish. Improbably, the Tar Heels had tied Delaware at two apiece with seven minutes remaining. 

But that didn't last long. With 5:56 on the clock, Delaware pushed across its third goal to take a 3-2 led. Coach Karen Shelton immediately called a timeout. The Tar Heels had been down before, but this was a new turn — a late goal for the opposition. UNC was unable to recover.

Who stood out?

Lauren Moyer scored the first goal for the Tar Heels in the 38th minute of the game, shortly into the second half. She drove baseline and then cut back to the center of the field, which drew the goalie off her line. Moyer capitalized by juking her and the rest of the Blue Hen defense out and sending the shot into the back of the cage.

Moyer, a senior co-captain, led the Tar Heels with 24 goals this season. No other Tar Heel finished the season in double digits. She did her part, stepping up to be the scorer the Tar Heels needed all season long and finding a way to score and aid the comeback effort in the national title game.

When was it over?

UNC battled hard to even the score at 2-2. Once Delaware’s Greta Nauck scored her second of the day to put the Blue Hens up 3-2 with 5:56 left to go, the Tar Heels called a timeout and settled themselves. And over the final minutes, UNC did everything it could to claw back into the game.

With two minutes to go, cheers of 'Let's go Hens' rang out from the lively Delaware fans in attendance. Tar Heel fans had been matching their cheers all afternoon long, but they stayed silent after that one, as the game was all but over.

Why does it matter?

This marked UNC’s eighth straight Final Four appearance and fifth national title appearance in seven years. But with the loss, North Carolina's title drought still extends back to 2009, when the program won its sixth national championship. This was the last game for the Tar Heel seniors, and UNC will look to replace its experienced class in the coming season.

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