Hazar dictates the Tar Heel (3-0) offense from behind the goal, controlling the ball and constantly calculating whether to pass or make a run herself. The key to her success has been improved chemistry, as shown in the Tar Heels’ 16-6 win over High Point on Friday.
“Every day we just try to build chemistry whether it’s me, Molly (Hendrick) trying to work together (on) a couple things,” Hazar said.
Against High Point (0-2), Hazar took another step forward, flashing her playmaking ability and scoring two goals and four assists. With six points, she tied her career-high for the second straight game. Hazar attributed her success to the team’s effort.
“I think it’s everyone understanding how to work together. We’re all hoping for the same things. We have the same goals,” Hazar said. “We’re pretty much all on the same page in terms of what we want so we’re just doing our own parts to do it.”
Last year as a sophomore, Hazar came off the bench as an offensive substitute early in the season. With injuries to Sydney Holman and Olivia Ferrucci, Hazar played consistent minutes the rest of the year. She started in the NCAA Tournament final, scoring two goals as the Tar Heels claimed their second national title in four seasons.
Head coach Jenny Levy praised Hazar for the intelligence and work ethic she has carried from last year to this season.
“She’s not our biggest or fastest kid but she’s tough and she’s super competitive and she cares a lot,” Levy said. “She’s special for us and we have a lot of trust in her to calm things down and be smart.”
Levy stressed the importance of Hazar’s calm demeanor on offense. A team can benefit from having a levelheaded leader at the point of attack. Senior Molly Hendrick sees the impact Hazar has on the offense.
“Ela brings a lot of poise and a lot of creativity to the team,” Hendrick said. “I’m an attacker down with her so we’re talking all the time and thinking up new things to do (and) strategizing together.”
Hazar’s poise and creativity has been vital in the first three games, as she has tallied a team-leading nine assists and 14 points. Already, she’s built upon a breakout sophomore campaign where she had 26 goals and 28 assists.
But as impressed as Levy has been with Hazar’s play so far, she knows even bigger things are in store for the junior.
“She hasn’t even come close to hitting her ceiling and has a lot more to go, but we love that she’s back there,” Levy said.