The Tar Heels’ dominance continued after the break, as senior Marissa Creatore knocked in her first goal of the season in the 37th minute. A minute later, Hayden drove into the Quakers’ defense with ease as she scored her second goal. By the 53-minute mark, Hayden completed her hat trick performance by nailing the ball into the back of the net.
UNC’s depth proved to be too much for Pennsylvania as first-year Hannah Griggs and junior Feline Guenther added a goal each to the final total.
“This is one of the differences between last year’s team and this year’s team — we are deeper,” Shelton said. “So we can throw more fresh legs into the game without hurting the intensity, the pace and the flow of the game. That’s a luxury that we haven’t had these past couple of years."
By threatening with intense defense and quick ball movement all game, Shelton was pleased with her team’s performance. The Tar Heels finished with more penalty corners (10-3) and outshot the Quakers (22-3) in the game.
“We want to be known for defending like crazy and we want to move the ball,” Shelton said. “We want to be a team that is relentless on defense. We feel that the better we are on defense, the more attacks will happen. If you make an interception, it’s instant offense. We respect it, we value it and reinforce it on every occasion.”
Who stood out?
Hayden was the best player on the field in Sunday’s contest against the Quakers. Finishing with a hat trick on four shots on goal, Hayden made a huge difference on the offensive end.
“She’s really good and crafty in front of the goal,” Shelton said. “Her goals were the result of buildup from the entire team, but somebody has got to be on the end of them, and she found a way. It was important for her to get three goals for us in this offensive outpour.”
Why does it matter?
Entering Sunday’s matchup against Penn, UNC had only scored eight goals the whole season. However, the Tar Heels’ offensive outpour was a telling sign to the improvement that the team has made in just a few days. Everyone on the squad is taking notice.
“We’re just going to focus on ourselves and make sure we keep improving on our game,” Catherine Hayden said of last week's start to the season. “We weren’t necessarily very happy with our play and how we were doing with our ability to finish. We had high expectations for ourselves."
When do they play next?
UNC will play its fourth top-25 opponent in five games as the Tar Heels head to Kentucky to face No. 8 Louisville on Friday at 5 p.m.
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