"Naming this stadium after Coach Karen Shelton – who has been an amazing coach and mentor for almost four decades – expresses our gratitude for her dedication to women's athletics," Chancellor Carol Folt told GoHeels. "This is the first UNC playing field named in honor of a woman and the only UNC facility named for a female coach."
On Oct. 18, 2015, Shelton won her 600th career game as North Carolina's head coach. Through 37 seasons, Shelton has led her team to 646 wins and is ranked second in NCAA field hockey history in total victories.
The newly-named Karen Shelton Stadium is the first UNC athletic facility to be dedicated to a female and the only facility on campus named after a current coach. After the stadium is dedicated in Shelton’s honor, it will become the eighth building on UNC's campus to be named after an individual woman.
In North Carolina's next game against Virginia, Shelton will join elite company. Only one UNC coach has previously coached in a facility named after him or her — Dean Smith.
The new stadium, at the former site of Ehringhaus Field, is located on South Campus next to Boshamer Stadium. It includes a 1,000-seat capacity, a press box and a new team facility.
Last season, the Tar Heels played all six of their regular season home games at Duke’s Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium while Shelton Stadium was under construction.
Eight games into Shelton's 38th season as head coach, the Tar Heels (8-0, 2-0 ACC) are ranked No.1 in the country. This is the best start for UNC since 2013, when it also began the year 8-0.
North Carolina's defense has been crucial in its early success. UNC has five shutouts on the season. The Tar Heels have scored 33 goals so far this season and allowed opponents to score just three goals. North Carolina has posted three straight shutouts.The last goal UNC gave up came at the hands of Louisville on Sept. 7.
After beating the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils for the first time since 2016, the Tar Heels will return home on Wednesday and play No. 15 Virginia in their third ACC matchup of the season.
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