On Aug. 30, the 2019 UNC field hockey team will take the field and begin its season. When they do, fans will be wondering if this year will mirror the undefeated season the team had in 2018.
In a year where their resume was impeccable, the Tar Heels won 23 games,outscoring their opponents 103-16 and winning a second straight ACC Conference Championship. UNC capped off its season by winning the NCAA Championship, the seventh national title in program history, with a 2-0 victory against Maryland.
In 2019, the Tar Heels will look to build on the 2018 season and continue their dominance. Although the team lost six seniors at the end of 2018, including four starters, there are many key returners who will take the field for North Carolina this fall. Erin Matson, Catherine Hayden and Marissa Creatore all played a key role in the team's offensive dominance in 2018.
Last season, Matson, then a first-year, started all 23 games for the Tar Heels and led the team in goals with 20 and assists at 19. She was named a first-team All-American, becoming the second UNC first-year in program history to earn that honor. Matson was also voted ACC Offensive Player of the Year and ACC Rookie of the Year.
Just like Matson, Hayden was a key piece of the Tar Heel offense in 2018. Throughout the season, she also started all 23 games and scored 16 goals with three assists. In addition, Hayden had the ability to come through for her team in clutch situations all season. Of her 16 goals, seven of them were game-winners. Hayden’s offensive ability paid off, as she was named to the All-ACC second team.