The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday February 4th

UNC field hockey shuts out Penn for 27th straight win dating back to last season

UNC forward Erin Matson (1) competes for the ball against William and Mary midfielder Ashleigh Nottingham (10) during the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Karen Shelton Stadium on Friday. UNC won 4-0.
Buy Photos UNC forward Erin Matson (1) competes for the ball against William and Mary midfielder Ashleigh Nottingham (10) during the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Karen Shelton Stadium on Friday. UNC won 4-0.

The No. 1 North Carolina field hockey team defeated Penn in shutout fashion on Sunday, beating the Quakers 6-0 at Karen Shelton Stadium to close out the ACC-Ivy League Conference Crossover. It was the Tar Heels' 27th straight win dating back to last season.

What happened?

North Carolina dominated possession early and never looked back. The Tar Heels had their fair share of scoring opportunities in the first quarter, but it was a goal from sophomore standout Erin Matson at the beginning of the second quarter that opened the floodgates.

After North Carolina got its first goal out of the way, the team began to score at will. Just two minutes later, senior Marissa Creatore punched in a goal off an assist from Matson across the circle to make the score 2-0.

The next two goals came in quick succession, separated by less than a minute and a half. The first came off a penalty corner corralled by Matson and sent to Eva Smolenaars for the finish, and the next off a shot from Catherine Hayden, once again assisted by Matson.

Sophomore Riley Fulmer put an exclamation point on the half with an incredible individual move past her defender, then a ripped shot off of the crossbar and into the top of the cage.

At the break, North Carolina had a 5-0 lead and totaled 14 shots to Penn’s one, with the ball rarely entering the Tar Heel side of the field. Penn’s one shot didn’t come until the last minute of the first half.

Coming out of the break, only three of the original Tar Heel starters came back out on the field.

The North Carolina scoring outburst then subsided, as they had another scoreless period in the third. Their sixth goal wouldn’t come until late in the fourth quarter thanks to another penalty corner finished by Hayden.

Who stood out?

Matson continued her outstanding season thus far, putting away the Tar Heel’s first goal and assisting on three others within a five minute span in the second quarter. The sophomore proved why she deserved the ACC Offensive Player of the Week honors she received last week.

Hayden also showed her offensive prowess as the only Tar Heel with multiple goals on the day, finishing with two scores on seven total shots.

When was it decided?

The five-goal onslaught by the Tar Heels in the second quarter was the clear turning point in the game. In a span of less than 10 minutes, North Carolina tallied nearly all of its six goals.

Only a few minutes into the game, it was clear that North Carolina held the upper hand. North Carolina possessed the ball nearly the entire game and shelled the Penn keeper with 30 total shots. Penn finished the game with only two.

Why does it matter?

The win today preserves the Tar Heel’s perfect record at 4-0 and marks their first shutout of the season. North Carolina has now won both the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and the ACC-Ivy League Conference Crossover.

When do they play next?

Next, the Tar Heels will take on William and Mary in Chapel Hill on Sunday, September 15. 

@matthew_audilet

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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