Amanda Hendry had a big opportunity in the ACC field hockey quarterfinals Thursday night. Facing off against the No. 7 Boston College, the senior goalkeeper started for the No. 2 Tar Heels looking for redemption.
Tensions were high for UNC. Earlier this season, the team suffered a loss to No. 1 Louisville that broke a 47-game win streak — which lasted two-plus seasons and included two national championships. The loss dropped them to the No. 2 seed, resulting in the team having to face off against Boston College at home instead of getting a bye in the first round of the ACC tournament.
“It lit a fire for us,” Hendry said about the loss to Louisville. “It really made us want to fight harder and these past couple of weeks we have. It made us a better team.”
In a 4-0 shutout win for UNC on Thursday night, Hendry saved nine shots, topping her season high of seven in a win against Virginia on Oct. 11. She was the goalkeeper for the entirety of the game against Boston College, contributing greatly to her team’s victory in its first tournament game of the 2020 season.
The Wilton, Connecticut native came out prepared on Thursday afternoon, having started at goalkeeper for the Tar Heels for the past four years and being named to the All-NCAA tournament team for the past two years. Hendry had a successful regular season, with the second highest save percentage of her career at 0.769, and went into the game tied for first in the ACC in total saves with 30.
“It’s nice to be able to help out my team out there,” Hendry said. “My entire team played so great today and helped me make those saves.”
The Tar Heels came into the game as reigning ACC champions three years in a row, and two-time reigning national champions. For seniors like Hendry, this postseason is an opportunity to prove they deserve a spot in the ACC Championship Title game and to leave their North Carolina careers with an ACC Championship for every year of their career.
“We are consistently strong,” head coach Karen Shelton said of her team’s success and the possibility of a fourth consecutive ACC championship title. “We are the most consistently strong team in the nation and I’m proud of that.”
The Tar Heels will play the winner of Thursday night's game between Syracuse and Duke on Friday at 4 p.m. They must secure a win to advance to the ACC championship and fulfill Hendry and her fellow seniors’ hopes of winning a fourth consecutive ACC championship title for their final year on the team.
“Tomorrow, we’re focused on the game and getting a good outcome,” said junior forward Erin Matson, who scored her tenth goal of the season in the game against Boston College.
Hendry said she is also excited for Friday's game, and however many games she has left with the UNC team.
“I’m looking forward to playing with my team some more, however many games we can get,” Hendry said.
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