Two first quarter goals from junior forward Erin Matson lifted the North Carolina field hockey team (12-1, 4-1 ACC) to a 2-0 win over Wake Forest (4-9, 1-1 ACC) in the second game of the spring season.
The Demon Deacons started with high pressure on the Tar Heels, but the UNC defense held them off successfully. Matson scored seven minutes into the first quarter off an assist from first-year midfielder Kiersten Thomassey to give North Carolina a 1-0 lead.
Wake Forest was awarded a penalty corner with five minutes left in the first quarter, but UNC senior goalkeeper Amanda Hendry recorded a save. UNC then jumped into its counter attack, which allowed Matson to score her second goal of the day.
“We were very opportunistic and very dangerous and fast on the counter attack,” head coach Karen Shelton said. “We made them pay.”
Matson had another shot in the second quarter that went wide, and neither team could score again before halftime.
Three minutes into the third quarter, sophomore midfielder Paityn Wirth had a wide shot. Later in the quarter, Wake Forest was set to take another penalty corner, but the call was overturned. First-year Katie Dixon had a shot with four minutes left that was saved by Wake Forest goalkeeper Tori Glaister.
In the fourth quarter, Matson recorded another two shots early, one that was saved by Glaister. North Carolina then scored off a penalty corner, but the shot was ruled too high. North Carolina had shots from four different players in the quarter, but none could find the back of the cage.
The Tar Heels had another penalty corner with five minutes left in the game, but Thomassey’s shot was blocked. Wake Forest had one more missed shot attempt in the final minute before North Carolina preserved the shutout victory.
Who stood out?
Both of North Carolina’s first quarter goals were scored by Matson, who had seven shots in total. She now has 17 goals this season.
“She’s a special player,” Shelton said. “And had two opportunities and canned them both right off the bat.”
Matson's two goals gave her 70 for her career, which gives her sole possession of fourth place on UNC's career scoring list.
When was it decided?
The Tar Heels scored two goals early and the defense held the lead for the remainder of the game. Though Wake Forest seemed to dominate possession in the first quarter, after UNC took the lead, the Demon Deacons could not create enough opportunities to stage a comeback.
Why does it matter?
This game allowed North Carolina to build momentum after its opening victory against Louisville.
“We looked at the video tape and there were several things that we worked on in practice during the week,” Shelton said. “We wanted to implement them in this game, and I think we did that.”
It also allowed the Tar Heels to continue their strong start to the spring season after coming off an ACC Championship win in the fall.
When do they play next?
North Carolina will take on Boston College on Friday, March 19 at 2 p.m. at Karen Shelton Stadium in Chapel Hill.
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