There’s no place like home.
The No. 6 North Carolina field hockey team played its first home game of the season against Miami (Ohio) Sunday and won the match, 7-2.
“It’s certainly great to be back home,” head coach Karen Shelton said.
She couldn’t have been more right. The Tar Heels opened their season on a six-game road trip for the first time since 2015, but unlike that road stretch when the team went 5-1, UNC could only muster a 3-3 record this time around.
This was definitely unusual for the reigning champions, as the last time the team lost three games in an entire season was 2017.
Despite their record, the Tar Heels were excited to finally have their fans behind them at Karen Shelton Stadium.
“It was loud, it was exciting — we also had a huge turnout,” senior forward Erin Matson said. "It was really energizing for us to know that everybody came to watch us play, and I’m glad we put on a show for them.”
Matson said how exciting it was for first-years to play at their debut home game — a moment she knows they have thought about often.
Many of the young players made contributions in the win. They include first-year goalkeeper Abigail Taylor, who was solid in the net; first-year midfielder Jasmina Smolenaars, who assisted on a goal and sophomore midfielder Kiersten Thomassey, who scored her first goal as a Tar Heel.