The UNC field hockey team surprisingly fell under .500 once again this season, as it lost their its game of the season last night. The Tar Heels were defeated by The Saint Joseph's University Hawks with a score of 3-2.
UNC started off very strong with a first quarter goal, six minutes into the game by its star player, senior forward Erin Matson. This goal was originally shot by Matson, then rebounded by senior midfielder Cassie Sumfest and eventually scored by Matson later in the possession.
This early lead helped fans settle and maintain confidence in the team, until sophomore forward Katelyn Coco of Saint Joseph’s scored in the 14th minute to keep the Hawks in the game, tying the score at 1-1.
In the second quarter of the game Matson continued to show perseverance to give the Tar Heels another lead. Matson took a powerful shot that was difficult for the keeper to save, putting North Carolina up 2-1 in the 19th minute of play.
Unfortunately for UNC, Matson’s goal was not enough to stop the Hawks from catching up. Hawks' junior back Freke Van Tilburg answered with a shot in the 23rd minute to tie the game up 2-2.
The two teams continued to battle throughout the entire third quarter. The fourth quarter is where the competition level ramped up. With four minutes left in regulation, the Hawks scored a goal to take a 3-2 lead. The goal was scored by Van Tilburg, her second of the game.
The Tar Heels knew they had to make some changes in four short minutes or else the game would end in a loss. They immediately pulled the goalie, first-year Abigail Taylor, and had some very promising looks in those last minutes. Unfortunately, these last few efforts were not enough for the Heels to tie up the game.
Who stood out?
Two notable players during this contest were Matson and senior forward Hannah Griggs. Matson had two great goals to keep the Tar Heels in the game for the most part, but the outcome was not what they hoped for. Griggs recorded two shots on goal in the contest.
When was it decided?
The game was decided when the Hawks scored their final goal in the last minutes to defeat North Carolina 3-2.
Why does it matter?
The No. 4 Tar Heels should expect a significant drop in their rankings from last week. Followers of the team could not have been more shocked due to UNC’s previous success in its three most recent seasons, losing just one time in that span. The team also defeated Saint Joseph's in their two previous meetings in 2017 and 2019.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels have an away game on Sunday, Sept. 12th, where they will face off against Drexel University. UNC hopes to improve and have a 3-3 record going into next week.
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