To end the regular season, the North Carolina field hockey team will travel to Charlottesville, Va. and take on the Virginia Cavaliers before the start of the ACC Championship.
UNC entered this season after claiming the last three NCAA Championships, back-to-back undefeated seasons in 2018 and 2019 and only one loss in 2020, combining to a 65-1 three-year record.
This season proved to be more difficult for the Tar Heels, however. They have a current record of 9-6, and lost at Karen Shelton Stadium for the first time in history on Oct. 10. The season has included several ups and downs, but with the ACC tournament approaching, North Carolina has the opportunity make a run at the conference championship.
The Cavaliers enter Friday's game with a 10-6 record and on the heels of a three-game winning streak. The last time these teams faced off was on April 9, with the Tar Heels coming out on top 3-2 in overtime.
Here are some important players to look out for as the Tar Heels look to win their regular season finale.
North Carolina's star senior forward Erin Matson has been sidelined for the last three games due to an injury. This season, Matson leads the team in goals and assists, with 18 and eight, respectively. The team has gone 1-2 in the absence of her offensive production.
Matson has continued to make history in the program in her senior season. In UNC's September matchup against Penn, Matson became the program’s leader in career goals, with 87, and points, with 221. She earned her 100th career goal earlier this month in the team's game against Duke, in which she suffered her injury.
If UNC can get Matson back for its regular season finale, her offensive skills will aid the Tar Heels' efforts against their conference foe.