The No. 2 UNC field hockey team (5-0) earned a decisive shutout victory on the road against Cal (1-4), defeating the Bears 7-0 thanks to an explosive five-goal second quarter.
After a scoreless first quarter, senior forward Erin Matson got things started for the Tar Heels, scoring twice in the first four minutes of the second quarter. Her first goal came off an assist from first-year forward and midfielder Ashley Sessa less than 30 seconds into the second period. An unassisted goal from Matson came in the 19th minute to put North Carolina up 2-0.
Matson kickstarted a 5-0 tear in the second quarter, with sophomore forward and midfielder Kennedy Cliggett, sophomore midfielder Jasmina Smolenaars and Sessa each adding a goal of their own later on.
North Carolina was completely dominant throughout the second quarter and out-shot Cal 11-0 in the first half. UNC was also able to accrue penalty corners early in the game, tallying 15 by the time halftime hit.
In the third quarter, Smolenaars scored her second goal of the game in the 35th minute, off of an assist from junior forward Alli Meehan and senior back Romea Riccardo on a penalty corner. Meehan shot UNC out to a 7-0 lead when she scored her first goal as a Tar Heel just a few minutes later on a put-back.
The Bears finally got off their first shot of the day when sophomore Sabine Hommes's shot was blocked by UNC's goalkeeper. In the final quarter, despite two penalty corners inserted by Cal's sophomore back Sydney Decher, the Bears were unable to convert on any of their shots, losing 7-0.
Who stood out?
While the veteran Matson was able to get her offense started in the second quarter, Smolenaars' first and second goals proved especially influential in establishing North Carolina's firm lead. Furthermore, the sophomore totaled seven shots, putting consistent pressure on Cal's defense.