The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday June 7th

UNC field hockey defeats Penn, 4-0, in first shutout win of the season

Junior forward Alli Meehan (18) slides through UPenn backs to hit the ball. UNC beat UPenn at home 4-0 on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022.
Buy Photos Junior forward Alli Meehan (18) slides through UPenn backs to hit the ball. UNC beat UPenn at home 4-0 on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022.

The No. 2 North Carolina field hockey team (4-0, 0-0 ACC) earned its first shutout of the season against Penn (0-2, 0-0 Ivy League), defeating the Quakers 4-0 in the ACC-Ivy Challenge.

What happened?

The Tar Heels made their presence known early with first-year Ryleigh Heck making the first goal of the first quarter to give the Tar Heels a 1-0 lead.  

With six minutes left in the second quarter, another Tar Heel goal was recorded by fifth-year senior Erin Matson. Matson scored her fifth goal of the season to give UNC the 2-0 lead, which came after the second unsuccessful penalty corner two minutes prior. Less than a minute later, North Carolina scored another goal thanks to Kiersten Thomassey, whose first goal of the season gave the Tar Heels a 3-0 lead.

At the start of the third period, UNC drew two penalty corners, but the Tar Heels were still unable to earn any points off a corner. However, sixth-year Meredith Sholder found the back of the goal to put the Tar Heels up 4-0 within the first two minutes of the period. 

Penn earned its third penalty but still was unsuccessful and stagnated at 4-0. Late in the third period, the Tar Heels earned a penalty. It was taken by Heck, who connected with first-year Sietske Brüning to complete the play but the call was overturned as the ball was too high to count.

In the last two minutes of the game, juniors Mia Leonhardt and Steph Weber made a few shots to attempt to advance the score, but all three were saved and the score remained at 4-0.

Who stood out? 

First-year Ryleigh Heck put her mark on the game, making the first goal just two minutes into the game off an assist from first-year Sietske Brüning. The goal was Heck’s third in four games so far this season.

Heavy on the attack, junior Katie Dixon made her presence known as she had four shots and two on goal to help draw the defense away from Matson.

When was it decided?

The Tar Heels secured the win in the third quarter of the game on a goal by Sholder. The goal came after two penalty corners were inserted by first-year Ashley Sessa, and cemented the win for UNC.

Why does it matter?

The battle between the Tar Heels and the Quakers was the first shutout of the season for UNC. This is the sixth consecutive game that UNC has beaten Penn.

The first shutout of the season gives the Tar Heels more confidence heading into the rest of the schedule as they are still undefeated. The Tar Heels were also able to outshoot Penn 21-5.

When do they play next?

UNC will resume playing on Friday, Sept. 9 against California at 7 p.m. in Berkeley, Calif.  

@dthsports |

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