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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC field hockey dominates Appalachian State at home, 6-1

UNC senior forward Alli Meehan (18) fights for the ball in the Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023 game against App State. UNC won with a score of 6-1.

The No. 2 North Carolina field hockey team (7-1, 2-0 ACC) defeated Appalachian State (5-4, 1-1 MAC), 6-1, in Chapel Hill on Sunday. 

Less than 48 hours after North Carolina defeated Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, the Tar Heels looked to win their sixth straight game. 

Coming out lighting fast, UNC’s forwards and midfielders pressed out, riding the ball back on defense to try and gain extra possessions on offense.

“We are struggling a little bit, just because we don’t want to plump as much,” senior forward Paityn Wirth said. “We have found that we all want to help each other, so we are really focusing on getting the stretch, getting the width and using the whole field.”

Midway through the first quarter, the Tar Heels scored three goals in a span of less than two minutes. The first goal came from first-year midfielder Sanne Hak, who converted on a penalty stroke after the Tar Heels were fouled inside the shooting circle. 

UNC freshman midfielder/forward Sanne Hak (5) hits the ball in the Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023 game against App State. UNC won with a score of 6-1.

The second goal came off a penalty corner where sophomore midfielder Sietske Bruning shot the ball from the top of the circle, which eventually was redirected in by Ryleigh Heck into the top of the goal.  

UNC sophomore midfielder/back Sietske Brüning (17) drives the ball in the Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023 game against App State. UNC won with a score of 6-1.

The third goal came from senior midfielder Kiersten Thomassey less than a minute after that. 

It was a complete quarter for the Tar Heels with eight total shots, six of them on goal. 

They didn't let off the gas in the next period. Set up from a corner, sophomore midfielder Ryleigh Heck scored early in the second quarter off of a pass from junior midfielder Jasmina Smolenaars. 

Later in the quarter, Heck dribbled through the Mountaineers' defense and passed it to a waiting first-year forward Charly Bruder in front of the App State goalkeeper. 

The result was the fifth goal of the first half. 

With less than a minute in the first half, Hak got on the board again as she dribbled through the defense and shot the ball above graduate goalkeeper Addie Clark. 

Cue the sixth goal of the half. 

The Tar Heels ended the first half with 14 total shots, 10 of them on goal. As for the defense, the Tar Heels allowed zero shots the entire half.

“I can make saves, but I can only make so many,” graduate goalkeeper Maddie Kahn said. “My defense and the rest of the team in front of me has to help me out.”

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For the second half, the Tar Heels continued to dominate on both ends of the field. They outshot the Mountaineers, 14-2. 

Appalachian State scored with less than a minute left in the match from sophomore midfielder Hadley Kuzmicky.

“It was an overall good day and good vibes,” head coach Erin Matson said. “[There are] definitely things we can work on, and we want to treat every game like it’s the national championship game."

The Tar Heels play No. 13 Saint Joseph's in Philadelphia next Sunday at 1 p.m.


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