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The Daily Tar Heel
From the Press Box

UNC staves off final flurry of ODU penalty corners

With less than five minutes to play in the North Carolina field hockey team’s game against foe Old Dominion, the Tar Heels controlled the game with a 3-1 lead.

But with three minutes remaining, ODU drew a penalty corner and started a last-minute effort to mount a comeback.

The Monarchs’ Kelsey Smither took a shot off the first penalty corner, but it was blocked by UNC.

However, a foul occurred on the play inside the circle, forcing another penalty corner.

This time, ODU’s Sarah Breen attempted to score and also had her shot blocked. But once again, another foul forced a third corner.

In the third corner, ODU’s Lydia Velzian saw her shot saved by UNC goalkeeper Sassi Ammer, but UNC would give the Monarchs another try to capitalize on a penalty corner.

The fourth time was the charm for the Monarchs as they finally sent the ball into the goal on a rebound after the initial shot was blocked.

But it was too little, too late for ODU. By the time the Monarchs found the back of the cage there was 1:16 left in the game.

“In a way, I thought it was alright,” sophomore back Samantha Travers said. “We had two minutes to go and they were two goals down. If they did score, they still needed to do it again. We would have preferred the 3-1, but a win is a win.”

Though the Monarchs closed the gap to one goal, the Tar Heels held on for the final minute to win the game 3-2.

“(I was thinking) please don’t go in, please don’t go in,” coach Karen Shelton said. “I have confidence our backfield and we’ll solve a little bit of a puzzle the next time we play them.

“I couldn’t figure out what they were doing to get so much offensive thrust. We seemed disorganized, yet we had numbers back there … we had to absorb their thrust, and we did.”

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