Syracuse and North Carolina to Meet for 2015 NCAA Field Hockey Title
National title game set for Sunday will be a rematch of this year's ACC Final.
BACK IN THE TITLE GAME! Syracuse Defeats UConn 3-1
Ann Arbor, Mich. (cuse.com) – Twenty-one games later and the No. 2 Syracuse field hockey team (20-1) is back to the NCAA Title game for the second-straight season after defeating No. 3 UConn (22-1) 3-1 in the NCAA Semifinal on Friday.
Led by a pair of early goals, the Orange dispatched the two-time defending National Champion Huskies, ending the nation's longest winning streak at 38 games.
Syracuse's second-straight title game appearance is just the second NCAA Championship game in program history.
"I thought we came out and came right at them," said head coach Ange Bradley. "We scored in the first-two minutes of play and we played with a lot of speed. We played a really good game - strong enough to win it and advance to the final, which is another step in what we're shooting for."
'Cuse's early goal came at the hands of Fenne, who after a broken corner attempt, collected the ball and brought it into the circle, ripping a low shot into the corner of the net for the score just two minutes into play. The goal was the earliest tally of the season for Syracuse.
Russell then opened it up for the Orange by driving baseline 18 minutes later where she beat the defender and carried the ball towards the cage and around UConn goalkeeper Nina Klein for the score.
The Huskies upped the pressure late in the first half and were rewarded with a penalty stroke after 'Cuse goalkeeper Jess Jecko slid into the Huskies ball carrier to prevent the score.
Casey Umstead delivered the penalty stroke goal with 3:35 remaining in the half, but it was the only blemish on the day for Jecko and the Orange defense, who allowed a season-low six shots for UConn.
With 9:58 remaining in regulation, Fenne delivered the dagger for the Orange, after taking a touch pass from Emma Russell, Fenne faked out Klein and scored on the open net after she was drawn out of the cage.
North Carolina shuts out Duke, 2-0, to advance to national final
NO. 1 UNC SHUTS OUT NO. 6 DUKE TO ADVANCE TO NCAA FIELD HOCKEY TITLE GAME
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (GoHeels.com) – Freshman Malin Evert scored twice and the Tar Heel defense earned its sixth shutout of the season as top-ranked North Carolina beat No. 6 Duke Friday afternoon in the NCAA Field Hockey Championship semifinals at Michigan’s Phyllis Ocker Field. The Tar Heels (21-2) will play No. 2 Syracuse, which beat defending national champion Connecticut 3-1 in the first of Friday’s semifinal games, on Sunday at 1 p.m. for the NCAA championship.
Coach Karen Shelton emphasizes a quick start by her team, and on Friday the Tar Heels delivered. On the first penalty corner of the contest, just over two minutes into the action, senior Nina Notman sent a hard shot toward the cage and freshman Malin Evert tipped it in for a 1-0 early lead.
That’s where the score stood for 41 minutes, but keeping the shutout required some defensive heroics. With seconds to play in the first half, Notman made a defensive save on a Duke penalty corner, sending a Blue Devil shot up and over the cage.
Early in the second half, Duke drew another corner and after the first shot was blocked, junior Kristy Bernatchez made a diving save at the goal line to keep a second shot out of the cage and keep the Blue Devils off the board.
Eight minutes into the second half, Evert struck for her second goal of the game and 11th of the season. Senior Casey Di Nardo carried the ball just into the circle and sent it to her left as she was falling to the dark blue Ocker Field turf. Evert redirected Di Nardo’s pass into the goal put UNC up 2-0.
Carolina finished with eight shots to Duke’s seven after each had just two in the first half. Duke drew five penalty corners and UNC four.
The Tar Heels are making their seventh consecutive final four appearance and last played in the title game in 2012. UNC had lost in the semifinals in a penalty shootout in each of the past two years.
Duke’s Run Ends with 2-0 Semifinal Loss to North Carolina
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Duke field hockey team saw its run in the NCAA Tournament come to an end Friday in a 2-0 semifinal loss to top-ranked North Carolina at Michigan’s Ocker Field. Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad finished the 2015 campaign with a final record of 14-7.
The Blue Devils’ senior class of Barreca, Blazing, Aileen Johnson, Amanda Kim and Sarah Urdahl concluded their collegiate careers with an overall record of 51-31 while guiding the program to two national semifinals appearances and one trip to the NCAA title match in 2013.