North Carolina Falls in NCAA Field Hockey Title Game
NORFOLK, Va. (GoHeels.com)– Delaware’s Greta Nauck scored the gamewinning goal with less than six minutes remaining on the clock Sunday afternoon to earn her team a 3-2 win over North Carolina in the NCAA Field Hockey Championship, played at Old Dominion’s L.R. Hill Sports Complex. The fourth-ranked Tar Heels rallied from a 2-0 halftime deficit to tie the score in the 63rd minute of play, but Nauck’s goal just over a minute later proved to be the deciding factor.
No. 8 Delaware finished the year 23-2 with the first NCAA championship in program history. UNC wrapped up at 20-6, falling in the title game for the second year in a row.
The game was the final one in Carolina blue for eight Tar Heels: Kristy Bernatchez, Emma Bozek, Blissie Du Bose, Shannon Johnson, Lauren Moyer, Sam Night, Caroline Plyler and Julia Young.
Delaware took an early lead in the 10th minute of play on an unassisted goal by Nauck, who shot from the top of the circle to put her team up 1-0. The Blue Hens added to the lead in the 30th minute when Esmee Peet fed the ball to Meghan Winesett, who got behind Johnson, the UNC keeper, on the far post.
Coming out of halftime, the Tar Heels struck quickly, less than three minutes into the period. Moyer, UNC’s leading scorer, gathered a long pass from sophomore Ashley Hoffman and carried the ball to mid-circle for the shot into the left corner of the cage.
The Tar Heels continued to create chances and finally another one paid off: in the 63rd minute, Bozek passed to sophomore Malin Evert, whose shot from the left side got past the keeper and was tipped in by freshman Megan DuVernois on the right post to tie the game at 2-2 with just over seven minutes to play.
Delaware called a timeout and then managed to score the gamewinner just over a minute later, capitalizing on a Tar Heel turnover. Taylor Lister grabbed the ball out of the air, drove into the circle and fed it to Nauck for the score. Shelton immediately called a timeout and pulled Johnson in favor of an additional field player, but the Tar Heels couldn’t get another goal.
UNC finished with 16 shots to just five by Delaware, and with seven corners while allowing Delaware just one.
The Tar Heel seniors finished each year in the final four. This season was UNC’s eighth in a row to get at least as far as the NCAA semifinal, but the team hasn’t won a title since 2009.