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Nov. 4, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Katelyn Falgowski converted a penalty stroke with seven minutes remaining in the game to give the North Carolina Tar Heels a 2-1 win over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Friday afternoon at the ACC Field Hockey Championship. North Carolina, the top-ranked team in the country, advances to the ACC Championship on Sunday afternoon with the win.
After a stalemate through the first 15 minutes, North Carolina got on the board on a goal by junior Caitlin Van Sickle. The ACC Defensive Player of the Year took a penalty corner that was set up by Katelyn Falgowski and Meghan Dawson and found the back of the cage for the lead.
Marta Malmberg had a chance to give the Tar Heels a two-goal cushion going into halftime when a penalty stroke was awarded, but the attempt was stopped by Wake Forest goalkeeper Kaitlyn Ruhf who made a diving stop to her right.
"I think [Ruhf] has had a tremendous weekend for us," said Wake Forest coach Jennifer Averill. "Our defense played a little bit better. I think today we gave up too many attack corners for North Carolina. We were able to hang on despite that. I am just proud of her and the other players around her."
Wake Forest senior back Kaitlin Piosa tied the game for the Demon Deacons with 12 minutes remaining, cashing in on a loose rebound off of a penalty corner for her fourth tally of the year.
Four minutes later, Kelsey Kolojejchick drove down the right side of the defense, advancing into the circle before earning a penalty stroke. Senior Katelyn Falgowski stepped in to take the stroke and put it past Ruhf for the go-ahead goal. The score was Falgowski's first of the season after missing most of the year playing for the U.S. national team.
"I knew to just pick a spot and stuck with it. We do it every day in practice so I wasn't nervous," said Falgowski. "Every day you have to go out and earn the next game. For us seniors we know this is the end. We want to go out and earn more playing time with our family."
The win marks the second straight year that North Carolina has reached the ACC Championship.
"Katelyn Falgowski stepped up and played like the national team player that she is under pressure," said North Carolina coach Karen Shelton. "I am proud of her and the entire team. We got to the championship game which is the most important thing. Earning another game this time of year is the most important thing."
North Carolina outshot Wake Forest 14-6 in the game and had seven penalty corners to two for the Demon Deacons.
The Tar Heels advance to the ACC Championship game on Sunday at 1 p.m. and will play the winner of Maryland and Duke. The game can be seen on the ACC's regional sports network.
More information on the 2011 ACC Field Hockey Championship can be found online at http://www.theacc.com/championships/11-acc-field-hockey-championship.html.