Field hockey advances to NCAA title game

The Tar Heel field hockey team will play in the NCAA title game after a double-overtime 4-3 comeback win over Connecticut.

The #1-seeded Tar Heels will face Maryland in the championship at noon on November 19 at the University of Louisville’s Trager Stadium.

In the semifinal game, Connecticut scored three times in the first half, and Carolina didn’t get on the board until the 57th minute of play, after coach Karen Shelton had pulled freshman goalkeeper Sassi Ammer in favor of an additional field player. UNC got its first goal with 13:40 on the clock, when junior Jaclyn Gaudioso Radvany sent a ball to classmate Kelsey Kolojejchick, who shot from the left side of the cage to score her 22nd goal of the season.

UNC stayed without a goalie and continue to generate chances, but was unable to score again until the final minute of regulation. The Tar Heels drew a season-high 19 penalty corners in the game, but managed to score on only one with 54 seconds on the clock. Off the stick stop, senior Katelyn Falgowski sent the ball to junior Caitlin Van Sickle, who powered it past UConn keeper Sarah Mansfield to put the score at 3-2.

Carolina still trailed by one with less than a minute to play, but managed to quickly work the ball back into the circle and score again, with Gaudioso Radvany deflecting in a pass from Kolojejchick to tie the game at 3-3 with 23 seconds remaining. Ammer quickly subbed back into the game and the Tar Heels ran out the clock to send the game into overtime.

Carolina eventually scored in the 94th minute. Freshman Loren Shealy got a takeaway and passed the ball to Kolojejchick, who sent a reverse chip shot over UConn’s goalie for the gamewinner.

The Tar Heels are in the final four for the third year in a row and fourth time in the past five years. UNC won NCAA championships in 2007 and 2009 and finished as the runner-up in 2010. Carolina has won six titles in program history: 1989, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2007 and 2009.

Published November 17, 2011.