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FH: No. 1 Tar Heels earn 6-1 win over Radford on senior day

Posted October 28, 2012

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— The top-ranked North Carolina field hockey team honored eight graduating seniors before Sunday’s game against Radford then celebrated Senior Day with a victory, 6-1 over Radford at Francis E. Henry Stadium. Although sophomores accounted for four of the goals (three by Charlotte Craddock and one by Loren Shealy), seniors played a major role throughout the game and, one, Kelsey Kolojejchick, finished with two goals and an assist.

All nine seniors – Katie Ardrey, Jaclyn Gaudioso Radvany, Emily Kole, Kelsey Kolojejchick, Meghan Lyons, Kate Nealon, Katie Plyler, Caitlin Powers and Caitlin Van Sickle – were in the starting lineup.

“I’m delighted for our seniors,” UNC coach Karen Shelton said. “Even though this isn’t the last game at Henry Stadium, it is Senior Day and I feel good that everybody was able to start and contribute on this special day. It’s nice to come away with a win and we’ll now look to postseason. It was a great day for our Tar Heels.”

UNC scored in the 17th minute, when Kolojejchick deflected in a shot by sophomore Samantha Travers on the team’s eighth penalty corner of the game. The Tar Heels would finish with a season-high 21 corners, 13 of them in the first half.

Carolina’s next goal also came on a corner, with Craddock delivering the shot, assisted by Shealy on the push-in and senior Katie Plyler on the stick stop.

Three minutes after halftime, Kolojejchick scored her second goal, carrying the ball into the circle and maneuvering around Radford goalkeeper Sidney Encarnacion for the shot. Less than a minute later Craddock struck again, this time with a hard shot from the right side to put UNC up 4-0.

In the 59th minute, Radford scored on its only penalty corner of the game. Sophomore Ashton Cox sent the ball in to leading scorer Stacey Mackintosh, a freshman who delivered for her eighth goal of the fall.

UNC added two more in the closing minutes of the game. With three minutes to play, Kolojejchick sent a ball across the cage and Craddock got her stick on it to deflect it in from the left and put UNC up 5-1. Just over a minute later, Shealy shot from the right side and the ball went on a defender and into the cage to make the final score 6-1.

Next up for the Tar Heels is the 2012 ACC Championship, which UNC will host Thursday, Friday and Sunday at Henry Stadium. Games begin on Thursday, and UNC will play Friday at 1 against the winner of Thursday’s first-round game between No. 4 Boston College and No. 5 Wake Forest. As the regular-season champion, Carolina is the top seed in the event.

Thus, while Sunday’s game celebrated the seniors’ careers, all knew they’d be back at Henry Stadium this week the conference tournament and then move on to the NCAA Tournament, giving them the potential for six more games as Tar Heels.

“I do get emotional when I think about the end of these careers for the seniors, because they’ve been outstanding,” Shelton said. “A large part of the success we’ve had the last four years is attributed to their hard work and their effort. They’re leading this team very well. “

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