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North Carolina

FH: UNC Claims ACC Crown

Posted November 4, 2012

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— No. 1 North Carolina scored two goals late in the first half and rode a strong defensive performance to a 4-2 victory over third-seeded Maryland to win the 2012 ACC Field Hockey Championship.

“Winning an ACC championship in any sport is not easy to do,” said North Carolina coach Karen Shelton, whose team was the top seed in the tournament and the defending ACC champion. “Maryland played a very good game against us and it took everything that we had to handle them. I’m really proud of our back four, and I felt they had some key intercepts there that were momentum-changers in the game.”

With the win, North Carolina (20-1, 5-0) clinched its 18th conference title, all under Shelton, and secured the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels successfully defended the ACC title for the first time since 1997, also the last time they won the championship on their home field. They improved their tournament record to 40-12 overall.

UNC now awaits the announcement of the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket on Tuesday evening. The tournament opens Saturday, with first-round games at campus sites.

Maryland (16-5, 3-2) earned the first penalty corners of the game midway through the first period but was not able to cash in on three consecutive attempts. Terrapin goaltender Natalie Hunter then made a diving save to stop UNC senior Kelsey Kolojejchick on a Tar Heel fast break a minute later to keep the game scoreless.

North Carolina got on the board first with a goal by sophomore Loren Shealy in the 29th minute. Sophomore Charlotte Craddock drove down the right side and fired a cross through the circle, and Shealy collected the rebound off a Maryland player and shot to give the Tar Heels the lead for good.

“I was just at the right place at the right time on the far post,” Shealy said. “It is something we have worked on all season. It was good to get on the board and push the momentum in our favor.”

Kolojejchick scored her 14th goal of the season with 18 seconds remaining in the first period. The senior hit the post with her first shot, grabbed her own rebound, and did not miss on the second opportunity.

The Terrapins held the nation’s top offense to just two shots through the first 25 minutes of the game, but the Tar Heels found success through their fast break offense and had eight shots in the last ten minutes. Maryland, after finding chances early in the period, did not register a shot over 29 minutes spanning the end of the first half through the start of the second period.

Freshman Sarah Sprink got the Terrapins on the board with a goal off a penalty corner in the 50th minute. Ali McEvoy assisted on the play.

Craddock helped push the lead back to two goals at 3-1 in the 58th minute. The sophomore led the Tar Heel counterattack down the right side and launched ball from outside the circle that deflected off of Maryland defender Harriet Tibble into the net for an own goal.

The Terrapins pulled their keeper with just over five minutes to play and then managed to again draw within a goal. With 95 seconds to play, Jill Witmer dove to deflect a ball from Katie Gerzabek past UNC goalkeeper Sassi Ammer.
With the UM keeper still out, Shealy scored into the open goal with 40 seconds remaining for the final score.

North Carolina outshot Maryland 17-12 and each team earned seven corners.

Ammer finished with four saves, and Hunter made eight saves in the loss.

UNC senior Caitlin Van Sickle, the team captain, was named Tournament Most Valuable Player for her defensive performance in the two Tar Heel victories.

“It’s an honor [to be named MVP], but winning the championship is more important,” said Van Sickle. “I wouldn’t have been able to do the things I do without any of my teammates out there. The championship is a lot more important than individual awards.”

Van Sickle was joined on the all-tournament team by Kolojejchick, Shealy and freshman Emily Wold.

No. 1 UNC 4, No. 7 Maryland 2
Scoring: UNC – Loren Shealy, 28:10; UNC – Kelsey Kolojejchick, 34:42; UM – Sarah Sprink (Ali McEvoy); UNC – Maryland own goal, 57:38; UM – Jill Witmer (Katie Gerzabek), 68:25; UNC – Shealy, 69:20
Shots: UNC 17 (10/7); UM 12 (4/8)
Penalty corners: UNC 7 (3/4); UM 7 (3/4)
Saves: UNC 4 (Sassi Ammer, 70:00, 4 saves, 2 goals allowed); UM (Natalie Hunter, 64:49, 8 saves, 3 goals allowed; Team, 5:11, 0 saves, 1 goal allowed)
Records: UNC 20-1, UM 16-5

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Local
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
2nd
MVSU 30
NCCU 50
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNCW
ECU
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CAR
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CHA
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9:30pm Tonight
WVU
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LALAF 16
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4th
UTEP 3
UTST 14
 
2nd
COLST 10
UTAH 24
 
5:45pm Tonight
AFA
WMICH
9:15pm Tonight
BGU
SALABAMA
Final
GEOR 81
CHAR 78
Final
WKENT 67
LOU 76
Final
MICH 51
SMU 62
Final
CIN 47
VCU 68
Final
BSU 77
ABCHRIST 33
 
Final
PROV 85
UMASS 65
Final
AMER 46
MNTER 45
 
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
IUPUI 71
SALA 65
 
Final
VILL 82
SYR 77
Final
VT 64
CITA 61
Final
DUQ 79
MLOWELL 63
 
Final
FAIR 61
BEL 73
 
Final
YALE 60
GTDNS 64
 
Final
FD 76
DEL 74
 
Final
PSU 73
DREX 68
Final
UNCG 64
ELON 71
 
Final
ILL 62
MIZZ 59
Final
CAMP 90
MONT 64
 
Final
LONG 106
PSUBEAVER 74
 
Final
HOU 63
SCST 71
 
Final
FSU 75
SFLA 62
 
Final
BING 51
BONA 69
 
Final
RUTG 68
RFLSH 73
 
Final
MCNST 69
TOL 83
 
Final
JVU 84
TRUETT 55
 
Final
GT 65
VANDY 60
Final
INDST 56
EILL 60
 
Final
BUT 73
IND 82
Final
STEPH 94
ARTCH 57
 
Final
OREG 83
DELST 70
 
Final
Terriers 61
FATL 56
 
Final
TXARL 89
HPYN 50
 
Final
KU 96
LAF 69
Final
ARKST 67
MARS 58
 
Final
MEM 78
ORU 63
 
Final
KNST 53
UMBC 66
 
Final
NW 67
WMICH 61
 
Final
MIZST 65
EMICH 77
 
Final
CHIST 77
STJOE 54
 
2nd
KENT 68
UCLA 27
 
2nd
COC 36
DAVID 45
 
2nd
RIU 36
DET 38
 
2nd
UCR 49
HOUB 39
 
Half
MURST 37
ILLST 42
 
2nd
NWST 62
LALAF 54
 
2nd
WAGN 32
MON 35
 
2nd
MVSU 30
NCCU 50
 
2nd
PITT 47
OU 45
 
2nd
TENNM 43
PBY 32
 
2nd
WYO 37
SOUTH 24
 
2nd
AFA 38
UCD 45
 
2nd
MSST 23
USCU 29
 
1st
JMU 6
HIGH 10
 
1st
TXST 15
HTILL 4
 
1st
DRAK 0
ISU 2
 
1st
SHU 13
UNH 13
 
1st
SCU 11
NE 12
 
1st
MSU 9
TXSOU 4
 
1st
UF 6
WAKE 7
 
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6:00pm Tonight
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UNLV
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2nd
LOS 1
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