The top-ranked UNC field hockey team shut out No. 9 Duke 3-0 Sunday in Chapel Hill to earn a spot in the Final Four.
The Blue Devil loss ends their season with a 13-7 record. The Tar Heels improve to 19-3 overall and extend their season another game.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be going to the Final Four,” UNC coach Karen Shelton says. “I want to congratulate Duke on a great season. They are an outstanding team and I think you could see the intensity level of the game.”
Senior Loren Shealy scored the first goal of the game on a penalty corner in the 32nd minute of play.
Junior Emma Bozek led the Tar Heels in scoring and scored her first goal in the 57th minute. Bozek’s second goal came in the 67th minute assisted by junior Emily Wold and brought UNC to their 3-0 lead over Duke.
“They’ve been setting me up for every single goal I’ve had this season and it’s all just come together really nice,” Bozek says. “I think my two goals today were because of some amazing passing combinations further down the field. It’s really nice to see that everyone’s really working hard and working together.”
Bozek’s second goal marked her team-high 15th goal of the season, more than her two previous years combined.
“I think they brought out the best in us today,” Shelton says. “I’m really proud of our Tar Heels. I thought it was a balanced team effort and led primarily by our seniors.”
For five of the women on the UNC field hokey team, Sunday marked the last home game of their college careers.
“To end my career at home against Duke, it’s arguably one of the greatest rivalry in all the sports and it’s just an amazing feeling. I really can’t describe it,” Shealy says. “You kind of dream about one of these games going into the Final Four.”
Top-ranked UNC will face No. 4 Syracuse Friday in an NCAA Tournament semifinal game in College Park, Md.
CHAPEL HILL–It’s that time of the week again. That time when we take a step back from the bright lights of the football field, basketball court and soccer turf to check in on some exciting Olympic sports action in Tar Heel country. This weekend, the top ranked women’s field hockey team and the surging, No. 14 volleyball squad will have plenty to offer.
-Field Hockey: These Tar Heel ladies will continue ACC play Friday by hosting No. 13 Duke at 6 p.m. at Francis E. Henry Stadium. Carolina is 8-0 overall and 1-0 in the ACC. The Blue Devils sit at 6-2 on the season. A year ago, the Tar Heels thumped Duke down in Durham 7-3. Another intriguing aspect of this intense rivalry this year will be a sister act. Tar Heel freshman goalkeeper Shannon Johnson’s older sister Aileen is a sophomore midfielder for Duke. Admission is free for the game so head on out to support your top-ranked Tar Heels.
-Volleyball: The undefeated Tar Heels were dealt a tough blow on Thursday as Head Coach Joe Sagula announced that redshirt junior Chaniel Nelson will be out for the rest of the season due to a stress fracture in her tibia. Despite the somber news, fourteenth-ranked Carolina will soldier on with a home match Friday at 7 p.m. against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Earlier in the season, UNC swept Notre Dame in a non-conference tilt at the Blue Raider Bash. Already off to the best start in program history, Carolina will be looking to keep the streak going in Carmichael Arena. Admission is free and live video can be viewed on GoHeels TV.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/olympic-sports-spotlight-3/