Nov. 14, 2010

Courtesy of UNC Athletics

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The North Carolina field hockey team earned the program's 15th final four trip on Sunday afternoon with a 5-1 win over No. 12 Old Dominion in NCAA Tournament second round play at Francis E. Henry Stadium. No. 2 UNC improved to 21-1 overall with the victory while ODU ended its season at 13-11.

The Tar Heels, defending national champions and winners of two of the three most-recent crowns, will face Virginia on Friday afternoon in the NCAA semifinals in College Park, Md.

"I'm delighted for our team to have advanced to the final four," said UNC coach Karen Shelton, who also celebrated her birthday on Sunday. "We prepare so hard and so well all year for this particular game. I've felt in my entire career that the hardest game to win is the game that will get you to the final four.

"I want to congratulate Old Dominion for having an outstanding season. They always give us a very difficult battle."

For the second day in a row, Tar Heel sophomore Jaclyn Gaudioso Radvany scored the gamewinner. In Saturday's 3-1 win over No. 19 Stanford in the first round of NCAA play, she scored in the 10th minute to give the Tar Heels a lead they'd never surrender. On Sunday, it took until the 30th minute, when Gaudioso Radvany grabbed a loose ball in front of the cage and put it back for her 12th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead for the Tar Heels.

The slim advantage stood up into the second half, when UNC pulled ahead by a more comfortable margin. In the 44th minute of play, sophomore Katie Ardrey got a ball on the baseline following a save by ODU goalkeeper Devon Seifert and fed senior Elizabeth Drazdowski, who scored her fifth goal of the season.

Just over four minutes later, senior Jen Slocum dived to direct the ball to junior Taryn Gjurich on a fast break. Gjurich took a hard shot just inside the circle to score her seventh goal of the season and put the Tar Heels up 3-0.

Freshman Marta Malmberg then scored two consecutive goals, both on penalty corners and assisted by sophomore Katie Ardrey and junior Teryn Brill. The back-to-back scores bring Malmberg's season total to seven, with three of those coming in the first two rounds of NCAA play over the weekend.

Old Dominion's goal came on a penalty corner with no time on the clock. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Caitlin Powers, playing in place of starter Jackie Kintzer, was able to stop the Lady Monarchs' initial shot, but sophomore Maartje van Rijswijk grabbed the rebound and put the ball back for her 16th goal of the season and the 5-1 final score.

With the win, Carolina finished 12-0 at Henry Stadium this fall.

In UNC's previous 14 final four trips, the Tar Heels have advanced to the championship game 12 times and won it all on six of those occasions. Carolina's seniors are making their third trip to the NCAA semifinals, having been part of title teams in 2007 and 2009.