CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — For the third year in a row and 16th time in program history, North Carolina field hockey team is headed to the national semifinals. No 1 UNC, the top seed in the NCAA tournament field, beat No. 8 Michigan 5-1 on Sunday in a second-round game.
Junior Kelsey Kolojejchick scored twice and senior Elizabeth Stephens, junior Jaclyn Gaudioso Radvany and sophomore Marta Malmberg each added one for the Tar Heels, who led 5-0 before the Wolverines scored a late goal. Carolina improved to 22-1 with the win while Michigan fell to 15-7, with three of those losses coming to UNC.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the entire group,” said UNC coach Karen Shelton, who is in her 31st season with the program and competing in her 28th NCAA tournament. “Everybody got a chance to play, everybody played a part in this great victory today.”
UNC’s first goal came in the 10th minute of play, when senior Meghan Dawson sent a pass across the mouth of the cage to Kolojejchick, who put it in from the left post. The goal was her 20th of the season and 50th of her career, and it moved her onto UNC’s career top-10 lists for goals and points. Carolina’s second goal was off a penalty corner in the 20th minute. Stephens scored her ninth goal of the year, with assists to Katie Ardrey and Katelyn Falgowski.
In the 32nd minute, junior Caitlin Van Sickle sent a pass to Gaudioso Radvany, who rifled a shot into the cage. The Tar Heels went up 4-0 shortly after halftime, when Kolojejchick dribbled in and lofted a shot over UM keeper Haley Jones. The fifth goal came in the 44th minute on a penalty corner shot by Malmberg, with assists again to Ardrey and Falgowski.
Michigan’s goal came with 57 seconds to play in the game, on a shot by freshman Aline Fobe from just inside the circle.
“Carolina played fantastically today,” Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz said. “They were hitting on all cylinders. They had too much speed for us to be able to manage today.
“I was proud of our players for playing all the way to the end – we’ve had a nice season and I’m proud of them.”
UNC finished with 16 shots to five by Michigan. The teams had five penalty corners each, with Carolina drawing four in the first half and UM four in the second.
Carolina is now 16-2 all-time in NCAA tournament games played in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels are headed for the national semifinals for the third year in a row and fourth time in the last five years. UNC won 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.