Abbey Friend, Maggie Bill lead way as No. 1 North Carolina beats Penn
CHAPEL HILL -- Top-ranked North Carolina outscored Penn 7-2 in the second half to break open a tie game and defeat the 17th-ranked Quakers 13-8 on Sunday afternoon at Fetzer Field. UNC improves to 6-0 this season with the victory, its 10th in a row dating to last year's NCAA championship run. Penn falls to 1-1.
The Tar Heels' 10-game winning streak is the fourth-longest in program history. The 2002 squad won a school-record 12 contests in a row, and the 1997 and 2013 squads put together 11 consecutive wins each.
The Tar Heels were led by senior Abbey Friend, who had three goals and two assists, and freshman Maggie Bill, who scored a season-high four goals. Taylor George had three goals and an assist and Sam McGee dished out two assists. Aly Messinger, Molly Hendrick and Carly Reed each scored one goal for the Tar Heels. Sydney Holman had an assist.
The Quakers got three goals from Tory Bensen and two from Lely DeSimone. Iris Williamson had a goal and an assist.
Penn had a solid game plan and played well defensively against the powerful Tar Heel offense, holding Carolina to 13 goals (more than seven below UNC's season average of 20.6 per game).
Penn won 24 ground balls to UNC's 18 in the game, but the Tar Heels dominated the draw by a 16-7 margin.
Sophomore Megan Ward started in goal for the Tar Heels and played the first half, allowing six goals and making two saves. Freshman Caylee Waters came off the bench and played the second half in the cage in UNC's normal goalie rotation. Waters made five saves and allowed just two goals to pick up her first career win in goal.
The Quakers scored first and took a 1-0 lead less than 90 seconds into the game, handing the Tar Heels their first deficit of the season. Carolina built a 5-3 first-half lead before allowing three consecutive Penn goals for a 6-5 Quaker advantage. Bill scored just before halftime to tie the game with 2:47 until the break, then scored again just 35 seconds into the second half.
Penn tied the score at 7 at the 19:42 mark on a goal by O'Loughlin, but UNC close the game on a 6-1 run to ice the victory.