Oct. 16, 2010

Courtesy of UNC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Sophomore Kelsey Kolojejchick scored twice and assisted on another goal as top-ranked North Carolina stayed undefeated with a 3-2 field hockey win over No. 3 Virginia Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Henry Stadium. UNC improved to 15-0 overall and 4-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference play with the victory. UVa, the first team this season to score more than one goal against the Tar Heels, fell to 11-2 overall and 1-2 in the ACC standings.

"I'm absolutely delighted to come away with a win against a very talented, very dangerous, very aggressive and athletic Virginia team," UNC coach Karen Shelton said. "We know we're going to see them again, so was this a "must win" game? No, it was not. It was a great college hockey game. I'm delighted that we were able to prevail today, but the next time it might be a different outcome because the teams are so evenly-matched."

Kolojejchick, a midfielder from Larksville, Pa., scored Carolina's first goal in the 30th minute of play. Her shot from just inside the circle bounced off a Virginia defender and past UVa goalkeeper Kim Kastuk, who would make seven saves on the day. Less than three minutes later, UNC added another goal to take a 2-0 lead. On a busted penalty corner, Kolojejchick grabbed the ball and sent it across the mouth of the cage to the left side, where sophomore Katie Ardrey deflected it in.

Carolina held onto the shutout until the 51st minute, when the Cavaliers got their first goal of the day. On the run, junior Paige Selenski sent a ball to the left post, where freshman Katie Robinson deflected it up and in for her first career goal. Not quite seven minutes later, Virginia tied the score at 2-2 when freshman Elly Buckley's shot edged just inside the right post.

With less than five minutes on the clock, the Tar Heels used what has been a successful combination this season to retake the lead. On the fifth - and ultimately final - penalty corner of the game, freshman Marta Malmberg sent a shot to the right side, where it was redirected into the goal by Kolojejchick. "We were fortunate to take a two-goal lead into halftime, but we knew that wasn't going to stand," Shelton said. "They're just so dangerous and quick to score. I give them a lot of credit for battling back, and an equal amount of credit to our team for executing a great penalty corner with 4:50 to play. I thought it was a defensive struggle, especially early in the first half. Credit to both defenses, even though there were five goals scored in the game."

Heading into the game, the Carolina defense had given up just six goals in 14 games, and never more than one in a game.

Kolojejchick now has a team-high 14 goals on the season, one shy of her total last season, when she was named ACC Freshman of the Year and became the first UNC player to earn first-team All-America honors as a freshman. "Kelsey plays with a lot of heart and passion," Shelton said. "She's a fantastic player, she's hard to contain. She played very well today, as we would expect her to play in a big game."