WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Sophomore Emma Way knocked in a corner rebound with time expired to propel the No. 10-ranked University of Michigan field hockey team to a 1-0 win against No. 1 North Carolina in its ACC/Big Ten Challenge opener on Saturday afternoon (Aug. 27) at Wake Forest's Kentner Stadium. It is the Wolverines' first win over a top-ranked team since 2001 and their first win over UNC since 2002.
Way, who missed the entire first half after suffering an injury during warmups, inserted the ball and was in the perfect place in front of the cage when junior Katie Trombetta's direct shot was saved and kicked back out. She lifted the ball over sprawled UNC goalkeeper Alex Halpin for the game-winning tally at 70:00.
The winning corner conversion came as the second of two penalty corners in the final minute of play and immediately followed Michigan's successful kill off a five-minute yellow card in the waning minutes of regulation.
The Wolverines set a good early pace in the contest with several opportunities, including a barely-wide shot from senior Courtney Enge in the opening seven minutes -- the first good scoring chance of the game.
Michigan withstood several penalty corners and flurries late in the first half. Junior goalkeeper Sam Swenson made an impressive save on a drag flick attempt and another on a late UNC corner, while graduate student Esther de Leijer followed with a goal-line defensive save to sweep the ball away.
After a lengthy halftime intermission due to a lightning delay, the second half largely mirrored the first. Senior/junior Carly Bennett and de Leijer posted quality scoring opportunities -- a near breakaway on the latter -- while the Wolverine defense held UNC to just one second-half shot.
Quite a game for Emma Way, who went from needing 8 stitches in the 1st half to game-winner at the buzzer. Interview: https://t.co/0vTHpQq3EM— Michigan FieldHockey (@umichfldhockey) August 27, 2016
Shots were an even 7-7 in the contest, while North Carolina held a narrow 5-3 advantage in penalty corners. Swenson earned three saves to claim the shutout victory, while Shannon Johnson and Halpin split time in the UNC cage, with Halpin posting three saves.