The Tar Heels have their first piece of hardware for the 2012-2013 year, as the top-ranked field hockey team defeated Maryland for the second time this season to take their eighteenth conference crown. It was also their eighteenth straight win, dating back to September.
Considering how powerful the two opposing offenses were, it was a surprisingly defensive game. The Terrapins held the Tar Heels to only two shots on goal for the first 25 minutes, while UNC forced Maryland into a shot-drought of their own for most of the first half. Carolina finally got on the board with two quick goals, first from sophomore Loren Shealy with under six minutes to play in the half, and then from senior Kelsey Kolojejchick in the waning seconds. That would prove to be an insurmountable lead. Although the Terps would finally find the back of the net in the 50th minute, Carolina would respond with a goal of their own after Charlotte Craddock banked one in off a Maryland defender. In the final minutes, the Terps would pull their goalie and score again with 95 seconds to play; the Heels then took advantage of the empty Maryland goal to extend the lead to two again, as UNC would finish 4-2 victors.
Defender Caitlin Van Sickle, senior team captain, was named tournament MVP. She, Kolojejchick, Shealy and freshman Emily Wold were named to the All-Tournament team. Carolina now awaits the Tuesday announcement of the NCAA tournament bracket. At 20-1 and the number one team in the country they are assured a top seed and home-field advantage in the first two rounds of the tournament.