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UNC Wins the Field Hockey National Championship

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It only took three minutes and ten seconds for Katelyn Falgowski to score Carolina's first goal against Penn State. It would be the only one they needed, as UNC went on to spank the Nittany Lions 3-0 in the NCAA championship.

The Heels dominate the game, controlling the ball for most of it and only allowing three Penn State shots on goal to UNC's 12. The first of the Lions' didn't come until a penalty situation with 12:20 to play in the first half, and the other two both occurred after the break. UNC took a 1-0 lead into the half on the backs of excellent defensive play, and you could already see the spirit draining out of their opponents. Penn State trudged on and off the field to some desultory words of encouragement, and kept the ball in Carolina's backfield for the start of the second half. But after an absolutely gorgeous fake on a penalty shot in the second half with 26:42 left led to a Rachel Dawson goal, it was all but over.

The Heels' offense kept the ball in Penn State territory for almost all of the last fifteen minutes, resulting in a third goal, this time from Danielle Forword, and Carolina won the fifth national championship for Karen Shelton and the first in a decade.

The standing room only crowd of 2,374 was weighted towards fans in Carolina Blue, which was a bit of a surprise considering the relative distances of Happy Valley and Chapel Hill. UNC even sprung to send a pep band up for the game - any Penn State chants were drowned out by the cheers of pompom waving fans in blue.

UNC only had one senior (Dawson) among its four members of the all-tournament team, boding well for next year's squad attempt to follow the last two champions, Maryland and Wake Forest, in repeating the title run. Carolina never lost a game all season and posted 16 shutouts, including three in the tournament.