A good season marked by key conference losses led to the Tar Heels field hockey team having a 15-4 overall record, but a 3-3 finish in ACC play. Despite ending the season in a tie, North Carolina lost the tiebreaker to Louisville and Boston College, finalizing their position as the No. 5 seed in the ACC Tournament.
Beginning the season as the top ranked team, the defending champions got off to an inauspicious start when they lost to No. 10 Michigan in the first game of the season. They won the next five games, defeating ranked opponents Princeton and Wake Forest before finding defeat at the hands of No. 18 Boston College. North Carolina recovered once again, winning six in a row, highlighted by the defeat of Syracuse, Duke, Michigan, and Virginia.
Their loss to No. 7 Louisville greatly hampered them in terms of tournament seeding. Losing to No. 2 Duke pushed them down to No. 5 where they finished out the season. It was a disappointing end to a promising year, but that doesn’t mean the Tar Heels are sunk.
Whatever the Heels do in the tournament, they will rely on the leadership of senior Lauren Moyer, who led the team with 17 goals. She was also one of the top scorers in the conference, ranking second in goals per game, and fifth in shots taken. A strong core of Gab Major, Eva van’t Hoog, Ashley Hoffman, Eef Andriessen, and more will make North Carolina a team to watch out for. They also might have the most reliable goalkeeper tandem in the ACC, with Shannon Johnson’s 1.00 goals per game ranking first, and Alex Halpin in fifth place with 1.36 per game.
The tournament begins on Thursday, November 3rd. The Tar Heels will play in the first game at 11 AM on RSN and ACC Network Extra.
- No. 5 North Carolina at No. 4 Louisville
- No. 7 Wake Forest at No. 2 Syracuse
- No. 6 Virginia at No. 3 Boston College
The winner of the UNC vs. Louisville matchup will go onto the semifinals and face the No. 1 seed Duke the following day on Friday at 1 PM. The final will be played on Sunday, November 6th at 1 PM.