Another week, another accolade for a UNC sports team. This time, Erin Matson, the nation’s goals and points leader for the 2019 field hockey season, has been named First Point USA/NFHCA Division I National Player of the Year. Matson, of the back-to-back national champion North Carolina Tar Heels is the second UNC player to win the award since 2010.
The sophomore forward posted 33 goals, 15 assists, and 81 points in 2019.
The National Player of the Year award is the latest in a series of honors for Matson. She was simply dominant all season, being named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, ACC Offensive Player of the Year, First Team All-American, First Team All-ACC, and First Point USA/NFHCA South Region Player of the Year.
With this NPOY award, it becomes official that Matson’s number 1 jersey will be retired. It will be the sixth retired field hockey jersey at UNC, and the third this decade. She’s also up for the Honda Sports award, which is given to the best female athlete in several different collegiate sports, and given her run of dominance, it would almost be surprising if she didn’t win. She’s already on her way to representing the USA in international competition, having taken some time this season to play with the US National Team in Olympic qualifying competition. Having only played two collegiate seasons, it’s definitely an exciting prospect as to what Matson might be able to do in her upperclassman years as a Tar Heel.
Congratulations to Matson and the entire Tar Heel team on another great season!