North Carolina (18-1) opens play in the 2012 ACC Field Hockey Championship Friday at 1 p.m., hosting fifth-seeded Wake Forest. Game time at Henry Stadium is 1 p.m. The second semifinal game, between Maryland and Virginia, follows at 3:30.
Tickets are $5 for a day pass or $10 for a tournament pass. Students from ACC schools are admitted free.
The Tar Heels are the defending champions in the event, having won in 2011 in College Park, Md. Carolina is playing for its 18th ACC title.
For complete game notes as a pdf, click here.
On The Air
Friday’s semifinal games will be broadcast live on the Regional Sports Networks, which include Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Florida, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, New England Sports Network and Fox Sports Prime Ticket, as well as online by ESPN3.com. Leah Secondo will handle the play-by-play for the broadcast and Nick Conway will provide color commentary.
Live stats will be available on GoHeels.com as well as TheACC.com.
Fans also can follow the Tar Heels on Twitter at UNCFieldHockey.
Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament
• UNC has won 17 of the 29 ACC Tournaments contested. The only other schools to have won league crowns are Maryland (nine) and Wake Forest (three).
• Carolina last won a tournament on its home turf in 1997. That title was UNC’s 14th in the conference’s first 15 years.
• The 1997 title also marks the last time Carolina won tournaments in back to back years. The ‘97 championship was UNC’s fifth in a row, but the Tar Heels have won just three titles in the 14 years since and never in back-to-back seasons.
• Carolina is 38-12 all-time in ACC Tournament play for a winning percentage of .760. The Tar Heels dominated the early years of the event, winning their first 19 games and 29 of the first 30. Since 1998, Carolina is 9-11 in ACC Tournament play.
• UNC is 12-1 in ACC Championships when playing as the No. 1 seed.
• The Tar Heels are 4-5 in ACC Tournament play against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are the only program with a winning record against UNC. In the overall series between the two, Carolina leads 41-19-4, including two wins this season.
• Five Tar Heels – Katie Ardrey, Charlotte Craddock, Kelsey Kolojejchick, Caitlin Van Sickle and Emily Wold – were named to the 2012 All-ACC team, announced earlier this week. Wold is the only freshman to make the team.
• Six Tar Heels have earned outright or shared ACC Player of the Week honors on a total of eight occasions this season. Sophomore Charlotte Craddock, who has won or shared the honor three times, is the only player honored more than once this season.
• In conference games only, Craddock leads the ACC in points (17), points per game (3.4), goals (8), goals per game (8 in five games for a 1.6 average). Senior Katie Ardrey leads the league in assists (6) and assists per game (1.2).
• Carolina is coming off a season-high total in corners with 21 against Radford last Sunday. For the year, UNC is averaging 9.26 corners per game, the most in the conference.
• The last time UNC finished ACC play undefeated in back-to-back years was in 1995 & 1996, when each team played eight conference games. The Tar Heels were 8-0 in both of those seasons and went on to win ACC and NCAA titles.
• Kelsey Kolojejchick heads into Friday’s game just two points shy of 200 for her career (67 goals, 45 assists). She would be just the second Tar Heel to reach that mark, with the other being career-points-leader Cindy Werley, who totaled 212 from 1993-97.
• With a 5-0 conference record, UNC finished undefeated in ACC play for the 13th time in school history and the second year in a row.
• The Tar Heels are undefeated at Henry Stadium this season with a 6-0 record. UNC’s last loss on its home turf was Sept. 16, 2011, 3-1 to Old Dominion.
• UNC is ranked No. 1 for the third week in a row and the sixth week this season.
• Senior Caitlin Van Sickle is the team’s captain, while Kelsey Kolojejchick and Katie Plyler serve as co-captains.
• Freshmen Emma Bozek and Emily Wold and junior Marta Malmberg took time away from UNC in September to help the U.S. to a bronze medal at the Junior Pan American Games in Mexico.
• Emily Wold plays in jersey No. 9, which was retired for Rachel Dawson following the 2007 season, when Dawson was the National Player of the Year. Before she arrived at UNC this fall, Wold sought – and received – Dawson’s blessing to wear the retired number.
Tar Heels have registered hat tricks on five occasions this season. Three have been by sophomore Charlotte Craddock, who accomplished the feat in two conference games – at Duke and at Boston College – as well as in the season finale last Sunday against Radford. Sophomore Samantha Travers scored three in a neutral site win over Villanova on Sept. 9. Senior Kelsey Kolojejchick had a hat trick at home against VCU on Sept. 30.
Thirty-two Carolina players have earned first-team All-America honors on 52 occasions, but none has accomplished a feat within reach for senior Kelsey Kolojejchick. The midfielder from Larksville, Pa., was the first UNC freshman to earn first-team All-America honors, and also earned the recognition in her sophomore and junior seniors. She is now poised to become the first Tar Heel ever to earn first-team honors four times.
• Kolojejchick this week became the third player in UNC history and one of just nine in ACC history to earn all-conference honors all four years.
At Your Service
Kelsey Kolojejchick and Katie Ardrey both rank among the program’s top four in career assists, Kolojejchick third on the list with 45 career assists and Ardrey tied for fourth (with two-time National Player of the Year Cindy Werley) with 44. Ardrey is the team’s usual inserter on penalty corners. Kolojejchick sometimes is the stick stopper, but also picks up plenty of assists from the field and has won the team’s Keller Award for Open-Play Assists in each year of her career.
Both teamed with UNC’s all-time assists leader, Katelyn Falgowski, who finished her career last November with a program-best total of 63.
• Kolojejchick leads the ACC in assists with 21, an average of 1.11 per game. Ardrey ranks second in both categories and leads the way in conference games only with six in five games, an average of 1.20.
Bursting onto the Scene
Sophomore forward Charlotte Craddock’s UNC career started slowly, but once she took the field it has been spectacular. Craddock missed the first six games of the season (she had signed a stick contract while playing for England’s National Team, and had to sit out those games in order to become NCAA eligible) but has scored 19 goals in the 13 games in which she has played. In addition to her three hat tricks, she has three gamewinners and also has assisted on four goals, one the gamewinner in last Friday’s win at ODU.
A native of England, she represented her country at the 2008 Olympics in China.
Noting Coach Shelton
UNC coach Karen Shelton is in her 32nd season with the Tar Heels. Heading into the ACC Tournament, she has a career record of 545-139-9.
• Shelton has led the Tar Heels to 17 ACC Championships, more than any other program in the conference.
• She has coached UNC to six NCAA titles: 1989, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2007 and 2009.
• The head coach at Carolina since 1981, she has led the Tar Heels to winning records in all but two years: 1981 (8-9-1) and 2002 (9-11).
• Shelton is a five-time National Coach of the Year (most recently in 2009) and an eight-time ACC Coach of the Year (most recently in 2007).
Five Tar Heels Named All-ACC
Five North Carolina student-athletes were honored on Wednesday as part of the 2012 Field Hockey All-Atlantic Coast Conference team, as announced by ACC Commissioner John Swofford. Tar Heels named to the 17-member team are seniors Katie Ardrey, Kelsey Kolojejchick and Caitlin Van Sickle, sophomore Charlotte Craddock and freshman Emily Wold. The team is selected in voting by the league’s head coaches.
UNC led the way with five honorees, followed by Virginia with four, Maryland with three, Wake Forest and Duke with two each and Boston College with one. Wold is the only freshman to make the team. (See below for complete list.)
Kolojejchick and Virginia senior Paige Selenski became the eighth and ninth players in the 30-year history of ACC field hockey to be four-time honorees. Tar Heels alums who previously have been honored four times are Katelyn Falgowski and Nancy Pelligreen.
Seven others, including Van Sickle, were named to the team for the third time. Ardrey was honored for the second year in a row, while Wold and Craddock were honored for the first time.
Playing for the U.S.
A trio of Tar Heels – junior Marta Malmberg and freshmen Emma Bozek and Emily Wold – took time away from Chapel Hill this fall to help the U.S. Junior Women’s National Team to a bronze medal at the Pan American Junior Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico. With the finish, the U.S. qualified for the 2013 Junior World Cup.
Wold, who served as the team captain, and Bozek missed five games with UNC. Malmberg missed three. All three returned for the Sept. 25 game at Davidson.
Shining off the field
Tar Heel student-athletes are high achievers off the field as well as on. A prime example is sophomore Loren Shealy, who last spring was accepted into the Robertson Scholars program, in which students take classes at both UNC and Duke. As part of the prestigious honors program, Shealy will live on campus in Durham this spring.
She is the first UNC student-athlete from any sport to participate in the program.
• Four players on the current roster were named to the NFHCA (National Field Hockey Coaches Association) National Academic Squad for 2011-12. They are Meghan Drake, Meghan Lyons, Marta Malmberg and Loren Shealy.
• Senior Meghan Lyons is involved in a host of extracurricular activities, one being UNC’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council, which includes members of each of Carolina’s 28 varsity squads and helps to advise department leaders. For the second year, Lyons is serving as president of the organization.
Tar Heels vs. Demon Deacons
• UNC and Wake Forest have met twice this season, with UNC winning both times: 2-1 in Winston-Salem on Sept. 16 and 3-2 at home on Sept. 29 in the season’s designated ACC game. (The two play home-and-home each year, but only one game counts in the conference standings.)
• Including this year’s matchups, UNC had won the last 10 meetings in a row and now leads the series 41-19-4.
• Wake’s last win in the series was a 2-1 victory in the 2008 ACC semifinals in Durham. The Demon Deacons’ last win in Chapel Hill was 3-0 in the 2006 ACC semifinals the last time Carolina hosted.