CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The top-ranked North Carolina field hockey team kicked off the home portion of its 2012 schedule Friday evening with a 3-2 win over No. 8 Old Dominion at Francis E. Henry Stadium. The Tar Heels got goals from senior Jaclyn Gaudioso Radvany and sophomores Samantha Travers and Charlotte Craddock in the victory, which improved UNC to 6-1 on the season. ODU fell to 3-3, with all three of its losses coming in road games against teams ranked in the top 10.
"I'm absolutely delighted with the win," UNC coach Karen Shelton said. "It was a hard-fought contest and a typical North Carolina-Old Dominion battle. I thought both teams went extremely hard at each other, and I thought it was a well-played and physical game. I'm just happy we got a couple of goals at opportune times.
"I'm proud of our team. Those kinds of games make us grow - we develop mental toughness playing in those kinds of contests."
UNC scored in the 16th minute of play on a penalty corner, one of four for Carolina in the first half and eight for the game. Travers sent a hard shot past ODU goalkeeper Marla Petriello for her sixth goal of the season. She got assists from a pair of seniors, Katie Ardrey on the push-out and Kelsey Kolojejchick on the stick stop.
Old Dominion answered just over two minutes later, when Rosario Villagra grabbed the rebound after a save by UNC keeper Sassi Ammer and sent it back to make the score 1-1.
Gaudioso Radvany's goal, her team-high seventh of the season, put UNC up for good in the 24th minute. She dribbled the ball into the circle from the top left and sent a hard shot into the net to make the score 2-1, where it stood well into the second half.
In the 56th minute, Tar Heel sophomore Charlotte Craddock scored her first career goal and put UNC up 3-1 when she dribbled into the middle of the circle then sent the ball around Petriello, who had come out to defend the shot.
ODU scored its second goal with just over a minute remaining in the game, on the last of four shots that came in quick succession. Ammer saved the Lady Monarchs' first shot, the second was blocked by a defender, Ammer made another save and then ODU finally scored, with Christy Longacre tipping in a ball from Lydia Velzian to make the score 3-2, which stood as the final.
UNC led 15-13 in shots for the game, but ODU had 10 in the second half to Carolina's seven. The Tar Heels drew eight penalty corners, four in each half, while ODU had six, four of them in the second half.
Ammer finished with five saves, four of them after halftime. Petriello made six, with five of them coming in the first half.
The Tar Heels were without a pair of freshman starters, Emma Bozek and Emily Wold, who are representing the U.S. in Mexico at the Pan Am Junior Championships.
Next up for UNC is another road contest, the team's seventh in the first eight games of the season, this one at Wake Forest. The Tar Heels and Demon Deacons meet at Kentner Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m.
No. 1 UNC 3, No. 8 Old Dominion 2
Scoring: UNC - Samanthan Travers (Katie Ardrey, Kelsey Kolojejchick), 15:43; ODU - Rosario Villagra, 17:53; UNC - Jaclyn Gaudioso Radvany, 23:13; UNC - Charlotte Craddock, 55:59; ODU - Christy Longacre (Lydia Velzian), 68:51
Shots: UNC 15 (8/7); ODU 13 (3/10)
Penalty corners: UNC 8 (4/4); ODU 6 (2/4)
Saves: UNC 5 (Sassi Ammer, 70:00, 5 saves, 2 goals allowed); ODU 6 (Marla Petriello, 70:00, 6 saves, 3 goals allowed)
Records: UNC 6-1, ODU 3-3