WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – North Carolina opened the 2012 field hockey season with a 5-1 win over Michigan Saturday afternoon in ACC-Big Ten Challenge play at Wake Forest’s Kentner Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. UNC, ranked No. 2 in the preseason national poll, outshot No. 10 Michigan 21-2 on the day, including 12-0 in the first half.
“We were really excited to open the season and we got a good battle from Michigan,” UNC coach Karen Shelton said. “Our younger players, especially, were able to gain some valuable experience. Overall, I’m delighted with the outcome.”
UNC took the lead for good in the eighth minute of play on a penalty corner goal by senior Caitlin Van Sickle, assisted by freshman Emily Wold. The Tar Heels scored again 43 seconds before halftime, when freshman Emma Bozek deflected in a ball from senior Kelsey Kolojejchick.
Less than two minutes later, Michigan scored its only goal of the day on its only second-half penalty corner. (The Wolverines also had one in the first half.) Samantha Gray scored the goal, with Liesl Morris and Leslie Smith providing assists.
With UNC leading 3-1, Tar Heel senior Jaclyn Gaudioso Radvany scored twice in the game’s final three minutes. Her first came in the 68th minute when she grabbed a ball off the goalkeeper’s pads and sent it back in. With 28 seconds to play, she deflected in a pass from Van Sickle to make the final score 5-1.
UNC finished with nine penalty corners to Michigan’s two. Senior Caitlin Powers and sophomore Sassi Ammer split time in goal for Carolina, with Powers starting and playing the first 35 minutes and Ammer playing the entire second half. Neither UNC goalkeeper recorded a save. Michigan’s Haley Jones had seven saves while allowing five goals.
“I was pleased with the final result,” Shelton said. “Winning 5-1 against a top 10 team is always a good thing. I was pleased with our corner execution, scoring on three of our nine chances. And I was happy to see us score early in the game then add another before halftime. Overall it was a good day and we’re excited to get back out there tomorrow.”
Next up for the Tar Heels is the second game of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Carolina meets Iowa on Sunday at 2 p.m., with the game again at Wake Forest’s Kentner Stadium. Iowa is ranked No. 12 in the preseason poll and beat Wake Forest 3-2 in overtime in Saturday’s second game.
No. 2 UNC 5, No. 10 Michigan 1
Scoring: UNC – Caitlin Van Sickle (Emily Wold), 7:34; UNC – Emma Bozek (Kelsey Kolojejchick), 34:17; UNC – Marta Malmberg (Katie Ardrey, Kelsey Kolojejchick), 54:49; UM – Samantha Gray (Liesl Morris, Leslie Smith). 56:13; UNC – Jaclyn Gaudioso Radvany, 67:21; UNC – Gaudioso Radvany (Van Sickle), 69:32
Shots: UNC 21 (12/9); UM 2 (0/2)
Penalty corners: UNC 9 (6/3), UM 2 (1/1)