Field Hockey Championship: North Carolina Brings Home The Title

Field Hockey Championship
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. ( – Another perfect season. Another NCAA Field Hockey Championship.

North Carolina spotted Princeton an early 1-0 lead, then took control for a 6-1 victory in Sunday’s NCAA title game at Kentner Stadium.
ACC Offensive Player of the Year Erin Matson and Eva Smolenaars each scored two goals for the Tar Heels (23-0), who secured their second consecutive national title and capped their second straight unbeaten season.
Princeton (16-5) fell to UNC for the second time this season after dropping a 4-3 decision when the teams met at Chapel Hill on Sept. 6.
ACC teams have now won 20 NCAA field hockey championships, including 13 of the last 19.

Field Hockey Championship

North Carolina owns eight of the ACC’s 20 NCAA titles, all under the watch of veteran head coach Karen Shelton. Shelton’s eight national titles are the most for an ACC coach and second on the NCAA’s all-time list behind Old Dominion coach Beth Anders’ nine.
The back-to-back NCAA titles by UNC are the program’s first since the Tar Heels won three straight in 1995, 1996 and 1997. The ACC’s back-to-back titles are the first for the conference since Wake Forest, UNC and former conference member Maryland combined to win 10 straight from 2002 through 2011.
UNC has won three of its eight NCAA titles at Kentner Stadium (1995, 2009 and this season). ACC teams also won two other NCAA titles there (host Wake Forest in 2004 and Maryland in 2006).

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UNC’s Matson’s two goals on Sunday gave her 33 for the season, including a total of six in the final two rounds of the NCAA Championship (four in Friday’s win over Boston College, plus the two on Sunday).
 Matson was named the Most Outstanding Player, and she was joined on the All-NCAA Tournament by three teammates – senior Yentl Leemans and juniors Amanda Hendry and Smolenaars. 

NCAA All-Tournament Team Honorees

  • Brigid Wood, Boston College
  • Margo Carlin, Boston College
  • Rachel Robinson, Virginia
  • Amber Ezechiels, Virginia
  • *Most Outstanding Performer
  • *Erin Matson, North Carolina
  • Yentl Leemans, North Carolina
  • Eva Smolenaars, North Carolina
  • Amanda Hendry, North Carolina (Goalkeeper)

Also of note:

– Sunday marked the 20th time in the last 21 NCAA Field Hockey Championships – and the 28th time in the last 31 years – that the ACC placed at least one team in the title game.

– In the ACC’s 38 years as an NCAA Division I Field Hockey conference, league teams have accounted for more than half the total appearances in the national title game (41 of 76).
– UNC played in its 19th NCAA final on Sunday afternoon … The Tar Heels are 70-28 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.

– The ACC champion Tar Heels were the top-seeded team in this year’s NCAA tournament field.
– North Carolina will enter next season riding an ACC-record 46-match winning streak that dates to last season. UNC’s current freshmen and sophomores have yet to lose a college match.
– The ACC led all conferences with six total teams selected this this year’s 18-team NCAA Field Hockey Championship field … It marked the seventh consecutive year that at least four teams were selected for postseason play.

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– All-time NCAA tournament appearances for ACC teams (including this season): North Carolina 36, Virginia 24, Duke 18, Wake Forest 17, Syracuse 14, Boston College 12, Louisville 7.
– ACC teams own a 77-16 record against non-conference opposition in 2019, including a 7-3 mark in NCAA tournament games.
– Over the last six years, ACC teams own 176 wins over ranked non-conference opponents.
–  Since 2003, there have been 179 national field hockey polls. During that time, ACC teams have accounted for 148 No. 1 rankings, and 155 of the 179 polls have included every ACC team.

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Field Hockey Championship