The No. 11 University of Louisville field hockey team upset No. 5 North Carolina Saturday at Duke’s Jack Katz Stadium. The Cardinals (11-4) extend their win streak to seven games and move to 11-4 on the move to 4-1 in ACC play and remain tied with Virginia atop conference standings.
“This was a great outcome against a formidable opponent,” said UofL head coach Justine Sowry. “We did not play well in the first half, but we were able to get it together in the second half. We also did not generate a lot of attacking opportunities, but were able to execute masterfully on our set pieces.”
In a game that featured two lead changes and two ties, the Cardinals got goals from sophomore Minout Mink, senior Abby Grimes and junior Taylor Stone whose game-winning goal broke a 2-2 tie midway through the second half.
The Tar Heels (11-3, 3-2) held possession throughout the first 20 minutes of the game and capitalized on their fourth corner of the frame when Main Evert connected on a feed from Evan van’t Hoog at the 22:14 mark.
The Cardinals began to build momentum and answered less than 10 minutes later after being awarded their first corner of the game. Freshman Marisa Martin Pelegrina got the corner started and junior Katie Walsh provided the stop for sophomore Minout Mink fired off her team-best ninth goal of the season to even the score with just under five minutes remaining in the half.
The teams entered the break tied at 1-1 after UNC held a 9-3 advantage in shots and a 4-2 edge in corners while junior Ayeisha McFerran collected four saves for the Cardinals.
Louisville attacked early in the second half and went on to outshoot the Tar Heels 6-4. The Cards opened the period with two quick shots and earning a penalty in the first five minutes. The Cardinals connected on their second corner of the game to take a 2-1 lead. This time, senior Marigrace Ragsdale stopped Martin Pelegrina’s insert for senior Abby Grimes who powered a shot past UNC’s Amanda Henry for her third goal of the season.
The Tar Heels responded when Feline Guenther sent a rebound into the cage to tie the game at 2-2.
The Cards quickly countered less than two minutes later when junior Taylor Stone dribbled the ball into the circle and delivered her sixth goal of the season to put her team back on top 3-2 with under 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
After a time out, North Carolina lifted goalkeeper Amanda Hendry in favor of an extra field player for the final eight minutes of the game, but the Cardinals held the Tar Heels at bay for the 3-2 final.
“UNC brought the pressure when adding an extra player for their goalkeeper,” said Sowry. “They are extraordinary at capitalizing in those situations so it was great to be able to finish the game strong. I am very proud of our performance.”
McFerran (7-3) finished the game with four saves while Hendry had one stop for the Tar Heels. UNC held a 15-7 advantage in shots and a 5-3 edge in corners in the contest.
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