No. 3 UNC advances to ACC field hockey title game; No. 7 Duke falls
Behind the efforts of goalkeeper Sassi Ammer and midfielder Emily Wold, No. 3 North Carolina defeated second-seeded Syracuse 1-0 Friday to advance to Sunday’s ACC Field Hockey Championship.
The Tar Heels move on to face Maryland at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The game marks a repeat of the 2012 title game that saw North Carolina win its 18th league championship with a 4-2 victory.
The lone goal of Friday’s match came at the 24:11 mark of the first half. With Syracuse working in its own defensive end, Tar Heel Emma Bozek intercepted a pass by a Syracuse back and then worked the ball to teammate Loren Shealy. Driving down the sideline to goalkeeper Jess Jecko’s right, Shealy sent a centering pass toward the cage, where a diving Wold pushed the ball past Jecko for the 1-0 lead.
On three separate occasions, it looked as though the Orange would knot the contest at one.
In the closing moments of the first half, the Orange made a bid to for the equalizer, but came away empty after two penalty corners that produced scrambles in front of the cage. Ammer made four saves, including two point-blank attempts on Syracuse attackers.
With the clock approaching the 88th minute, Syracuse found the back of the cage on a shot from outside the circle that appeared to deflect off of Ammer. After video review, the call on the field was overturned, as officials determined that the ball went in untouched by both the North Carolina defenders and Ammer.
No. 1 Maryland 3, No. 7 Duke 2, OT
NEWTON, Mass. — Facing a 2-0 deficit at halftime, the seventh-ranked Blue Devils rallied to tie the score with 3:17 remaining but went on to fall 3-2 in overtime to top-ranked Maryland Friday in the ACC Championship semifinals.
The Terrapins (19-1, 6-0 ACC) move on the ACC title match here Sunday while Duke (14-6, 3-3 ACC) will await the selections for the 2013 NCAA Tournament field, which will be announced at 10 p.m. Sunday at www.ncaa.com.
After starting the second period with aggressive attacking up front, the Blue Devils cut the lead in half with 16:05 remaining on a shot from the post by junior midfielder Abby Beltrani. Senior midfielder Grace Christus was credited with the assist on the play, her second of the season.
Backed by strong play on the defensive end — including multiple diving stops by redshirt sophomore Lauren Blazing, a Durham Academy graduate, in goal — the Duke offense kept pressing and earned its first penalty corner opportunity of the game in the 60th minute. Sophomore Hannah Barreca knocked in the equalizer on a penalty corner hit with just over three minutes left on the clock for her third goal of the year. Beltrani and senior Emmie Le Marchand collected their ninth and 10th assists, respectively, on the play.
Maryland’s Maxine Fluharty tallied the game-winning goal less than four minutes into extra time.