Final Four Tied! Field hockey advances to the 26th of the program

CHAPEL HILL, NC — North Carolina’s top-ranked field hockey team earned a trip to the program’s 26th Final Four with a 5-2 win over No. 9 Saint Joseph on Sunday Karen Shelton Stadion. Senior Erin MatsonShe, the most decorated player in the history of the program, had her 13th birthdayth Career hat trick in their last game on the KSS turf.

The Tar Heels meet Penn State in the NCAA semifinals Friday in Storrs, Connecticut.

Senior Paityn Wirth scored in the 10thth Minute of the game to set Carolina up for good. SJU keeper Robin Bleekemolen parried a shot from Matson and the rebound rolled to Wirth, who slammed a shot into the cage. Saint Joseph’s Kate Crist has her stick up but couldn’t stop the shot going in.

The Tar Heels carried that one-goal advantage into the second quarter. In the second of the consecutive penalty corners, Matson blasted her shot into the cage to take a 2-0 lead, assisted by Wirth on the onset and Romea Ricardo at the stick stop.

Just under two minutes later, Matson scored again, following another assist from Wirth for a 3-0 UNC at halftime. Matson took the pass and dived past the keeper to initiate the shot.

Just 21 seconds into the third quarter, the Tar Heels received a penalty and Matson capitalized on it to make it 4-0. It was her fifth stroke attempt of the season and she managed all five.

Less than a minute later, the Hawks scored their first goal of the day. In their only penalty corner of the second half, they unleashed a series of shots and scored in the third, with Leigh James scoring her seventh goal of the season.

Beginning of the fourth quarter, freshman Ashley Sessa carried the ball into the circle and backhanded past Bleekemolen to make it 5-1 for the Tar Heels.

In the 52ndnd Minute Sol Borensztein from the SJU carried the ball off the baseline and shot into the cage to make it 5:2.

UNC held a 19-5 lead on shots and didn’t give up a shot in the first half.

No. 1 UNC 5, No. 9 Saint Joseph’s 2
Rating: UNC – Paityn Wirth, 9:37; UNC – Erin Matson (Wirth, Romea Ricardo), 26:56; UNC—Matson (Wirth), 28:47; UNC – Matson (penalty), 30:21; SJU—Leigh James, 30:55; UNC – Ashley Sessa, 48:43; UNC—Sol Borensztein, 51:55
shots: UNC 19 (9/3/5/2), SJU 5 (0/0/3/2)
penalty corner: UNC 6 (3/2/1/0), SJU 3 (2/0/1/0)
Goalkeeper saves: UNC 3 (Abigail Taylor30:00, 0 goals allowed, 0 saves; Kylie Walbert30:00, 2 goals allowed, 3 saves)
Records: UNC 19-0, SJU 16-5