Liberty nearly knocked off No. 1 UNC on Sunday before falling 3-2.
The top-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels held off a second half comeback to slip past 17th-ranked Liberty 3-2 on Sunday afternoon at Karen Shelton Stadium.
No. 1 North Carolina improves to 14-0 on the season and extends its overall winning streak to 37 games. The Tar Heels, last year's national champion, have not lost a game since 2017. The Lady Flames drop to 9-4 overall on the year with the setback.
After Liberty's Alivia Klopp scored on a penalty stroke late in the third period (43:53) to bring the visitors within one at 3-2, UNC held the Lady Flames without a shot the rest of the way to preserve the victory.
Scoring Summary 4' – NORTH CAROLINA – Megan DuVernois | Penalty Stroke 26' – NORTH CAROLINA – Erin Matson | Penalty Stroke 37' – LIBERTY – Charlotte Vaanhold (unassisted) 40' – NORTH CAROLINA – Marissa Creatore (Erin Matson) 44' – LIBERTY – Alivia Klopp | Penalty Stroke
Goalkeepers W: Amanda Hendry 14-0, two saves L: Allison Schaefer 9-4, eight saves
Turning Point North Carolina took a 2-0 lead at halftime, with both goals coming on penalty strokes. The Tar Heels' Megan DuVernois was awarded a stroke at the 3:01 mark, and she buried the shot into the top left corner of the cage to stake the hosts to a 1-0 edge. Late in the first half (25:32 mark), UNC All-American Erin Matson scored on a stroke for her 22nd goal of the year.
Liberty responded early in the second half when Daniella Rhodes put a shot on cage that was initially saved by UNC goalkeeper Amanda Hendry. However, Charlotte Vaanhold scored on a rebound from in front to slice the Tar Heel lead to 2-1 at 36:32. UNC responded quickly by scoring just over two minutes later. Matson found Marissa Creatore for her 13th goal of the fall in the 40th minute that allowed the home side to regain a two-goal edge at 3-1.
Klopp's penalty stroke goal in the 44th minute, a shot into the right side of the cage, brought Liberty within a goal. However, North Carolina's stout defense, which came into the game giving up less than a goal per game, held up.
Key Stats & Notes
Up Next The Lady Flames' next contest will be at home against No. 3 Connecticut (13-3, 5-0 BIG EAST) on Saturday at the Liberty Field Hockey Field. The BIG EAST game will begin at noon.