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No. 1 Tar Heels Hold Off No. 17 Lady Flames 3-2 on Sunday Afternoon

October 20, 2019  Chapel Hill, N.C.   RSS
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Liberty nearly knocked off No. 1 UNC on Sunday before falling 3-2.

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

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

  • Liberty is only the third opponent this year to play North Carolina to a one-goal game. The others were Iowa (2-1 final, Sept. 1) and Princeton (4-3 final, Sept. 6).
  • Klopp's goal was her seventh goal of the season and first penalty stroke goal of her career. Klopp also matched her freshman year goals total (7) with the marker and has 14 goals in 32 career matches.
  • Lady Flames senior goalkeeper Allison Schaefer made a season-high eight saves in the contest.
  • UNC outshot Liberty 16-7 in the match and held an 11-4 edge in shots on goal. Despite drawing eight penalty corners to the Lady Flames' four, the Tar Heels failed to score on a short corner. Liberty freshman midfielder Bethany Dykema nearly scored on a corner late in the first quarter, but her effort hit the inside of the left post and clanged out.
  • North Carolina's Erin Matson led all players with six shots on goal. Liberty's Klopp, Vaanhold, Rhodes and Mallory Fortenbaugh each recorded a shot on goal in the game.
  • The Tar Heels have won all seven all-time meetings with the Lady Flames following Sunday's narrow triumph.
  • All four of Liberty's losses this season have come by one goal, and each has also come to a ranked foe.


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.