By R.L. Bynum
Carolina’s field hockey team is back in a familiar place atop the NFHCA national coaches poll.
The Tar Heels (8–0, 2–0 ACC), who have won nine NCAA titles, ascended to No. 1 in the latest poll released Tuesday after they beat Wake Forest at home 2–0 and the previously top-ranked Northwestern lost 2–0 to Iowa in Friday action. Four of UNC’s victories have come against teams ranked in the Top 10.
Carolina, which has shut out its last five opponents, is the only Division I team in the country that’s still undefeated.
Fifth-year forward Erin Matson is the ACC offensive player of the week for the second time this season after scoring both goals in the Wake Forest victory.
The Wildcats (9–1) fell to No. 2 and Iowa, which UNC defeated 3–2 in overtime in Winston-Salem on Aug. 28, slid up a spot to No. 3. Carolina got 35 first-place votes compared to five for Northwestern and one for No. 4 Maryland.
Northwestern had been No. 1 and UNC No. 2 in every poll until this week.
Other ranked ACC teams are No. 5 Louisville (down one spot), which Carolina beat 3–0 on Sept. 16, No. 7 Virginia (up three spots), No. 13 Syracuse (down two slots), No. 16 Boston College (up two spots), the No. 17 Deacons (down two spots) and No. 22 Duke (down two spots).
Carolina plays its next three games on the road: against No. 14 Liberty at 1 p.m. Sunday, BC on Friday, Oct. 7 at 4 p.m. and No. 11 UConn at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9. The Tar Heels’ next home game is against Syracuse on Friday, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m.
|1||North Carolina||8–0||1,019 (35)||2||▲ 1|
|2||Northwestern||9–1||930 (5)||1||▼ 1|
|4||Maryland||9–1||908 (1)||3||▼ 1|
|10||Saint Joseph’s||6–3||608||12||▲ 2|
|12||Old Dominion||6–2||553||13||▲ 1|
|16||Boston College||5–4||388||18||▲ 2|
|17||Wake Forest||6–3||375||15||▼ 2|
|18||James Madison||7–3||370||21||▲ 3|
|19||William and Mary||6–3||337||17||▼ 2|
|20||Mass., Amherst||8–2||293||22||▲ 2|
|24||Ohio State||3–5||88||23||▼ 1|
|26||Friday||5–1||No. 4 Michigan||Winston-Salem||1–0|
|28||Sunday||3–2 (OT)||No. 11 Iowa||Winston-Salem||2–0|
|2||Friday||4–3||No. 7 Princeton||Home||3–0|
|16||Friday||3–0||No. 12 Louisville||Louisville, Ky.||7–0, |
|23||Friday||2–0||No. 10 Wake Forest||Home||8–0, |
|2||Sunday||6–3||No. 13 Liberty||Lynchburg, Va.||9–0|
|7||Friday||4–3||No. 20 Boston College||Newton, Mass.||10–0, |
|9||Sunday||3–0||No. 15 Connecticut||Storrs, Conn.||11–0|
|14||Friday||6–1||No. 8 Syracuse||Home||12–0, |
|21||Friday||3–1||No. 5 Virginia||Home||13–0, |
|23||Sunday||6–0||No. 9 Saint Joseph’s||Home||14–0, |
|29||Saturday||2–0||No. 25 Duke||Durham||15–0, |
|2||Wednesday||3–1||Semifinal: No. 8 Syracuse||Durham||16–0|
|4||Friday||3–2||Final: No. 5 Virginia||Durham||17–0|
|11||Friday||5–1||First round vs. |
|13||Sunday||5–1||Second round vs. |
No. 9 St. Joseph’s
|18||Friday||3–0||National semifinal vs. |
No. 6 Penn State
|20||Sunday||1:30 p.m.||Championship vs. |
No. 2 Northwestern
Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications