Unbeaten UNC ascends to No. 1 in field hockey poll

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.

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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.

Top 25

RankSchoolRecordPoints
(first-place votes)
Previous
rank
Change
1North Carolina8–01,019 (35)2▲ 1
2Northwestern 9–1930 (5)1▼ 1
3Iowa8–19155▲ 2
4Maryland9–1908 (1)3▼ 1
5Louisville8–18244▼ 1
6Penn State8–17926
7Virginia5–370810▲ 3
8Michigan5–46748
9Princeton 5–46447▼ 2
10Saint Joseph’s 6–360812▲ 2
11Connecticut6–25689▼ 2
12Old Dominion 6–255313▲ 1
13Syracuse 8–254011▼ 2
14Liberty 6–346116▲ 2
15Harvard 6–244114▼ 1
16Boston College5–438818▲ 2
17Wake Forest 6–337515▼ 2
18James Madison 7–337021▲ 3
19William and Mary6–333717▼ 2
20 Mass., Amherst8–229322▲ 2
21Rutgers 6–425719▼ 2
22Duke 4–613820▼ 2
23Maine6–3101Unranked
24Ohio State 3–58823▼ 1
25American 6–37125
DateMonth/dayTime/scoreOpponent
(current ranking)
LocationTV/
record
August
26Friday5–1No. 4 MichiganWinston-Salem1–0
28Sunday3–2 (OT)No. 11 IowaWinston-Salem2–0
September
2Friday4–3No. 7 PrincetonHome3–0
4Sunday4–0PennHome4–0
9Friday7–0CaliforniaBerkeley, Calif.5–0
11Sunday6–0StanfordStanford, Calif.6–0
16Friday3–0No. 12 LouisvilleLouisville, Ky.7–0,
1–0 ACC
23Friday2–0No. 10 Wake ForestHome8–0,
2–0 ACC
October
2Sunday6–3No. 13 LibertyLynchburg, Va.9–0
7Friday4–3No. 20 Boston CollegeNewton, Mass.10–0,
3–0 ACC
9Sunday3–0No. 15 ConnecticutStorrs, Conn.11–0
14Friday6–1No. 8 SyracuseHome12–0,
4–0 ACC
21Friday3–1No. 5 VirginiaHome13–0,
5–0 ACC
23Sunday6–0No. 9 Saint Joseph’sHome14–0,
6–0 ACC
29Saturday2–0No. 25 DukeDurham15–0,
7–0 ACC
NovemberACC tournament
2Wednesday3–1Semifinal: No. 8 Syracuse Durham16–0
4Friday3–2Final: No. 5 VirginiaDurham17–0
NCAA tournament
11Friday5–1First round vs.
Delaware
Chapel Hill 18–0
13Sunday5–1Second round vs.
No. 9 St. Joseph’s
Chapel Hill19–0
18Friday3–0 National semifinal vs.
No. 6 Penn State
Storrs, Conn.20–0
20Sunday1:30 p.m.Championship vs.
No. 2 Northwestern
Storrs, Conn.ESPNU

Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications

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