Wolverines Unable to Shake Slow Start in Season Opener at UNC

Jaime Dean
Jaime Dean

Aug. 30, 2014

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Site: Chapel Hill, N.C. (Francis E. Henry Stadium)
Event: ACC/Big Ten Challenge
Score: #2 North Carolina 5, #17 Michigan 1
Records: U-M (0-1), UNC (1-0)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Aug. 31 -- vs. Wake Forest - ACC/Big Ten Challenge (Chapel Hill, N.C.), 2 p.m.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The No. 17-ranked University of Michigan field hockey team could not shake a slow start in its season opener at No. 2 North Carolina, falling, 5-1, in the first game of the 13th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Saturday (Aug. 30) at the Tar Heels' Francis E. Henry Stadium.

UNC scored twice in the opening 10 minutes of the contest -- both on rebounds -- and added a third rebound goal midway through the first frame. Casey Di Nardo opened scoring at the 8:08 mark, taking advantage of a scrum in front of the Wolverine cage to corral a backhand rebound and chip it high past junior/sophomore goalkeeper Chris Lueb (Den Bosch, Netherlands/Staples HS (Conn.)). The Tar Heels struck again just 59 seconds later on Emma Bozek's put back off Lueb's pads.

The Wolverines picked up the pace midway through the half, drawing a pair of penalty corners for their best early scoring chances. Fifth-year senior Ainsley McCallister (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron HS) just missed on the latter opportunity; with UNC goalkeeper Shannon Johnson pulled in the other direction, her tip shot on the baseline sailed into the outside netting of the cage.

Michigan kept the pressure on late in the first half but could not get shots off inside the UNC circle.

The Tar Heels surged again early in the second, drawing an early corner at 43:40 and scoring on the direct shot before adding another -- their final goal of the contest -- on a long, high backhand shot from Gab Major on the arc seven minutes later.

Sophomore Courtney Enge (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch HS) could not quite finish on a chance deep in the UNC circle. She received the ball on the left side and carried it in on Johnson, who charged and sprawled to prevent a clean shot.

Michigan turned away three consecutive UNC corner opportunities midway through the half and possessed play deep in Tar Heel territory until finally breaking through at the 58:02 mark. Junior Jaime Dean (Marathon, N.Y./Whitney Point HS) carried the ball into the circle, right to left, and wound up to launch a backhand high into the netting for her fifth career goal.

UNC outshot the Wolverines, 21-5, and outcornered them, 6-2, in the game. Lueb and freshman Sam Swenson (Harrogate, England/Ashville College) split time evenly in the Wolverine cage, combining for eight saves -- a career-best seven for Lueb -- while Johnson earned two stops for the Tar Heels.

The Wolverines will return to action tomorrow (Sunday, Aug. 31), wrapping up play at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge with a 2 p.m. slate against No. 11 Wake Forest at UNC's Francis E. Henry Stadium.

GAME SUMMARY

By Periods 1 2 F
Michigan 0 1 1
North Carolina 3 2 5

Scoring, Time (Assist)
1st -- UNC, Casey Di Nardo, 8:08 (unassisted)
1st -- UNC, Emma Bozek, 9:07 (unassisted)
1st -- UNC, Loren Shealy, 21:12 (unassisted)
2nd -- UNC, Nina Notman, 36:36 (Emily Wold, Shealy)
2nd -- UNC, Gab Major, 43:40 (unassisted)
2nd -- U-M, Jaime Dean, 58:02 (unassisted)

Shots: U-M 5, UNC 21
Saves: U-M 8 (Chris Lueb 7, Sam Swenson 1), UNC 2 (Shannon Johnson)
Defensive Saves: None
Penalty Corners: U-M 2, UNC 6

Contact: Leah Howard