What to Know:
*Penn and No. 1-ranked North Carolina met for the first time in program history on Sunday, Sept. 4th at Ellen Vagelos Field. It was a family reunion of sorts as freshman Laura Shelton faced off against her aunt, Karen Shelton, the head coach of the Tar Heels
*Sophomore Sofia Palacios notched both of the Quaker goals on the afternoon, matching Gina Guccione’s effort from Friday vs. Lehigh
*Penn returns to action on Friday, Sept. 9th when they host LIU Brooklyn at Ellen Vagelos Field. Game time is slated for 3:30 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania field hockey team fought hard on their home turf but ultimately came up short against the top-ranked team in the nation in No. 1 North Carolina, 6-2. It marked the first-ever meeting between the two schools in program history as the Quakers concluded their season-opening weekend.
Penn fell to 1-1 overall with the loss while UNC improved to 3-1 on the young season. The Quakers took the advantage in shots, 10-5, and corners, 5-1, in the second half as the Red and Blue rallied well in the stanza.
The Red and Blue put up a solid showing on the afternoon and kept fighting throughout the match despite seeing themselves down 4-0 in the opening 30 minutes of action. UNC was first to get on the board at the 19:48 mark when Kristy Bernatchez deflected a corner shot off the post to take the 1-0 lead.
The Tar Heels continued to pressure the Quaker midfield and notched three goals in quick succession in just over four and a half minutes in the latter part of the half. Lauren Moyer, Eef Andriessen and Bernatchez were credited with scores to take a 4-0 lead with under six minutes to play, but the Red and Blue made the most of their opportunities to close out the period. Sofia Palacios registered a score off a corner at the 34:56 mark from a Paige Meily assist to finish the half at 4-1 in favor of the visitors.
Coming out of intermission, North Carolina was quick to score their fifth of the game off a Gab Major reverse chip to the high left corner of the net to make it 5-1. The Tar Heels scored their final goal of the game at the 53:35 mark off a scramble in front of net from Marissa Creatore.
The Quakers closed the match with another score from Palacios at the 63:26 mark to conclude the contest at 6-2.
Defensively, junior goalkeeper Liz Mata registered four saves in the loss while UNC’s Shannon Johnson and Alex Halpin combined for three stops.
Penn will return to action on Friday, Sept. 9th when they host LIU-Brooklyn for another home contest at Ellen Vagelos Field. Game time is slated for 3:30 p.m.