Field Hockey Knocks Off No. 4 North Carolina
Sept. 8, 2017
Final Stats | Final Box (PDF)
By Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeHockey)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The No. 19 Wake Forest field hockey team took down No. 4 North Carolina, 3-1, in its ACC and home opener on Friday night at Kentner Stadium.
The Deacs (2-3) jumped in front late in the first half on Nicola Pluta's first goal of the season. Then, after Wake Forest extended its lead midway through the second half, the Tar Heels (3-2) quickly cut the lead to 2-1. However, the Deacs put the game out of reach with a 67th minute goal.
"I'm proud of how it was a total team effort tonight," head coach Jennifer Averill said. "I thought our preparation during the week led to some inspiration. Hats off to the girls. We put together a game plan and they executed it the best of their ability."
In her first game of the season, Pluta quickly made her mark, scoring in the 33rd minute to break the scoreless tie.
"That first goal is indicative of the caliber of player that she is," Averill said. "Having her back allows us to have more creativity on our front line and our midfield because she is able to play both."
After neither side generated much offense early in the second half, senior Karlee Spirit added her first goal of the season in the 52nd minute, while Jule Grashoff delivered her team leading fourth goal of the season to seal the win in the final minutes. Megan Anderson led the team with two assists.
Wake Forest took home the victory despite a 5-0 disadvantage in penalty corners.
The first half was a defensive battle, with neither team earning a corner and each team producing just three shot attempts. Then, with just over two minutes left in the half, Pluta dribbled through the middle of the Tar Heel defense and beat the keeper high to break the scoreless tie.
Anderson delivered the first of her two assists, feeding Spirit to put the Demon Deacons up, 2-0, midway through the second half. The goal prompted the Tar Heels to remove their goalkeeper and use an extra attacker. Minutes later, North Carolina cut its deficit in half on Eef Andriessen's goal off a rebound. Then, with just under three minutes remaining, Anderson fed a perfect pass to Grashoff, who converted the empty netter to seal the win for the Deacs.
The victory marks the second straight game that Wake Forest has defeated North Carolina at Kentner Stadium. The Deacs prevailed, 3-2, in 2015.
Up next, the No. 19 Demon Deacons will host No. 23 Ohio State this Sunday, Sept. 10 at 1 p.m.