Links and Videos Courtesy of NCAA, UNC Athletic Communications and Princeton Athletics
And then there were four...
This time last year, the NCAA Final Fours were set! Relive some of the action of great match-ups, upsets and victories.
Kentner Stadium | Winston-Salem, N.C.
November 22, 2019 | Semifinals | 1:00 p.m. ET & 3:45 p.m. ET
November 24, 2019 | Final | 1:00 p.m. ET
No. 1 North Carolina 6 - 3 No. 7 Boston College | Rewatch
For the 11th straight year, No. 1 North Carolina played in the NCAA Division I Final Four when they met No. 7 Boston College in the semifinals. North Carolina narrowly defeated Iowa 2-1 in the Elite Eight after the Hawkeyes struck first. Two unanswered goals helped the Tar Heels take the lead and avoid an overtime period. Boston College earned a spot in the program’s first-ever Final Four as they knocked out No. 5 Louisville in a sudden victory round of shootouts. These teams met twice earlier in the season, first in the regular season and second in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) final. North Carolina took both wins and remained undefeated for 44 straight games.
The total of nine goals by the two teams tied the most ever scored in an NCAA semifinals game. UNC's six goals equaled the team's highest total in NCAA Tournament play, one they last hit in the 2013.
On a cool, partly sunny afternoon at Wake Forest's home field, North Carolina took the field for their 11th consecutive NCAA semifinals appearance. BC, playing in their first-ever final four, jumped out to an early lead, scoring just 54 seconds into the game on a penalty corner through Margo Carlin. The Tar Heels answered in the seventh minute, with the first demonstration of the stellar passing that would serve UNC well all game. On a fast break, Erin Matson sent the ball to Catherine Hayden at the right of the cage. Hayden dove to push the ball past BC goalkeeper Sarah Dwyer to Riley Fulmer, who finished to tie the score at 1-1.
Early in the second period, the Eagles again took the lead. Carlin carried the ball into the circle and lifted it over UNC goalkeeper Amanda Hendry for her second goal of the game and a 2-1 BC lead. The Tar Heels answered less than two minutes later on their first penalty corner of the game. Matson scored on a direct shot, assisted by Megan DuVernoise and Feline Guenther.
In the 21st minute, UNC scored again to take the lead for good. With three defenders on her, Matson pass the ball to Hayden on the left baseline. Hayden sent it across the cage to Marissa Creatore, who dove to deflect the ball in for a 3-2 lead. Carolina added one more to make it 4-2 at halftime. DuVernois rifled a shot from the top of the circle and Matson got her stick on it in front of the cage to direct it past BC goalkeeper Dwyer and into the goal.
Midway through the third quarter, Guenther drove the baseline to the right of the cage and sent a pass out to Matson in front of the goal. Matson sent a shot through the legs of an Eagles defender and past the goalkeeper to make it 5-2 UNC.
Matson added one more in the 56th minute for her second four-goal performance of the season. Creatore sent a cross from the right side across the cage. The ball deflected off a defender and then to Matson, who sent a shot from the left side past the diving goalkeeper and in to the right side of the cage for a 6-2 lead.
The Eagles added a late goal by Brigid Wood, scoring on a penalty corner with 2:15 to play. It was BC's only shot of the second half.
For the game, UNC led 12 to 6 in shots. The teams were tied with four penalty corners each.
No. 3 Virginia 1 - 2 No. 9 Princeton | Rewatch
No. 3 Virginia and Princeton met in the second game of the semifinal round of the NCAA Division I Tournament. Virginia downed Maryland to secure their ticket to the team’s third Final Four appearance in the last 14 years under current head coach Michele Madison. Their competition, Princeton, also notched their third trip to the semifinals in four years as they defeated No. 2 Connecticut 2-0. This will mark the fourth time in a row that these two teams have met in the tournament. History was in favor of Princeton, who knocked out Virginia the past three seasons.
Virginia registered the first goal of the contest directly off a penalty corner as Rachel Robinson knocked in a tally with assists from Annie McDonough and Anzel Vilojen 8 minutes in.
The Cavaliers had two great chances to add on, but Princeton goalkeeper Grace Baylis denied them both. On the second chance, UVA's Colleen Norair was left alone with just Baylis, but the goalkeeper sent the ball away.
UVA had consecutive penalty corners as the second frame got underway, but neither got through. On the next possession down the field, Emma Street pulled the Cavalier goalkeeper Lauren Hausheer out from the cage, but had her attempt saved.
With about two and half minutes left in the first half, Hannah Davey collected the ball and whipped a great pass into the circle for Ali McCarthy. McCarthy sent a hard shot that went in to tie the contest at 1-1.
Baylis collected her third save of the contest as she blocked a close attempt two minutes into the second half.
Princeton earned a corner at 8:50 mark of the stanza, but MaryKate Neff's ball was blocked. Less than a minute later, Julianna Tornetta sent an attempt on the cage that was saved, but she corralled the rebound and touched it in.
The Tigers had another great chance right before the end of quarter, but Sammy Popper's shot hit the post.
Virginia secured a penalty corner as the fourth quarter began, but the shot was blocked. The Tigers couldn't add on to their lead following a penalty corner of their own after a 10-minute yellow card to Virginia. The Cavaliers had an empty net with 2:53 remaining and earned one more penalty corner with 11 seconds left. The Cavaliers had three shots, but couldn't find the equalizer.
NCAA Division I Final
No. 1 North Carolina 6 - 1 No. 9 Princeton | Rewatch
No. 1 North Carolina chased their second consecutive title heading into the NCAA Division I National Championship game for the 19th time in program history. The Tar Heels were siting on a 45-game win streak, the longest ever by an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) field hockey team, after beating No. 7 Boston College, 6-3, to reach the title game.
No. 9 Princeton was playing for their fourth NCAA National Championship (1996, 1998, 2012), with their last time coming over North Carolina in 2012. It was the fourth straight season that the Tigers knocked Virginia out of the NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers struck first off a penalty corner 8 minutes into the contest. Princeton evened the score with just two and half minutes to go before halftime and took the lead off a rebound with 10 minutes to go in the contest.
This was the third time North Carolina and Princeton met for a NCAA Championship. Carolina won in the title game in 2006 and the Tigers won in 2012. This game also marked the 15th meeting between the two teams where the Tar Heels held the 11-3 all-time record, including the win earlier in the season on September 6 in Chapel Hill. That thrilling game saw the Tigers keep North Carolina on their toes after taking the lead off a penalty corner early. Princeton added a second in the 22nd minute, and UNC answered 26 seconds later. Four minutes later Princeton struck again to take a 3-1 lead into halftime. North Carolina pulled their goalkeeper with little more than 10 minutes to play in an effort to gain an offensive advantage. With five minutes to play, North Carolina scored three times to comeback and beat Princeton 4-3.
UNC fell behind early, as Princeton's Emma Street scored just 2:13 into the game. The build up came when Clara Roth tackled a Tar Heel defender just outside the circle that lead to the penetration and Street's tally. It was the third game in a row in which North Carolina trailed 1-0.
The Tar Heels proved their resiliency, answering the deficit with a pair of goals on second chances. The first, by Marissa Creatore, came with 39 seconds to play in the first quarter. Sprinting into the circle, she took a pass from Catherine Hayden on the right and got off a quick shot. It was saved by Princeton goalkeeper Grace Baylis, but Creatore gathered the ball from right at the goalkeeper's feet and tried again to tie the game at 1-1.
In the 22nd minute, on UNC's second penalty corner corner of the game, Baylis saved a shot by Erin Matson and then a defensive save sent the ball back out and right to Eva Smolenaars, who rifled a shot just inside the left post for UNC's first lead of the game.
The Tar Heels carried that 2-1 lead into halftime, then added four more, two each in the third and fourth quarters. Just over three minutes after halftime, Matson scored the first of back-to-back goals, on a reverse after she got a pass from Smolenaars at the top of the circle. In the 43rd minute, Matson scored again, this time on a ball from Karlijn Goes. She sent a backhand past Baylis to make the score 4-1.
Smolenaars scored her second goal of the game in the 50th minute when she got the ball in the circle, spun to elude a defender and sent a shot that went just wide of the goalkeeper's left foot.
With just under three minutes to play, Hannah Griggs intercepted a Princeton pass just outside the circle and took the ball in for a goal that made the score 6-1.
With no time left on the clock, Princeton was awarded a penalty stroke. UNC reserve goalkeeper Alex Halpin made the save to keep the final score at 6-1.
This marked the third time in NCAA history that a team has gone back-to-back with undefeated seasons. ODU was the first and has done so on two occasions, in 1983 and 1984, and then in 1991 and 1992.