No. 2 Field Hockey Hosts Wake Forest Friday

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Since last playing at home on Sept. 4, the UNC field hockey team has traveled cross-cross country, opened Atlantic Coast Conference play, and held onto a No. 2 national ranking.
One thing the Tar Heels haven’t done? Surrendered a goal.
Carolina is on a string of four consecutive shutaouts heading into Friday afternoon’s ACC matchup with No. 15 Wake Forest at Kare Shelton Stadium. Game time is 4 p.m. and there is no charge for admission.
Gates open at 3 p.m. and the first 200 students will get free Carolina bucket hats.
Fans can enjoy yard games at Tar Heel Alley, located behind the Shelton Stadium stands. It’s also Carolina Kids Club Day, with extra fun for Kids Club members.
The last time UNC played at home, almost three weeks ago, the Tar Heels beat Penn 4-0 as part of the ACC-Ivy League Conference Crossover. After that, Carolina played at California on Sept. 9, winning 7-0, and at Stanford on Sept. 11, winning 6-0.
UNC opened ACC play last Friday with a 3-0 road win over No. 4 Louisville.
Noting the Matchup
• UNC and Wake Forest shared a stadium earlier this season when they both represented their conference in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, hosted by the Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Aug. 26 and 28. Both schools played Michigan and Iowa.
• UNC and Wake Forest are facing off for the first time this season and the 86th time in school history. Carolina leads the series 60-21-4 and has won the last 11 meetings.
• The teams last met in the 2021 ACC Tournament quarterfinals in Syracuse. In the final game of the day, played in freezing temperatures and after dark, the Tar Heels and Demon Deacons battled into overtime before Cassie Sumfest’s goal in the 63rd minute gave UNC a 3-2 win. Erin Matson, who scored Carolina’s first two of the game, assisted on the goal, which came on a penalty corner. The Tar Heels went on to claim their fifth consecutive  conference crown.
• Carolina won the 2021 regular-season meeting 1-0 in Winston-Salem on Oct. 15. Ciana Riccardo scored the first goal of her career in the 14th minute, and it held up for the gamewinner.
• Wake’s last victory in the series came on Sept. 8, 2017, 3-1 in Winston-Salem in that year’s regular-season matchup.
Noting the Tar Heels
• The Tar Heels have shut out their last four opponents by a combined score of 20-0: Penn 4-0, California 7-0, Stanford 6-0, Louisville 3-0. Over that span, UNC has outshot opponents 76-19.
• Through seven games, the Tar Heels are outshooting opponents 127-39 and outscoring them 32-6.
• Four of Carolina’s five first-quarter goals this season have come from freshmen (three by Ryleigh Heck, all in the first two-and-a-half minutes of play, and one by Ashley Sessa)
• UNC has gone three games without allowing a shot before halftime: shots were 16-0 in the first half at Cal, 12-0 in the first half at Stanford, 5-0 in the first half at Louisville.
• The Tar Heels have outscored opponents 18-4 before halftime this season. Iowa and Princeton, each with two goals at the break, are the only teams to score on UNC before halftime this season.
• Senior midfielder Meredith Sholder is the reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Week.
• Twelve different players have scored at least one goal for UNC this season. After senior Erin Matson’s seven goals, freshman Ashley Sessa has six and freshman Ryleigh Heck has five.
• UNC is coming off a season low in penalty corners after drawing just one at Louisville. The season high came three games ago with 19 at Cal.
• With two goals against at Cal, Matson moved into a tie for seventh place on the NCAA’s all-time career goals list with 116.
• Four true freshmen have made starts for the Tar Heels. Forward Heck and midfielders Sessa and Sietske Brüning have started all seven games. Goalkeeper Kylie Walbert started against Iowa, Penn and Stanford and played the second half of the remaining games.
• Senior Paityn Wirth had as many assists – three – in the game against Michigan as she did in the entire 2021 season. She now leads the team with five on the season.
• Sessa recorded a hat trick against Michigan in her first game as a Tar Heel.
• Matson and Meredith Sholder were voted by their teammates as the 2022 captains.
• Five members of the Carolina team are members of the 2022-23 U.S. National Team. Seniors Matson, Sholder and Wirth were named to the squad in July, along with freshmen Heck and Sessa

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