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Sept. 20, 2013

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 4 Virginia field hockey team suffered its first loss of the season, falling to No. 1 North Carolina, 2-1, Friday night (Sept. 20) at Turf Field.

North Carolina’s Charlotte Craddock scored the game-winning goal with 5:09 remaining in the game, dribbling around from the left side and firing off a shot that got past junior goalkeeper Jenny Johnstone (Paisley, Scotland).

With the loss, Virginia falls to 7-1 and 0-1 in the ACC. North Carolina improves to 7-0 and 1-0 in conference play.

North Carolina controlled the first half of the game, taking nine shots to Virginia’s two, and took a 1-0 lead just under 20 minutes into the game.

After keeping the ball in its attack zone most of the half, UNC looked like it would take that advantage into the break when the Cavaliers pushed the ball up ahead on attack. Senior Hadley Bell (Shaker Heights, Ohio) fired off a pass from outside the circle, finding freshman Riley Tata (Virginia Beach, Va.) positioned right in front of the net, tying the game 1-1 with 1:39 remaining in the period.

“The ball all of a sudden was behind the defense,” Tata said. “It just slipped in, hit my stick and went in. It was a great pass from Hadley. It was perfect.”

In the second half, the game was mainly a midfield battle with the two teams that was much more evenly balanced in time on attack. UNC fired off four shots in the second period with Virginia making three attempts.

“I thought our game plan worked pretty well, it was just the attack plan that needed a little more,” said head coach Michele Madison. “In the first half, UNC attacked the right side a lot. In the second half, we adjusted to shut down the right side and that really helped us. We will go back and break down film and show the team where the mistakes were and what we forced UNC into and go on from here.”

Johnstone finished the game with seven saves. UNC’s Sassi Ammer made two.

Tata had two shots, both on goal. Bell also had a shot on goal. Juniors Kelsey LeBlanc (Haverford, Pa.) and Jess Orrett (Wells, Somerset, England) took the Cavaliers other shots.

Virginia will take on another ranked team on Sunday, Sept. 22 when the Cavaliers host No. 13 Northwestern at 1 p.m. Admission is free for all regular-season home games played this season at Turf Field.

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