DURHAM, N.C. -- The Old Dominion field hockey team ended a three-game roadstand with a 3-1 loss to No. 5 North Carolina in Durham on Sunday afternoon.
"The team fought together and worked hard for 70 minutes," said head coach Andrew Griffiths. "Early in the second half, we were not strong on the ball and turned it over a number of times to give them second and third chances, and that is when UNC scored."
Following a scoreless first half, North Carolina (10-2) scored three goals, all off of penalty corners, early in the second half to pull away from Old Dominion (4-7). Ashleigh Thomas scored the lone goal for the Monarchs, knocking home a rebound in the 69th minute to prevent the Tar Heel shutout. Cameran Nery-Strickland picked up the assist on Thomas' goal and now leads the team with four on the season.
The Monarchs are now 1-5 against ranked opponents this season, as UNC marked the third top-five opponent ODU has faced so far this season.
In the first half, the ODU defense was the story line, as goalkeeper Lacey Frazier, in her first career start, and the Monarchs fended off eight shots and six penalty corners to enter halftime deadlocked at 0-0. However, the Tar Heels eventually broke down the ODU backline early in the second half, converting on consecutive penalty corners in the 39th and 42 minutes.
UNC then tacked on its third and final goal in the 47th minute.
Frazier played the full 70 minutes in goal, making six saves. Frazier entered the game with just four career saves.
Overall, UNC held a 20-9 advantage in shots and an 11-4 edge in corners. Individually, Danielle Grega totaled a team-leading three shots and Rebecca Birch recorded two.
The game was played at Duke's Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium due to stadium renovations at UNC.
"We are looking ahead now to have a strong week of practice in preparation for Big East play ahead," said Griffiths.
Up next, the Monarchs host Big East foe Temple on Friday, Oct. 6, at 4 p.m. at the L.R. Hill Sports Complex.
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