BATTLE FOR NO. 1: ODU Visits North Carolina Friday

September 15, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Sept. 15, 2011

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The unbeaten and second-ranked Old Dominion field hockey team is set to embark on its toughest road trip of the season this weekend. The Lady Monarchs (6-0) will travel to Tobacco Road to take on the University of North Carolina, the nation's top-ranked team, on Friday before heading eight miles northeast to battle No. 6 Duke on Sunday.

North Carolina will be the second No. 1 team ODU has taken on this season. The Lady Monarchs upended top-ranked Maryland 4-0 at home on September 2. With matchups against a pair of Top 10 foes, Old Dominion will now have faced seven squads ranked tenth or better in its first eight contests.

The Lady Monarchs are coming off a pair of victories over No. 5 Syracuse and Ohio State at the Buckeye Classic last weekend. Senior goalkeeper Devon Seifert was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week after shutting out Ohio State and letting in just one goal against Syracuse.

Senior Emma Batten, who tallied a pair of scores last weekend, leads ODU and is second in the CAA with eight goals. Freshman Kelsey Smither paces the team and is fourth in the league with five assists.

North Carolina (5-0) has started the year off with five consecutive wins, including a pair of shutouts last weekend against Delaware and Lafayette. The Tar Heels and Lady Monarchs have one common opponent thus far, with both squads winning narrow one-goal games against Syracuse.

North Carolina is led by Kelsey Kolojejchick's seven goals and Katelyn Falgowski's four assists. Samantha Travers and Jaclyn Gaudioso Radvany each have five scores for the Tar Heels. UNC topped ODU three times last year, including a 5-1 win in the Quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.

Duke, which has won four straight games, moved up three spots in the national rankings after topping then-No. 20 Wake Forest and Longwood last weekend. In addition, the Blue Devils have shutout three consecutive opponents, a feat that Duke hadn't accomplished since 2006.

Junior Devon Gagliardi registered the lone goal for the Blue Devils in their ACC opener against Wake Forest. Gagliardi has tallied four goals to rank second on the team. Emmie Le Marchand paces the squad with 11 points on five goals and an assist.

Fans not in attendance can get updates of the ODU/UNC field hockey game by following @ODUFieldHockey on twitter.