Top-ranked North Carolina topped Liberty 2-1 in the first round of the NCAA field hockey tournament Saturday at Henry Stadium to set up a showdown with rival Duke for a spot in the Final Four.
Both of the Tar Heels’ goals came on corners.
Emma Bozek scored on a deflection in the seventh minute, and Casey Di Nardo broke a 1-all tie with a redirection of her own in the 29th. Nina Notman assisted on both goals.
Liberty’s Alynn Richardson tied the game in the 15th minute when UNC goalie Shannon Johnson got caught too far out while trying to play the ball. Ashlee Krulock assisted on the play.
The Tar Heels (18-3) will face Duke Sunday at 2 p.m..
Jessica Buttinger capitalized on a fast break started by Ashley Kristen, spinning and shooting in the back corner of the cage to put Duke ahead 1-0 in the 25th minute. Freshman Alyssa Chillano made it 2-0 in the final minute of the half, scoring on a penalty corner play with Aileen Johnson assisting.
Northwestern got on the board in the 48th minute on a rebound put-back by Lisa McCarthy. The Wildcats had opportunities to tie to game when Duke’s Abby Beltrani was sent off with a yellow card, but couldn’t convert.
The USA South champs were led by Allie Gallagher, who finished 73rd out of 205 runners with a time of 24 minutes, 31.03 seconds.
Emory won the team event by 62 points over Christopher Newport. Mary Washington’s Natalie Young (21:42.55) took individual honors, finishing almost eight seconds better than her next closest competitor.
Caitlin Dorantich dropped her 6,000-meter time below 25 minutes for a personal record and placed 82nd for the Avenging Angels. Illa Jones (25:32.47) was next for Meredith with a season best, and Itzel Gonzalez followed on her heels.
Heather West and Mary Kate Morgan trailed their teammates less than four seconds later with each posting a personal record, and Brittaney Rice improved her pace by 5.5 seconds.