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Tar Heels end Virginia

Team sees record-breaking season come to halt in third NCAA semifinal appearance

The No. 2 Virginia field hockey team's record-breaking season came to an end Friday as it lost to No. 3 North Carolina 3-2 in the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

The Cavaliers (20-4) entered the game with 20 wins, a program record. The game marked Virginia's third-ever appearance in the national semifinals and the first since 1998.

Virginia had already played the Tar Heels (19-2) twice this season, winning in the ACC Tournament after dropping the teams' regular season bout. Friday's game was as highly contested as the previous matchups between the two teams.

"The team played their heart out today," Virginia coach Michele Madison said. "I am very proud of their efforts. I am proud of the entire season; it is just unfortunate that it had to end today."

Unlike the afternoon's earlier game between Maryland and Princeton - which ended with the Terrapins winning 7-5 and advancing to the championship game - the match between the Tar Heels and Cavaliers was a grinding defensive struggle.

North Carolina got on the scoreboard first in the 23rd minute as senior forward Danielle Forword converted on a penalty corner. North Carolina held onto its one goal advantage for the remainder of the half and finished with six corners to Virginia's one.

"North Carolina came out strong and was able to get penalty corners, but I thought our defense held up well," Madison said. "We were able to shut down the corner opportunities except for the very last one that they did score."

The Cavaliers rebounded early in the second half, demonstrating how they made it to the Final Four. On one of Virginia's seven corners in the half, sophomore Inga St