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Virginia squad suffers OT defeat in big game

The No. 5 Virginia field hockey team fell to No. 2 North Carolina Saturday in a battle between the ACC’s top two teams.

Virginia (13-3, 2-1 ACC) had not lost to a top-five opponent all year, and the Tar Heels (15-1, 4-0 ACC) needed all of regulation plus six minutes of overtime to achieve victory.

North Carolina sophomore forward Loren Shealy scored the game’s first goal five minutes into the contest, but Virginia redshirt senior midfielder Michelle Vittese tied the game 15 minutes later after dribbling a penalty corner into the middle of the circle and launching a successful shot. The game remained tied through the half.

Virginia took the lead early in the second period when junior forward Hadley Bell found sophomore forward Rachel Sumfest at the goal’s corner for an easy score. Virginia held its lead for most of the game, but the Tar Heels pulled their goalkeeper with eight minutes left to create a one-man advantage. With fewer than five minutes to go, North Carolina sophomore forward Charlotte Craddock tied the game off a penalty corner to send the match into overtime.

North Carolina controlled the pace of the game in overtime, taking two shots compared to zero from Virginia. Five minutes into the period the Tar Heels took a foul in the circle, setting up a penalty corner that gave them the game-winning goal.