LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Connecticut field hockey team fell 4-3 in double overtime to The University of North Carolina Friday in the semifinal round of the NCAA Championship at Trager Stadium.
Connecticut held a 3-0 lead at halftime, but the Tar Heels scored three second-half goals, including two in the final minute of regulation, before getting the gamewinner in the second overtime period.
Sophomore Marie Elena Bolles scored two goals for Connecticut, while sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Mansfield registered 19 saves in the loss. UConn ends the season with a 19-3 record, while North Carolina improved to 23-1 with the win and will face either Maryland or Old Dominion for the national title.
The Huskies got on the board early in the game when Bolles received a deflection from senior Cara Silverman and sent it into the back of the cage in the 15th minute, giving Connecticut a 1-0 lead. Bolles struck again eight minutes later when she gathered a loose ball in front of the cage and knocked it past UNC keeper Sassi Ammer. UConn scored its third goal in the 35th minute after senior Jestine Angelini sent a low ball through the circle off a penalty corner. Sophomore Anne Jeute touched the ball into the cage to give Connecticut a 3-0 lead right before halftime.
The Tar Heels turned up the pressure in the second half, registering 14 shots and earning eight penalty corners. Mansfield totaled nine saves in the half, turning away several UNC scoring opportunities.
After pulling its keeper in favor of an extra field player, North Carolina notched its first goal in the 57th minute when Kelsey Kolojejchick tapped in a pass sent across the circle.
The Tar Heels managed two goals in the final 54 seconds to tie the score and send the game into overtime. After a scoreless first overtime, UNC's Loren Shealy intercepted a pass at midfied in the 94th minute of play. She sent it ahead to Kolojejchick who chipped it over Mansfield for the victory.
Connecticut was playing in its 10th national semifinal, and its third in the last six years. The Huskies fall to 28-21 all-time in NCAA tournament play.