Lady Monarchs take 2-0 loss to UNC in Final Game
In their final match of the season, the Old Dominion Field Hockey team suffered a 2-0 loss at the hands of no. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels. The loss gave the Lady Monarchs a 7-10 mark to round out the season. It was a hard-fought match played in front of the home crowd. This was a match filled with emotion as it signaled the end of a great run for three seniors.
“With the loss last night things were really emotional. Obviously, this was me Cait and Alyssa’s last day playing on this field. We came out and we left everything out there, we played our hearts out,” senior Meg Byas said.
Byas finished her senior campaign with four goals and two assists, including two game-winning goals on the season.
“It’s really tough because I feel like we underachieved a bit this season. We had good players and good potential and we just had a couple games that just got away from us,” head coach Andrew Griffiths said.
This was a game that Griffiths knew would be tough, but emphasized to play for the seniors and remind them how much they have meant to this program.
“I wanted us to play for them. It’s disappointing for this ride to end a little early but I am so proud of our seniors. These three girls have meant so much to us,” he said.
The Lady Monarchs took on UNC at the very end of last season. The game ended in a 5-1 loss. There certainly was a defensive emphasis on today’s matchup.
In the first half, ODU got some strong defensive play holding the Tar Heels to just six shots. Goalkeeper Kealsie Robles saw a lot of action in the first frame totaling four saves. Robles would be tested frequently in this match.
“Previously when we have played this team we have played them evenly into the half and then in the second half they take the game to us. Defensively we were a lot stronger today despite a 2-0 loss,” said Byas.
The defensive stand would not last into the second half. Marissa Creatore one-timed a pass to the back of the twine in the 45 minute giving the Tar Heels a 1-0 lead.
UNC controlled the ball very well in the beginning of the second frame, scoring once again, just ten minutes later.
“We are almost there but when you have a lapse of concentration against a team like UNC you’re going to have a tough game. They are deep, powerful, and full of talent,” Griffiths said.
Despite going down 2-0 the monarchs saw another strong half from Robles, who added three more saves in her final performance.
The two-goal lead would stand for the remainder of the game solidifying the loss. In the moments following the game, the Lady Monarchs stood together to honor the home crowd one last time. The team stood in front of a roaring home crowd who saluted the departing seniors
“In the locker room, I told them to remember why they play the game. They made it this far because of their love for this game and sometimes when you go into battle, and competition you forget that,” said Griffiths.
Griffiths is nothing but optimistic, however, going forward with a very young and eager team.
“They can be great, but hey have to find a way within the team to push themselves a bit further. This team is young and hungry, with a good spring we can beat anyone.”