JMU field hockey fell to No. 1 North Carolina 9-0 on Sunday, it’s the third straight loss to a top-5 team. The Dukes were outshot 18-5 and only managed two shots on goal.
“[The mentality was] to compete and we did compete,” JMU head coach Christy Morgan said. “They’re good scorers; they’re really good scorers, and we competed. We didn’t roll over, we didn’t loom at the score at all — we competed.”
JMU opened the game with a scoring opportunity but failed to capitalize when sophomore forward Ongeziwe Mali’s shot went wide. UNC got the scoring started in the fourth minute when sophomore forward Erin Matson scored her first of four goals of the afternoon to make it 1-0.
It was one of three goals in the first 10 minutes of the game for the Tar Heels. Sophomore midfielder Abby Pitcairn and senior forward Marissa Creatore scored in the eighth and 10th minute, respectively, to extend the lead to 3-0.
Despite having a 2-1 advantage in penalty corners in the first half, JMU trailed 5-0 heading into halftime. The Dukes were outshot 9-4 in the first half and made three saves during the opening 35 minutes.
In the second half, JMU withstood three-straight corners to prevent UNC from scoring but allowed another goal when senior forward Catherine Hayden made it 4-0 in the 17th minute. The Tar Heels scored three goals in a 10-minute span to make it 7-0.
Hayden and Matson scored in the 50th and 58th minutes, respectively, to end the scoring at nine. When North Carolina scored, JMU responded by marching down the field and putting pressure on UNC’s defense. The Dukes had multiple chances to score but failed to capitalize.
“It’s really great to see people not hang their heads today and just keep fighting,” redshirt senior forward/midfielder Miranda Rigg said. “I didn't look at the scoreboard after halftime. We just wanted to keep fighting and keep going after them. They’re a great team; we just wanted to keep playing our game.”
With the loss, JMU falls to 3-6 on the season. The Dukes look to use this game as a learning experience for the rest of the season as they attempt to snap their losing streak with conference play starting on the road against William & Mary on Friday at 7 p.m.
“Our ability to play defense as a unit and really work on our recovery as a defense,” redshirt senior defender Megan Guzzardi said. “Making sure we’re seizing on those opportunities to score, that we’re framing the post and we have everyone in the circle down and ready to score.”
Contact Jason Clampitt at email@example.com. For more field hockey coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.