Tar Heels Lead U.S. Field Hockey in Shut Out
The U.S. field hockey team, behind the goalie play of UNC’s Amy Tran Swensen ’02 and suffocating defense by fellow Tar Heel Katelyn Falgowski ’11, upset Argentina 1-0 on Tuesday.
The win gives the Americans three crucial points in pool play after failing to get any points in an opening loss to Germany. Swensen blocked a pair of shots on goal in the last 20 minutes to help secure the win, while Falgowski shut down Luciana Aymar, who is considered the best field hockey player in the world. Another Tar Heel, Rachel Dawson ’07, also played a solid game over the entire 70 minutes.
But it took goal by Shannon Taylor with seven minutes left in the first half to provide the only score of the game. For the second time in as many U.S. field hockey games, NBC was away at a commercial break when the U.S. scored its only goal. The difference in coverage is obvious, as NBC aired the U.S. women’s soccer match without commercial interruption earlier in the day. NBC also chose to show the last minutes of the France-Colombia soccer match rather than the first 13 minutes of the U.S. field hockey match.
The U.S. team used an up-tempo offense and an unrelenting defense to put it in a better position to win a medal. The Americans haven’t won a medal in field hockey since 1984, while Argentina has medaled each of the last three Olympics. It was the first time in five chances that the U.S. has beaten Argentina in the Olympics.
Maybe it’s time to start showing the U.S. team’s entire matches. Of course there might not be many people watching the next game live anyway, as the U.S. takes on Australia Thursday at 5:45 a.m. (EDT).
— Clifton Barnes ’82