ACC Weekly Release: http://theacc.co/accFH2020
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (theACC.com) – The ACC leads all conferences with 20 Division I field hockey national titles, and top-seeded North Carolina and third-seeded Louisville will be battling to bring home a 21st this weekend. The Tar Heels (17-1) and Cardinals (14-5) form half of the semifinal field for the NCAA Championship and are set to take on Big Ten opponents Friday at Karen Shelton Stadium.
• UNC, the host team and two-tie defending NCAA champion, faces No. 4 seed Iowa (12-5) at 1 p.m., followed by Louisville’s match with No. 2 Michigan (14-2) at 4 p.m. Both games are set for broadcast on ESPN3. The winners advance to Sunday’s 7 p.m. championship match, which is set to be shown nationally on ESPNU.
• For the complete bracket to this year’s NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship, please see: http://theacc.co/NCAAfh2021
• Despite a reduced 12-team bracket for this year’s event in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACC placed multiple teams in the NCAA tournament field for the 26th consecutive season.
• The ACC champion Tar Heels will be part of the NCAA field for the 18th consecutive year and a nation-leading 37th time overall during Karen Shelton’s watch as head coach. Louisville, which finished atop the ACC regular-season fall standings, is taking part in NCAA postseason play for the sixth time in seven years and ninth time overall. The Cardinals earned one of three at-large selections extended by the NCAA Field Hockey Committee.
• The ACC currently owns a streak of 32 straight years with at least one team in the NCAA semifinals. Forty-three of the last 72 teams to reach the national semifinals have come from the ACC, including three of the four in 2019.
• UNC’s eight national field hockey titles – all under Shelton’s watch – tie for the second most in NCAA Division I history. Old Dominion leads all programs with nine.
• All seven ACC teams ended the regular season ranked among the top 20 of the NFHCA coaches’ poll, including four among the top 10 – No. 1 North Carolina, No. 3 Louisville, No. 9 Boston College and No. 10 Wake Forest. No. 11 Syracuse, No. 14 Virginia and No. 19 Duke complete the ACC contingent.
• ACC teams have won 20 NCAA Field Hockey Championships, including 13 of the last 19.
• This season marks the 21st time in the last 22 NCAA Field Hockey Championships – and the 28th time in the last 31 years – that the ACC placed at least one team in the title game.
• In the ACC’s 38 years as an NCAA Division I Field Hockey conference prior to this season, league teams have accounted for more than half the total appearances in the national title game (41 of 76).
• North Carolina placed atop the 2020-21 ACC spring standings with a perfect 5-0 mark. The Tar Heels then defeated Wake Forest 3-2 in double overtime in the NCAA Automatic Qualifier Game on April 23 to secure the national No. 1 seed. Louisville was chosen as an at-large team and seeded No. 3.
• After recording 17 victories this season, North Carolina’s Karen Shelton enters the NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship final four as the sport’s all-time leader in coaching wins with 709. Shelton surpassed former UConn head coach Nancy Stevens, who retired last year with an even 700 wins. All of Shelton’s wins have come during her 40-year tenure at UNC.
• Louisville’s No. 3 seeding in this year’s NCAA Tournament is the Cardinals’ best in nine postseason appearances. Louisville was seeded No. 4 in 2019.
• Two of Louisville’s five losses have come at the hands of top-ranked North Carolina, but Louisville also has a win over the Tar Heels in the 2020-21 campaign. The Cardinals’ 3-1 win over UNC last October stands as the Tar Heels’ only loss in their last 64 games.