Perennially one of the nation's top programs, the UConn field hockey team will finally have a chance to claim its third national championship tomorrow when the team takes on Duke in the 2013 National Championship game.
The Huskies advanced to the final yesterday after beating No. 3 North Carolina 2-1 in a shootout in the national semifinal. With the win, the No. 4 Huskies are now 20-4 on the year and have a chance to win the program's first national championship since 1985.
The win marks a measure of revenge for the Huskies, who lost to UNC 2-1 earlier this year, but also fell to the Tar Heels in the national semifinals two years ago in the most heartbreaking fashion imaginable.
In that game, UConn led UNC 3-1 with 90 seconds to play, but gave up two quick goals to force overtime. With all the momentum on their side, UNC's All-American junior Kelsey Kolojejchick scored the game-winning goal in the second overtime period, sending the Tar Heels to the championship game while ending UConn's season.
This time, UConn got an early goal from Marie Elena Bolles at the 4:42 mark and then held the Tar Heels to just six shots for the rest of the half. UNC did tie the game 8:43 into the second half, but the rest of the match was evenly contested and went to a shootout after the game remained tied following two scoreless overtimes.
Once in the shootout, UConn goalie Sarah Mansfield stood strong in the net, and Anna Jeute and Chrissy Davidson buried their attempts to send the Huskies to the title game.
The title game is set to begin at 4 p.m., and No. 5 Duke comes in having just upset top-ranked Maryland 3-2 in the earlier semifinal. Duke is 17-6 on the year, and the last time the Huskies and Blue Devils faced off in the NCAA Tournament was in the first round of the 2008 tournament, a game that Duke won.
Watch the game live here.