Weekend College Games: NCAA Division I Final Four

by USA Field Hockey

And then there were FOUR! The 2020 NCAA Division I Field Hockey Tournament Semifinal matches are set! Below is a breakdown of the upcoming games and how to watch!

All four seeded teams in the tournament won in the NCAA Division I Quarterfinals on Sunday, advancing to the Semifinals. The four seeded teams combined to allow just one goal across those games, with three of the four teams winning in shutout fashion.

In the NCAA Semifinals, which will take place Friday, May 7, No. 1 seed North Carolina will meet No. 4 seed Iowa, while No. 2 seed Michigan will face No. 3 seed Louisville. The winners of the Semifinals will face off in the Division I National Championship on Sunday, May 9 at 7:00 p.m. ET. North Carolina will host the NCAA Semifinals and Final at Karen Shelton Stadium.

At the end of March, ESPN and the NCAA announced the NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship will be presented live on ESPN’s linear and digital networks through at least 2023. The NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship Semifinals and Final will be available on an ESPN network for the first time since the 1987 championship, as the upcoming, rescheduled 2020 title game will be televised live on ESPNU on Sunday, May 9 in primetime at 7:00 p.m. ET. The semifinals, available on ESPN3, are set for Friday, May 7 at 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. ET. Additionally, the championship trophy presentation, immediately following the conclusion of the title game, will be carried on ESPN3.

2020 NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship Bracket

Friday, May 7, 2021

NCAA Semifinals 

#1 North Carolina vs. #4 Iowa | 1:00 p.m. ET | ESPN3 

No. 1 North Carolina earned a 2-0 win over Stanford on Sunday to earn a spot in the NCAA Final Four. This is the 12th year in a row and 25th time in program history to reach the Semifinals. No. 4 Iowa downed Big Ten opponent Northwestern, 3-1, to advance to the program's 12th Final Four.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Tar Heels got on the board in the 23rd minute off their third penalty corner. That lead held into halftime and then into the fourth frame before Erin Matson's goal, which came with three minutes to play. After the ball bounced off Stanford's goalkeeper's pads, Matson gathered the rebound and sent it into the far top corner of the cage for the 2-0 lead and eventual win. UNC outshot Stanford, 16 to 6, and led 5 to 1 in penalty corners.

The Hawkeyes wasted no time and notched a goal in the first quarter. Northwestern answered back right away in the second frame, with a goal off a penalty corner to even the game. Iowa wasn't done for the half and registered their second goal to take a 2-1 lead at the half. The Hawkeyes kept rolling, opening the third quarter with a penalty corner goal to seal the game.

These teams played in the 2019 NCAA Second Round, where the close contest saw North Carolina win, 2-1.

The winner of this NCAA Semifinal game will advance to the Final on Sunday, May 9.

The North Carolina Field Hockey Team celebrates a goal over Stanford in the NCAA Second Round

The Iowa Field Hockey Team celebrates their win over Northwestern to advance to the NCAA Final Four

#2 Michigan vs. #3 Louisville | 4:00 p.m. ET | ESPN3

No. 2 Michigan advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the fifth time in program history and second time in four seasons after defeating Bucknell, 2-0. No. 3 Louisville defeated Connecticut 1-0 to move on to the NCAA Final Four for the first-time in program history.

The Wolverines started a bit slow but settled in, and largely dictating play, by the second quarter. Katie Anderson broke through just 62 seconds before the halftime break, at 28:58, after carrying the ball into the circle from midfield and blasting a hard shot to the lower-left corner of the cage. Michigan padded its lead off a penalty corner just minutes into the third quarter, at 32:34. It was the Wolverines' second penalty corner after failing to get a shot off on their first. After a struggled stop at the top, Halle O'Neill recovered to get a shot on goal, and rebound kicked to the left, where junior Kathryn Peterson, who inserted, banged it in behind the Bison goalkeeper. Michigan outshot the Bison, 10 to 4, and out-cornered them, 3 to 2.

A goal in the first quarter stood as the game-winner and was all the Cardinals needed to advance to the NCAA Semifinals. The game was tightly contest with each team firing off nine shot and earning seven penalty corners. Connecticut had five shots on goal while Louisville finished with four. The Cardinals jumped on the scoreboard with under four minutes left in the first quarter. Alli Bitting inserted on the penalty corner and Mercedes Pastor's shot from the top went toward the goal and Bitting was there to deflect it in.

These teams last met in the 2019 NCAA First Round, where Louisville won a thrilling double overtime game, 2-1.

The winner of this NCAA Semifinal game will advance to the Final on Sunday, May 9.

The Michigan Field Hockey Team celebrates a goal over Bucknell in the NCAA Second Round

The Louisville Field Hockey Team celebrates their win over Connecticut to advance to the NCAA Final Four


Sunday, May 9, 2021

NCAA Final 

No. 1 North Carolina defeated No. 4 Iowa to advance to the NCAA Championship game. The two-time defending champions are playing in their 20th appearance in search for their ninth title. No. 2 Michigan advanced to the title game for the third time in program history and first time since capturing the 2001 national championship after beating No. 3 Louisville in the sixth round of the shootout.

Two freshmen scored their first career goals and the nation's leading scorer added one more as top-seeded North Carolina shut out Iowa 3-0. After a scoreless first quarter, UNC went up for good in the 23rd minute while in a player-up advantage because of an Iowa green card. Shortly after that score, the game went into the first of two lengthy weather delays because of lightning in the area. Back on the field for the third quarter, the Tar Heels drew two penalty corners and scored on both. The teams finished tied in shots with nine each. Iowa drew six penalty corners, including five in the fourth quarter, and UNC had four.

The Wolverines converted in the sixth round of the shootout to propel the Michigan to a 2-1 win againstLouisville in the Semifinals. After a scoreless first half, Michigan struck first, while shorthanded, on a penalty corner at the 34:34 mark in the third quarter. Louisville put Michigan on their heels for much of the fourth quarter. The Wolverines stopped five penalty corners over an eight-minute stretch but could not stop the sixth, as the Cardinals converted at 58:42. Two scoreless overtime periods and then a tied first round of a shootout at 3-3 forced it into a sudden victory shootout. Michigan converted to win.

The last time these teams played was the season opener in 2019 that North Carolina won, 4-2.