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Radford Women’s Field Hockey had a disappointing end to the 2012 regular season as they dropped the last three games of the season. The three losses came against Norpac foe’s Davidson and Longwood on Oct. 24 and Oct. 26, while the other loss came to the number one ranked North Carolina Tar Heels on Oct. 28.
In the first game against Longwood, freshman midfielder Stacey Mackintosh scored two goals but the Highlanders were unable to edge the Lancers after an early goal proved to be the deciding factor.
Mackintosh kept the LU goalkeeper busy as she recorded all six of RU’s shots on goal. Sophomore forward Aston Cox assisted Mackintosh with her second goal of the game. With the goal, Mackintosh became the leading scorer on the team with the seventh goal of the season. The Highs had the edge in corners 8-7, while LU won the shot battle 13-6.
With the win, the Lancers improved to 6-12 on the season and 5-2 in the conference.
The next game featured another matchup with Norpac foe Davidson as Radford fell again, this time to a score of 1-0.
The Highs had outstanding play from junior goalkeeper Sidney Encarnacion as she totaled 13 saves on the day, but Davidson recorded their only goal on the day in the 57th minute of the game, which proved to be enough to grab the victory.
The Wildcats had a 14-2 advantage in shots and earned eight corners in the game. Mackintosh again recorded the most shots for the Highs with three in the game. This game marked the fifth time in the season that RU lost by one goal in league play. Davidson improved to 8-10 overall and 5-2 in Norpac play.
The next game on the road pitted RU against the best team in the nation, the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Mackintosh again did her part on the offensive end of the game by scoring the only goal of the game for Radford, which was also her third goal for the week. Cox chipped in an assist to take over the team lead in assists with four. Encarnacion recorded 12 saves against North Carolina but that would not prove to be enough, as they eventually lost to a score of 6-1.
The Tar Heels led 2-0 heading into halftime and never looked back from there. UNC added two goals in the final three minutes to seal the deal against the Highs.
UNC now holds an impressive 18-1 record on the year.
Even with the loss, Mackintosh made her team-leading eighth goal of the year, an extraordinary feat for such a young player.
Being such a young team, overall, RU Field Hockey only has improvement to make from here on out. Hard work and dedication will be the defining force that will determine how the Highs fare in post-season play.
Radford currently sits at 2-17 on the year and 2-6 in the conference. The road will not get any easier for the Highs as they head into Norpac tournament play as the fourth seed on Nov. 1 against number 13 Stanford. The game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. at Longwood University.