TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Archive for September 26, 2018

Sept. 26, 2018 — An overdue honor

Earlier this week, the University of North Carolina announced that the newly-minted field hockey-specific campus stadium would be named for head coach and 1984 Olympian Karen Shelton.

Just about everyone in the U.S. field hockey community has hit upon the same two words to describe the event: “well-deserved.”

Shelton has been at the helm of the Heels’ program for 38 years, guiding her teams to 20 ACC titles and six NCAA championships. The Tar Heels’ excellence was certainly evident in the mid-1990s when they won three straight titles between 1995 and 1997, when the team featured the likes of future Olympian Kate Barber.

But what is also remarkable about UNC’s excellence is its consistency. Between 2007 and 2016, the Tar Heels made the Final Four nine times, the championship game seven times, while winning two titles. That’s an enviable track record in a sport in which goals are rare.

And so, it seems, is Shelton’s coaching acumen.