The 2015 season kicks off tomorrow! The Tar Heels will be in action on Super Bowl Sunday as they take on the James Madison Dukes. In 2014 James Madison went 11-7 with wins over Virginia Tech, Penn State and Loyola (MD.). Probably the highlight of the 2014 season was only losing to Maryland 10-13. Maryland rolled most of their opponents last year and James Madison kept the game close. It is important to note this was a road game for the Maryland Terps.
This will be the return game for many UNC Tar Heels that had to sit out the entire 2014 season. Brittney Coppa, a preseason All American, returns to lead the offense that should be stacked. Coppa did not play in the scrimmage against Elon but should be in action on Sunday. Also returning from injuries will be Sammy Jo Tracy, Kelly Devlin and Sydney Holman. All three looked fantastic in the scrimmage against Elon last weekend.
If the Tar Heels control draws this game will get ugly fast. The only way the Dukes are going to be able to stay in this game is if they control the ball and time of possession. UNC is known for its speed and attacking offense. Multiple times on Sunday we will see Maggie Bill, Brittney Coppa, Sammy Jo Tracy or Molly Hendrick scoop up a ground ball, sprint to the goal and pass it off to Aly Messinger or Sydney Holman for a quick goal.
At least two Tar Heels will have a hat trick in this game. My guess would be Messinger and Holman but other high scorers may be Carly Reed, Molly Hendrick, Brittney Coppa, Maggie Bill or Alex Moore. If you are going to this game look for #30 on the field. She is quite the hustler and could be a huge addition to the team after leading USC in scoring last year. This transfer is going to open plenty of eyes in the ACC this year.
I will also be keeping my eyes on the freshman Marie McCool, Bridget Curran and Ela Hazer. If any of these freshman can step up it will allow the upperclassmen to get some rest during the game. I don’t think the upperclassman will have to worry about resting in the game against James Madison. The Tar Heels should win by at least 10 goals. My prediction is 24-9 Heels.