Daly may be more than a spectator at College Cup
North Carolina backup goalkeeper Hannah Daly has probably played more than most true freshmen in the country, but to expect any playing time in the NCAA Women’s College Cup that starts Friday is probably asking too much.
Tar Heels’ senior goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris is nursing a sore elbow and hinted to the 2009 Whittell High School graduate earlier this week that she might have to play at some point.
“She told me if anything happens, to be ready,” Daly said. “I hope everything goes amazingly well at the Final Four in her senior year. Still, I have to be mentally prepared in case anything happens.”
Daly said Harris hurt her elbow earlier in the season, and then reaggravated it during practice this week.
North Carolina (21-3-1) meets Notre Dame (21-3-1) in the second semifinal today at College Station, Texas.
The 5-foot-8 Daly has appeared in nine of the Tar Heels’ 25 games, including one of the team’s NCAA tournament games. She started two games when Harris was with the national team and has allowed two goals on 25 shots.
“My playing time has probably been what I expected,” Daly said. “Ashlyn is an amazing goalkeeper, and it’s been cool to learn from her. I’ve been watching how Ashlyn deals with the stress and how everyone works together.”
Daly said her first college season has flown by, and she’s trying to soak in all the experiences that she can.
“It hasn’t been overwhelming,” she said. “There are new experiences all of the time, so it’s been really cool.
“Maybe tomorrow night when the game actually starts, it might be overwhelming.”
Being a member of the most successful program on campus has made Daly more recognizable at school and in Chapel Hill, N.C.
“It’s a little weird. I’ve given some autographs, but I don’t know why they’d want mine,” she said. “People come up to me and say, ‘Oh, do you play for the soccer team?’ And I just tell them that I’m really doing what I enjoy doing.”
If Daly, who wears No. 21, does participate into Final Four perhaps it will be a good omen for the Tar Heels. North Carolina is seeking its 21st national championship.
Note: Daly’s parents Bob and Jacky Daly of Stateline will attend the game … Friday’s match will be televised on ESPU, which is channel 614 if you subscribe to DirectTV … UCLA (21-2-1) opposes Stanford (24-0) in the first semifinal at 2:30 p.m.
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