Sixteen years ago, as a star field hockey player at West Chester (Pa.) State College, Karen Shelton had no scholarship. She had to use
her own money to buy the athletic shoes
and field hockey sticks she used in compe-
tition to complement her school-distributed
game shirt and kilt.
"I don't think there's any doubt we've
come a long way in women's athletics," said
Shelton, now head coach of the UNC field
hockey team. "I don't know if the kids
today realize how fortunate they are to be on
scholarship and to have all their equipment
provided for them and to make trips to
places like Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
"I remember at West Chester we didn't
even have one overnight trip during the
regular season the whole time I was there.
We weren't mad about it; that's just the
way things were everywhere at the time."
Shelton led West Chester to three con-
secutive AlAW national championships
from 1976 to 1978 and won the Broderick
Cup (now the Honda Sports Award) each
year as the nation's top player.
She also lettered three times in lacrosse
at West Chester and ended her college
career by being named the school's female
athlete of the year and accepting an invita-
tion to play for the U.S. National Team.
"We used to look forward to our games
at Penn State because it was a three-hour
drive, and that was our longest road trip,"
Shelton said. "We used to think it was a
really big deal that we actually stopped for a
meal on the way home."
Since becoming head coach in 1981,
Shelton has led the Tar Heels to 12 consec-
utive NCAA Tournaments (including the
1989 title), 11 Atlantic Coast Conference
championships and nine straight top-four
national finishes-and field hockey has had
only 12 NCAA Tournaments and 12 ACC
But Shelton's teams certainly don't have
a monopoly on success when it comes to
the University's women's athletic program.
Applying the formula used in the Sears
Cup, which recently rewarded Carolina as
the top overall college sports program in
the nation, UNC ranked among the top
five women's programs in the United States
during the 1993-94 academic year
The brightest spots for the UNC women's
program last year were well-documented.
Sylvia Hatchell's basketball team won its
first national championship with the dramatic
in this issue
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