One of the biggest things Kristy Bernatchez wants to be in her second season with the University of North Carolina field hockey team is louder.

“I need to be more voal,” Bernatchez said, “not be so timid like a little freshman.”

On Aug. 11, Bernatchez, a Messalonskee High School graduate, will begin preseason workouts with the Tar Heels, with the season opener set for Aug. 30 against Michigan in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Before going to Chapel Hill, Bernatchez will head to Lancaster, Pa., for four days of workouts with the U.S. Under-21 National Team. Bernatchez was named to the team earlier this summer after a four-day training camp, which also was in Lancaster.

Bernatchez, who won Miss Maine Field Hockey in 2012, previously played with the U.S. U-19 and U-17 teams.

“It was a lot more fun than in the past,” Bernatchez said of the U-21 camp. “We played a lot. We learned a lot of new skills.”

When she gets to UNC, Bernatchez will play a new position, left back. Bernatchez played midfield last season, but moved to her new position last spring, and played there when the Tar Heels traveled to Holland for games in late May and ealy June. While in Holland, UNC watched the field hockey World Cup, and Bernatchez contributed to a team blog of the trip for goheels.com, UNC’s official athletic web page.

Bernatchez played in all 24 of UNC’s games last season, starting six. She scored five goals, including one game winner, and had one assist. The Tar Heels went 18-6 and reached the final four for the fifth straight season, where they lost to Connecticut, 2-1 in a penalty shootout, in the semifinals.

Bernatchez is looking forward to the challenges her second year of college field hockey will bring.

“They expect more from you,” Bernatchez said. “I need to get more confidence in the backfield.”

As the confidence comes, the vocal presence will increase. The timid freshman will be nothing but a memory.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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