CHAPEL HILL – Coach Anson Dorrance’s women’s soccer team, coming off the 22nd national championship in the past 32 years, is ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll issued Tuesday by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and sponsored by Continental Tire.
The Tar Heels were 15-5-3 a year ago but ended the season on a remarkable run, beating No. 1 regional seeds BYU, Stanford and PennState in the final three rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The other three participants in the 2012 College Cup are all in the top four of the preseason poll with Stanford ranked No. 2, Florida State No. 3 and Penn State No. 4.
Carolina will play nine of the preseason Top 25 teams in the regular season beginning with 16th-ranked Santa Clara on August 23 in Charlottesville, Va.
In more good news for Carolina soccer, the men’s team has been selected No. 4 in the preseason poll announced Tuesday by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
Coming off an appearance in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals last season, the Tar Heels are poised for another trip to the College Cup after winning the 2011 national championship.
UNC posted a 16-4-3 record one year ago by allowing a mere seven goals, while leading the country in both goals against average and shutout percentage.
Carolina welcomes back seven starters from 2012, including Andy Craven, who led the club in scoring with 17 points on six goals and five assists. Also back is senior Rob Lovejoy and his five goals scored last year, while the back line will be anchored by junior Boyd Okwuonu and sophomore Jonathan Campbell.
The Tar Heels also welcome in a top-10 recruiting class for the 2013 campaign.