CAROLINA BEGINS NCAA ACTION SATURDAY: The University of North Carolina women’s soccer team will begin defense of its NCAA championship Saturday when the Tar Heels play host to Liberty University at Fetzer Field. Game time is 2 p.m.
Coach Anson Dorrance‘s Tar Heels enter the NCAA Tournament with a record of 17-4 after earning an at-large invitation to the tournament. Carolina is the only school in the nation to have qualified for all 32 NCAA Tournaments since the initial event was held in 1982. Liberty is the champion of the Big South Conference. The Flames were seeded second in the Big South Tournament but routed top-seeded Radford 5-0 in the final to earn the league’s automatic invitation.
ONE OF THE FOUR NO. 1 SEEDS: North Carolina has received one of the tournament’s No. 1 seeds for the first time since 2010. The Tar Heels are one of four ACC teams to earn No. 1 seeds in this year’s tournament. Virginia comes into the championship as the overall No 1 seed with Florida State the overall No. 2 seed, Virginia Tech the overall No. 3 seed and North Carolina the overall No. 4 seed. The No. 2 seeds in order are UCLA, Florida, Nebraska and Marquette.
Last season, UNC was a No. 2 seed but upset three No. 1 seeds (BYU, Stanford, Penn State) in the quarterfinal through championship rounds to claim its 21st NCAA championship.
CAROLINA AS A SEEDED TEAM: In 32 NCAA Tournaments, Carolina has received a Top 4 seed on 29 of 32 occasions. UNC was the overall No. 5 seed in 2000 but ended up winning the national championship. In 2005, the tournament went to its current structure with four pods of 16 teams with four seeded teams in each part of the bracket. UNC was a No. 3 seed in 2011 (reached the third round) and a No. 2 seed in 2012 (won the national championship).
The Tar Heels were the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed on 17 occasions in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007.
Thirteen of Carolina’s 21 NCAA championships happened when the Tar Heels were the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament.
FINAL REGULAR SEASON RANKINGS: After a 2-1 overtime loss in the ACC Tournament semifinals last Friday, North Carolina finished the regular-season ranked fifth in all three national polls. UNC is No. 5 in the NSCAA coaches poll, No. 5 in the Soccer America poll and No. 5 in the Top Drawer Soccer poll.
Virginia is ranked No. 1 in the final NSCAA poll while ACC Tournament champion Florida State is ranked first by Soccer America and Top Drawer Soccer.
TICKETS FOR SATURDAY: All tickets for Saturday’s UNC-Liberty game in the NCAA Tournament first round are general admission. Tickets price are $8 for adults, $3 for groups of 20 or more and $5 senior citizens and students. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the GoHeels.com Ticket Center. Tickets can also be purchased on game day. The Carmichael Arena Ticket Office will open at 1 p.m. Saturday.
FIRST ROUND GAME STREAMED LIVE ON GOHEELSTV: Saturday’s NCAA Tournament first round game between North Carolina and Liberty will be streamed live on GoHeelsTV. Kyle Straub will provide play-by-play coverage of the game. Fans can watch the game live at this link on GoHeelsTV.
LIVE STATS SATURDAY: Live stats for Saturday’s UNC-Liberty game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament will be available via CBS College Sports Gametracker. Fans can view the entire NCAA Tournament bracket here.
CAROLINA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: North Carolina will be participating in the NCAA Tournament for the 32nd time in school history when play begins Saturday against Liberty. Carolina is the only school in the nation to have appeared in each of the previous 31 tournament fields.
Carolina has won 21 of the previous 31 NCAA Tournament crowns. Overall, UNC has an NCAA Tournament record of 115-8-3, a winning percentage of .925. UNC has won at least two games in every NCAA Tournament it has played in. The Tar Heels have played in 26 NCAA College Cups in the previous 31 years.
In addition to 21 NCAA championships, UNC has finished second three times and third on another two occasions. UNC is 24-2 all-time in NCAA semifinal games and 21-3 overall in NCAA championship games.
UNC has reached at least the NCAA Round of 16 (currently the third round in a 64-team bracket) in every tournament. Only four times (2005, 2007, 2010, 2011) have the Tar Heels failed to advance to at least the NCAA Tournament quarterfinal round. In 27 NCAA Tournament quarterfinal appearances, UNC has an astounding record of 26-0-1.
DUNN NAMED ACC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: North Carolina senior midfielder was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2013. She is the first player in conference history to earn both defensive and offensive player of the year honors during her career. Dunn was the ACC defensive player of the year in 2010 and 2012.
Dunn is only the second player in ACC history to be named player of the year on three occasions. Mia Hamm won the award three times (1990, 1992, 1993). Both Dunn and Hamm wore the #19 uniform number at Carolina.
ACC AWARDS FOR THE TAR HEELS: North Carolina senior midfielder Crystal Dunn and North Carolina senior forward Kealia Ohai were both named first-team All-ACC in 2013. Sophomore forward Summer Green was named third-team All-ACC while freshman forward Amber Munerlynwas named to the ACC All-Freshman Team.
Dunn was named first-team All-ACC during each of her four years at Carolina. Ohai was a first-team All-ACC selection on three occasions (2010, 2012, 2013) as well as being named to the All-ACC second team in 2011.
THE CAROLINA IRON WOMEN: Crystal Dunn sat out Carolina’s 2-1 overtime loss against Florida State in the ACC Tournament semifinals last Friday. It was only the second game in Dunn’s career that she missed a game due to injury. The other occasion was against Wake Forest in the 2010 ACC Tournament semifinals. She has missed nine games in her career due to national team duties.
Senior forward Kealia Ohai and senior midfielder Kelly McFarlane have never missed a Carolina game in their careers due to injury. Ohai has played in 82 career games, missing only six games in her junior season while she played on the U.S. U21 National Team. Ohai has started 80 of the 82 games she has played in during her career at Carolina. Ohai moved into the starting lineup on August 27, 2010 versus Stanford. Her start versus Liberty on Saturday will be her 81st in a row.
Senior midfielder Kelly McFarlane has played in every Tar Heel game over the past four seasons. She has never missed a game due to injury. She has now played in 88 career games.
Ohai and McFarlane are the only two Tar Heels to have started all 21 games during the 2013 season.
2013 SHUTOUTS: Carolina has posted 12 shutouts in its first 21 games of the season. The Tar Heels are ranked 14th of 323 teams in NCAA Division I in goals against average at 0.568. UNC is tied for 17th in the nation in shutout percentage at 0.571.
Senior goalkeeper Anna Sieloff currently ranks 13th in the nation in goals against average at 0.526. Sieloff will be making her first start in an NCAA Tournament game Saturday versus Liberty. This will be her fifth NCAA Tournament game appearance.
TWICE SINCE 1986: Carolina’s 2-0 setback against Virginia on October 20 marked only the second loss for the Tar Heels by a margin of more than one goal in 690 games. That streak traced back to the opening game of the 1986 season. Carolina’s only other loss since that time by a margin of greater than a goal came on November 20, 2010 when the Tar Heels lost 4-1 at Fetzer Field against Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament third round.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SCORING (AND DEFENDING TOO): Since the start of the 2006 campaign on August 25, 2006 at Texas A&M, North Carolina has scored at least one goal in 176 of the past 195 games.
Carolina is 158-10-8 in games in which it has scored at least one goal during that time. Over the same period of time, UNC is 0-16-3 in the 19 games in which it has failed to score.
In those 195 contests, UNC has shutout its opponents 105 times and gone 102-0-3 in those games.
DID YOU KNOW…: North Carolina would have to lose its next 707 games in a row for Head CoachAnson Dorrance to have a .500 coaching winning percentage in his career at the helm of the Tar Heels.
UNC enters this Saturday’s game versus Liberty with an all-time record of 760-53-29. Dorrance has coached the Tar Heels in all 842 of their games.
DID YOU KNOW, PART 2…: When North Carolina lost to Notre Dame 1-0 on September 15 and to Florida State 1-0 on September 18, it marked the first time since October 16, 1982 and October 17, 1982 that the Tar Heels had lost back-to-back games in regulation time.
The Tar Heels lost to Missouri-St. Louis 2-1 on October 16, 1982 and to Cortland State 2-1 on October 17, 1982 with both games being played at the UCF Invitational in Orlando, Fla.
It took another 31 years for the Tar Heels to lose back-to-back games in regulation time.
OHAI NAMED SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST: Thirty NCAA women’s soccer student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as candidates August 21 for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate soccer. Amongst the 30 women’s candidates was Kealia Ohai, senior forward for the University of North Carolina and a Draper, Utah native.
On October 15, Ohai was named one of the 10 finalists for the 2013 award. She is the sixth Tar Heel in the seven years of the award to be named a Senior CLASS Award finalist.
The other Tar Heels so designated were Jessica Maxwell in 2007, Yael Averbuch in 2008, Kristi Eveland in 2009, Ali Hawkins in 2010 and Amber Brooks in 2012.
Hawkins won the Senior CLASS Award in 2010.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Women’s College Cup® championship in December.
Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select the candidate who best exemplify excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
To vote for your favorite candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
CAROLINA IN SEASON OPENERS: After a 2-0 win over Santa Clara on August 23, improved to 29-4-2 all-time in season openers with losses in 1983 (road), 2006 (road), 2007 (home) and 2012 (road) and ties in 1985 (home) and 2002 (road).
UNC IN HOME OPENERS: North Carolina has a record of 31-1-3 in home openers all-time. The only loss came to South Carolina 1-0 in 2007 and the ties were against George Mason in 1985, against Stanford in 2010 and against Florida in 2012.
THE ALL-TIME RECORD: UNC heads into its match against Liberty with a record of 760-53-29 overall, a winning percentage of .921.
AVERAGE RECORD PER YEAR: UNC’s average record per year in its 35 years of soccer is 21.71 wins per year, 1.49 losses per year and 0.83 ties per year.
SOCIAL MEDIA: You can follow match action on Twitter at @ncwomenssoccer (official feed) and @uncwomenssoccer (players feed).
Live stats for all Carolina matches will also be available on GoHeels.com.
SHUTOUTS ARE INFREQUENT: UNC’s 2-0 loss to Virginia on October 20, 2013 was only the 37th time the Tar Heels have been shut out in their history. Altogether, UNC has played 842 matches since 1979. They have been blanked on the scoreboard in only 4.4 percent of the games they have played in. Carolina has suffered 27 shutout losses in its history. The Tar Heels have also played 10 scoreless ties in their history history.
TAR HEELS GARNER 750TH PROGRAM WIN: North Carolina earned the 750th victory in program history when the Tar Heels defeated Virginia Tech 2-1 on September 12 in Blacksburg, Va. With the win, UNC opened the ACC with a victory for only the second time in the last four years. In addition, it was Carolina’s first victory at Blacksburg since 2007.
With the program having now achieved the milestone of getting 3/4s of the way to 1,000 overall victories, it is imperative to note they have all come under the tutelage of legendary head coachAnson Dorrance.
The Hall of Fame Tar Heel coach also won 172 games as the coach of UNC’s men’s team from 1977-88.
Dorrance heads into the Florida State game with 760 wins as the women’s head coach and 932 victories at the Division I overall.
AN UNDEFEATED, UNTIED NON-CONFERENCE SEASON: With a win over West Virginia 4-2 on September 8, Carolina completed its first undefeated and untied record in non-conference regular-season matches since 2005.
The 2013 Tar Heels wound up their non-conference slate at 6-0-0. The Tar Heels were 8-0-0 in non-conference regular-season games in 2005.
OHAI’S CAREER NUMBERS: Kealia Ohai has recorded 100 points in her Tar Heel career heading into the Liberty game. With an assist on a goal by Meg Morris in the ACC Tournament semifinals against Florida State, Ohai became the 27th player in UNC history to reach the 100-point plateau.
30 GOALS, 20 ASSISTS: North Carolina is one of just three schools in the country, joinng Ole Miss and Denver, to have a pair of players with both 30 career goals and 20 career assists. Altogether, there are 20 players in the NCAA Division I ranks who have achieved that milestone.
Ohai enters Saturday’s game with 37 goals and 28 assists while Dunn has 30 goals and 24 assists.
FIFTEEN ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAS SINCE 2005: UNC has had 16 selections for the Capital One Academic All-America first, second and third teams since 2005. Carolina also had seven women’s soccer players named Academic All-Americas from 1983-2001, giving the program 23 selections since the Academic All-America program began in 1983. Following is a summary of the 16 selections from 2005-13.
- 2005 – Heather O’Reilly, second team; Lindsay Tarpley, third team.
- 2006 – Heather O’Reilly, first team (Academic All-America of the Year); Anna Rodenbough, second team; Yael Averbuch, third team.
- 2007 – Yael Averbuch, second team; Anna Rodenbough, second team.
- 2008 – Kristi Eveland, first team; Yael Averbuch, first team (Academic All-America of the Year); Anna Rodenbough, second team.
- 2009 – Kristi Eveland, first team; Whitney Engen, second team; Ashlyn Harris, second team.
- 2011 – Adelaide Gay, first team; Amber Brooks, second team.
- 2012 – Amber Brooks, first team.
UNC’S U20 WORLD CHAMPIONS OVER THE YEARS: When they won the gold medal at the 2012 U20 World Cup, Kealia Ohai, Crystal Dunn and Bryane Heaberlin continued the legacy of outstanding UNC players who have won championships at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cups since 2002. Carolina players have played key roles in all three tournament championships for the USA.
The U.S. beat Germany 1-0 in the final game in Tokyo. Ohai scored the game-winning goal in the match, Dunn had the game-winning assist and Heaberlin played all 90 minutes in goal, shutting out the German side.
In 2002, six Tar Heels were on the American roster – Lindsay Tarpley, Amy Steadman, Lori Chalupny, Heather O’Reilly, Kendall Fletcher and Ashlyn Harris. All but Steadman started in the gold medal game for the U.S. against Canada in Edmonton, Alberta. Tarpley’s goal in overtime on a rebound of her own saved shot lifted the U.S. to that title 1-0.
In 2008, a pair of UNC players – Nikki Washington and Meghan Klingenberg – started on the U.S. team which beat North Korea in the championship game on December 7, 2008 in Santiago, Chile. That same day, their UNC teammates defeated Notre Dame 2-1 to win the NCAA championship, their 20th national title, in Cary, N.C. at WakeMed Soccer Park.