Photo Courtesy: Go Heels

CHAPEL HILL – UNC claimed one of the most prestigious trophies in college sports Thursday. The Tar Heels’ women’s athletics program finished first in the annual Capital One Cup, which is awarded to the best men’s and women’s Division I athletics programs in the country.

With its first Capital One Cup trophy and $200,000 toward student-athlete scholarships, Carolina will be honored during this year’s ESPY Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on July 17.

UNC beat two-time defending winner Stanford University to win the Capital One Cup, on the strength of a women’s soccer nation title, a lacrosse national title, a runner-up finish in the field hockey championship, and a fourth-place finish in the final tennis coaches’ poll.

Under women’s soccer head coach Anson Dorrance, the program has won 21 of the 31 NCAA Championships.

“I think we’ve always had positive stories here about extraordinary achievements with some amazing young women here. It’s certainly exciting for us to be in a position to show that we can compete with anyone in the country,” Dorrance said.

Karen Shelton, head coach of the field hockey team, says Dorrance has been a trailblazer for the university.

“I think Anson Dorrance has really set a tone for women’s athletics at Carolina. He is an absolute genius and all of the coaches look to him for leadership. I think his success has put a spotlight on the Carolina women’s program,” Shelton said.

Lacrosse head coach, Jenny Levy, won the program’s first nation title in dramatic fashion. The Heels took-down No. 1 undefeated Maryland with a sudden death goal in the fourth overtime period of the game. It was the longest title game in the NCAA history.

“Our female athletes at North Carolina do a great job and I think sometimes in today’s climate with all the distractions going on with football, that gets over-looked. I think this is a great opportunity for us to celebrate the excellence we have here,” Levy said.

Tennis head coach Brian Kalbas recently finished one of the most successful seasons in his program’s history as well.

“It’s always amazing to accomplish something first in the history of your program. To accomplish this for all women’s sports at Carolina is a tremendous honor. For our program personally, we won our first national title winning the ITA Nation Indoor Championship in February. We were the top ranked teem for 10 weeks and we finished fourth in the nation,” Kalbas said.

Below are the official Capital One Cup women’s final standings for the 2012 – 2013 season, with the top-10 point earners in women’s Division I athletics listed.

Women’s Capital One Cup Final Standings
Rank School Points
1 North Carolina 140
2 Stanford 129.5
3 Oregon 112
4 Texas 92
5 Penn State 89
6 Florida 85
7 Oklahoma 74
8 Kansas 72
8 Southern California 72
10 Connecticut 71