UNC is used to winning national championships in women's soccer, but not to the kind of journey the Tar Heels traveled for their 22nd national title. SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE
CHAPEL HILL — After a 4-1 victory against Penn State on Sunday in San Diego, the North Carolina women’s soccer team has now won 22 national championships. This championship run, though, was unlike any other in school history.
The Tar Heels became the first team in NCAA tournament history to win the national championship after advancing through three overtime games. They beat three teams – Baylor, BYU and Stanford – that hadn’t lost a game since August. And UNC became the first five-loss championship team in NCAA women’s soccer history.
To put things into perspective, UNC lost five games – total – between 1986 and 1998. There were a lot of years when the Tar Heels didn’t need a lot of luck to win. But this season, in this NCAA tournament, UNC needed some luck.
On the day after the Heels won the most improbable of all their championships, I caught up with coach Anson Dorrance and Caitlin Ball, a key walk-on defender. Here’s the story.