This weekend is Women's Final Four, College Cup. I take particular interest in Notre Dame, who are making their 5th consecutive Final Four appearance. The reason I take interest in Notre Dame is that three of my former players play there. Lauren Fowlkes is in her senior year there. I coached Lauren from when she was 8 years old until she was a junior in high school. Lauren also played for the team that won the USYS U14 National Championship and actually scored the only goal in the final game. Mandy Laddish and Elizabeth Wilson, but just for a year or two.
There are actually two other Kansas City area players on the Notre Dame roster making it five in total, so there are many reasons I take a special interest in Notre Dame.
Anyway, last weekend, they beat the University of North Carolina in the round of 16. But it was no ordinary win. They beat UNC 4-1 on UNC's home field, which is the first time that UNC has lost by more than one goal since 1985. I saw the paragraph on the Notre Dame web site and thought it was mind blowing what UNC has accommplished over the years and thought I would share it.
Saturday's win over two-time defending national champion North Carolina was notable for numerous reasons, particularly due to the offensive eruption the Fighting Irish produced on the Tar Heels' home turf. In fact, it was the first time UNC lost a match by multiple goals since Nov. 24, 1985, when the Tar Heels dropped a 2-0 decision at George Mason (a run of 607 matches), and the first time UNC had ever yielded four goals on its home pitch to a college opponent. It also represented the most goals allowed by North Carolina in a single match during the NCAA era (1982-present), with Harvard the only college program ever to score more goals against the Tar Heels, posting a 5-3 win over UNC on Nov. 16, 1980, at the AIAW Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colo.
This doesn't even mention the string of wins and National Championships won by UNC. Here is an excerpt from the UNC web site.
It is difficult to comprehend Dorrance taking Carolina's women's program to any greater heights than what it has already achieved. Yet, for a program consumed with striving for excellence, a national championship every season remains the goal. It is this relentless attitude that has helped the Tar Heels win a mind-blowing 21 of the 29 national championships that have been decided in the history of collegiate women's soccer. Only two other schools in the country have won as many as two titles - Portland in 2002 and 2005 and Notre Dame in 1995 and 2004. Four other schools have won one each - George Mason (1985), Florida (1998), Santa Clara (2001) and USC (2007).
Carolina has also captured 20 of the 22 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championships since the sport was given title status by the league in 1988, with its only two runner-up finishes coming after failing to prevail in penalty kick shootouts after overtime ties in tournament championship games in 1988 and 2004.
UNC also won the initial 1987 ACC title when it was held in a round-robin format at the end of the regular season to determine the champion.
All told, the Tar Heels are 696-36-22 in the 31-year history of the program, a winning percentage of .938.
What Anson Dorrance has accomplished at UNC over the years is simply staggering and mind blowing.
Every now and again I come across these statistics, but I had never heard that UNC hadn't lost by more than one goal since 1985, so I thought that was worth sharing.