CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The University of North Carolina officially announced its 2013 women's soccer schedule Thursday afternoon. The 19-game regular-season schedule for the defending NCAA champions includes 13 ACC matches with the addition of Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the league.
Coach Anson Dorrance's team is coming off its 22nd national championship season in 2012, a title won after the Tar Heels had an inconsistent regular season performance last season. But UNC got hot at the right time, winning three overtime games in the NCAA Tournament and finishing 15-5-3 overall (6-3-1 ACC). The Tar Heels triumphed in the 2012 NCAA championship match over Penn State 4-1.
Carolina will open the season with appearances in three Nike-sponsored tournaments at Virginia, Carolina and Duke, respectively. UNC will meet Santa Clara and VCU in Charlottesville, host New Mexico and Kennesaw State in Chapel Hill and meet up with UCLA and West Virginia in Durham.
Altogether, UNC will play 12 of its 19 regular-season matches against teams that played in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. That group includes NCAA semifinalist Florida State, NCAA quarterfinalists Duke, Notre Dame and UCLA as well as Santa Clara, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami, Maryland, Boston College, Virginia and Wake Forest.
The league slate begins with a match at Virginia Tech, a place UNC has not won at since 2007, on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. Three days later, UNC will meet long-time rival Notre Dame for the ACC home opener for the Tar Heels at Fetzer Field at 1 p.m.
Four of the first five ACC matches are on the road before Carolina hosts five of six matches in Chapel Hill between October 6 and October 24. UNC's match with Syracuse on October 17 is scheduled for 2 p.m. on a Thursday so as not to conflict with that night's UNC-Miami football game in Chapel Hill.
The ACC slate concludes on Halloween Night in Chapel Hill when Carolina meets arch-rival Duke at 7 p.m. at Fetzer Field on Thursday, October 31.The ACC Tournament quarterfinals are set for the home fields of the Top 4 seeds on Sunday, Nov. 3. Semifinals are Friday, Nov. 8 and the championship on Sunday, Nov. 10 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.