TAR HEELS OPEN SEASON AT KLOCKNER CLASSIC: Defending NCAA champion North Carolina opens its 2013 women's soccer campaign Friday against West Coast Conference foe Santa Clara at 5 p.m. at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.
The Tar Heels will be playing two games this weekend at the University of Virginia as part of the University's season-opening Klockner Classic. On Friday, UNC will meet long-time traditional non-conference foe Santa Clara at 5 p.m. while Virginia will meet Virginia Commonwealth at 7:30 p.m.
On Sunday, the two ACC teams will flip flop opponents with the Tar Heels meeting VCU at 12 noon and Santa Clara facing up against the host Cavaliers at 2:30 p.m.
LIVE COVERAGE THIS WEEKEND: Neither Tar Heel game this weekend will be televised or webcast but live stats will be available through the University of Virginia athletics website.
The Gametracker link for Friday afternoon's North Carolina versus Santa Clara game can be found here.
The Gametracker link for Sunday afternoon's North Carolina versus VCU game can be found here.
Twitter updates during the weekend will also be available through @ncwomenssoccer (Official Athletic Dept. account) and through @uncwomenssoccer (Players & Team account).
IN THE RANKINGS: After winning the 2012 NCAA championship, North Carolina enters the 2013 campaign ranked #1 in all three major polls - the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, the Top Drawer Soccer poll and the Soccer America poll. UNC finished last year with a 15-5-3 record.
Santa Clara is ranked in the Top 20 of all three major polls. The Bronocs, who were 12-4-6 last year, are ranked #9 by Soccer America, #11 by Top Drawer Soccer and #16 by the NSCAA. A year ago, the Broncos beat Long Beach State 2-1 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to top-ranked Stanford 2-1 in the second round.
The VCU Rams are in their first season under the leadership of new head coach Lindsey Vanderspiegel. The Rams were 12-5-5 last season and lost 2-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament championship match to La Salle.
PRESEASON HONORS FOR DUNN & OHAI: A pair of North Carolina seniors were named earlier this week to the preseason All-America Team named by Soccer America and the Hermann Trophy Watch List.
On Tuesday, the pair of UNC veterans were both named to the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List for 2013. A total of 31 women in NCAA Division I were named to the Watch List. Dunn won the Hermann Trophy in 2012, the first Tar Heel to do so since Catherin Reddick in 2003.
RETURNING STATERS & LETTER WINNERS: Carolina returns a veteran team from the 2012 NCAA championship squad. Overall, coach Anson Dorrance's team has 22 letter winners back from last year and eight starters from the 2012 NCAA championship game.
Returning starters include senior Kealia Ohai at center forward, sophomore Summer Green at right forward, senior Crystal Dunn at attacking center midfield, senior Meg Morris at left midfield, sophomore Katie Bowen at right midfield, sophomore Hanna Gardner at left back, junior Caitlin Ball at center back and junior Satara Murray at right back. Senior Megan Brigman, the UNC starter at left back in 2010 and 2011, also returns for her final season after redshirting in 2012.
UNC lost three players who started in last year's national championship game - Maria Lubrano at left forward, Amber Brooks at holding center midfield (where she was a four-year starter) and Adelaide Gay at goalkeeper (where she was a two-year starter).
OHAI NAMED SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE: Thirty NCAA women's soccer student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as candidates Wednesday 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.
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 winners will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Men's and Women's College Cup® championships in December.
The 30-candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. 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.
For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
Since the award was instituted in 2007, North Carolina has had five finalists for the award, including 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.
UNC VERSUS SANTA CLARA ALL-TIME: North Carolina is 15-4 all-time against Santa Clara although the Broncos have won four of the last six meetings between the two teams. The most recent game came on September 14, 2008 when the Tar Heels beat the Broncos 5-0 in Palo Alto, Calif.
Santa Clara and Florida State own the second most wins over UNC history with four apiece. Only Notre Dame, with five wins over the Tar Heels, has beaten Carolina more often.
UNC VERSUS VCU IN HISTORY: Sunday will mark the fourth meeting in history between UNC and VCU. The Tar Heels have won all three previous encounters. The most recent meeting came on September 12, 2007 when the Tar Heels won 4-0 in Richmond, Va.
CAROLINA TAPPED TO WIN ACC TITLE: North Carolina, which returns eight starters from last season's NCAA Championship team, has been selected first in the Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Poll.
Coach Anson Dorrance's Tar Heels received 13 first-place votes in balloting among the ACC's 14 head coaches. Defending regular-season conference champion Florida State received the other first-place vote.
North Carolina collected a total of 119 total points (14 points for each first-place vote, 13 points for each second-place vote, etc.). FSU, which joined the Tar Heels in the 2012 NCAA College Cup, and 2012 ACC Tournament Champion Virginia were selected second and third, respectively. The Seminoles amassed 171 total points to the Cavaliers' 161. Duke (153 points), new ACC member Notre Dame (143) and Wake Forest (140) were selected to finish fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. Maryland (110 points) placed seventh in the ACC's coaches' poll, while Boston College (102) placed eighth. Virginia Tech, one of a record nine ACC teams to compete in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, collected 85 points in the coaches' voting, followed by Clemson and Miami, which share a tie for 10th with 56 points each.
North Carolina's long list of returnees from last season's national championship squad team includes MAC Hermann Trophy winner and ACC Defensive Player of the Year Crystal Dunn, and 2012 NCAA Women's College Cup's Most Outstanding Offensive and Defensive Players Kealia Ohai and Satara Murray.
TOP DRAWER SOCCER NAMES TWO TAR HEELS TO TOP XI TEAM: Senior defender Crystal Dunn and senior forward Kealia Ohai were named JULY 31 to the 2013 preseason Top Drawer Soccer Best XI Team. The first, second and third teams essentially serve as Top Drawer Soccer's preseason All-America Teams.
Dunn and Ohai were both post-season members of the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Season in 2012 as Carolina won its 22nd national championship. Dunn was named as a defender on the team despite the fact she played the last six games of 2012 as a midfielder.
WCHL BROADCAST SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED: For the third successive year, WCHL radio in Chapel Hill is partnering with UNC Athletics to bring live broadcasts of Carolina women's and men's soccer to Tar Heel fans. WCHL will air eight regular season women's games this fall as announced by Barry Leffler, CEO and Managing Partner of WCHL.
Games will be available on WCHL (97.9 FM and 1360 AM) in the Triangle and streamed live on the World Wide Web at chapelboro.com.
Paul Connell will serve as the play-by-play announcer for the broadcasts for the second straight year and will be joined by analysts John Stanley and Gerry O'Donnell. Former Tar Heel All-America Wendy Gebauer Palladino will also be making appearances as a guest analyst throughout the season and other Tar Heel alumni will be guest commentators during broadcasts.
Altogether, eight regular-season women's games and two regular-season men's games are on the broadcast docket with possibilities for post-season broadcasts as well.
The women's broadcast schedule includes:
Sunday, Sept. 8, vs. West Virginia (at Durham, N.C.), 11 a.m.
Sunday, Sept. 15, vs. Notre Dame, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 6, vs. Maryland, 1 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 10, vs. NC State, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 20, vs. Virginia, 1 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 24, vs. Clemson, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 27, at Wake Forest, 1 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 31, vs. Duke, 7 p.m.
FIVE TAR HEELS ON TDS PRESEASON TOP 100 LIST: Five members of the 2013 University of North Carolina women's soccer team have been named to the Top Drawer Soccer preseason Women's Top 100, ranking the top upperclassmen from 1 to 100.
Two UNC seniors were named to the Top 10 on the list with midfielder Crystal Dunn ranked No. 1 and forward Kealia Ohai ranked No. 7. Sophomore forward Summer Green is ranked No. 49, sophomore defender Hanna Gardner is ranked No. 59 and sophomore midfielder Katie Bowen is ranked No. 61. You can view the entirety of the Top Drawer Soccer Preseason Women's Collegiate Top 100 at this link.
TELEVISION SCHEDULE FEATURES UNPRECEDENTED COVERAGE : The Atlantic Coast Conference has announced the fall sports broadcast schedule for 2013 and the University of North Carolina women's soccer team will appear six times in regular-season games on the ESPN family of networks. The defending NCAA champions could also appear twice in ACC Championship post-season games.
Carolina's home games with Notre Dame, Maryland, NC State and Duke will all be shown on ESPN3. The Maryland game on October 6 will also be shown on the league's regional sports networks (RSN) which include FOX Sports Carolina, FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Florida, FOX Sports Indiana, Sun Sports, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, NESN, YES, ROOT SPORTS and MSG. UNC road match at Pittsburgh will also be an ESPN3 telecast. The match at Florida State on September 18 will receive coverage from ESPNU.
Several other UNC games will be webcast live on GoHeelsTV.
Carolina could also appear twice more on the ESPN Family of Networks in the ACC Tournament. The semifinal games will air on November 8 on ESPN3 and the championship game is November 10 at 4 p.m. on ESPNU.
All contests will also be available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox and AppleTV via WatchESPN.
Regular Season Games On TV or Webcast
Friday, Aug. 30, New Mexico at North Carolina, 5 p.m., GoHeelsTV
Sunday, Sept. 1, Kennesaw State at North Carolina, 3 p.m., GoHeelsTV
Sunday, Sept. 15, Notre Dame at North Carolina, 1 p.m., ESPN3
Wednesday, Sept. 18, North Carolina at Florida State, 8 p.m., ESPNU
Thursday, Sept. 26, North Carolina at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m., ESPN3
Sunday, Oct. 6, Maryland at North Carolina, 1 p.m., RSN/ESPN3
Thursday, Oct. 10, NC State at North Carolina, 7 p.m., ESPN3
Thursday, Oct. 17, Syracuse at North Carolina, 2 p.m., GoHeelsTV
Sunday, Oct. 20, Virginia at North Carolina, 1 p.m., GoHeelsTV
Thursday, Oct. 24, Clemson at North Carolina, 7 p.m., GoHeelsTV
Thursday, Oct. 31, Duke at North Carolina, 7 p.m., ESPN3
Potential Post Season Games For TV/Webcast
Friday, Nov. 8, ACC Tournament Semifinals, 5:30 and 8 p.m., ESPN3Sunday, No. 10, ACC Tournament Final, 4 p.m., ESPNU