TAR HEELS & AGGIES ADVANCE TO NCAA THIRD ROUND: The University of North Carolina women's soccer program has received the honor of hosting a third round game in the NCAA Tournament this Sunday at Fetzer Field. The fifth-ranked Tar Heels will match up against 13th-ranked Texas A&M in the NCAA third round. The two teams advanced to the third round after second-round advancements on Friday at Fetzer Field. Tickets Sunday will be general admission and priced at $8 for adults, $5 for students (aged seven through college) and senior citizens (55 plus) and $3 for groups of 20 or more. Ages six and under will be admitted free of charge. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the GoHeels.com Ticket Center. On Sunday, tickets will be available at the Carmichael Arena ticket office beginning at 12 noon. The game will be webcast live on GoHeelsTV with Kyle Straub handling the play by play and Matt Bachman providing color analysis of the match. Watch NCAA Third Round Game, 1:00 p.m. Sunday on Go HeelsTV. Live stats for the game will be provided courtesy of CBSSports.com Gametracker, the premier live stats portal in the college game.
TAR HEELS CONTINUE HUNT FOR NCAA TITLE SUNDAY: The University of North Carolina women's soccer team will continue the defense of its 2012 NCAA championship Sunday when the Tar Heels play host to Texas A&M University at Fetzer Field. Game time is 1 p.m.
The matchup between the Tar Heels (19-4) and the Aggies (18-4-2) was set up after both teams advanced through the NCAA Tournament second round Friday at Fetzer Field. In the first game, Texas A&M rallied from one-goal deficits twice to forge a 2-2 double overtime tie with Texas Tech. The Aggies, winners of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, then advanced on penalty kicks 4-3. North Carolina moved on to the third round by winning the second game of the night, blanking Indiana 4-0.
Coach Anson Dorrance's Tar Heels enter the NCAA Tournament third round with a record of 19-4 after earning an at-large invitation to the tournament. Carolina is the only school in the nation to have qualified for all 32 NCAA Tournaments since the initial event was held in 1982. Texas A&M received the automatic bid from the Southeastern Conference.
ONE OF THE FOUR NO. 1 SEEDS: North Carolina received one of the NCAA Tournament's No. 1 seeds for the first time since 2010. The Tar Heels are one of four ACC teams to earn No. 1 seeds in this year's tournament. Virginia came into the championship as the overall No 1 seed with Florida State the overall No. 2 seed, Virginia Tech the overall No. 3 seed and North Carolina the overall No. 4 seed. The No. 2 seeds in order are UCLA, Florida, Nebraska and Marquette. Through two games in the tournament, the only remaining No. 2 seed is UCLA in Carolina's bracket. All the other No. 2 seeds have already been defeated. In fact, only eight of the 16 seeded teams in the tournament are still alive after two games. All eight ACC teams remain in the tournament field after two games.
Last season, UNC was a No. 2 seed (the overall Top 2 seed in the bracket) and upset three No. 1 seeds (BYU, Stanford, Penn State in that order) in the quarterfinal through championship rounds to claim its 21st NCAA championship and 22nd overall national title.
CAROLINA AS A SEEDED TEAM: In 32 previous NCAA Tournaments, Carolina has received an overall Top 4 seed on 29 of the 32 occasions. In 2013, has regained status as one of the four top seeds in the overall bracket.
Exceptions to that rule are as follows: UNC was the overall No. 5 seed in 2000 but ended up winning the national championship. In 2005, the tournament went to its current structure with four pods of 16 teams (for a total of 64) with four seeded teams in each part of the bracket. UNC was a No. 3 seed in 2011 (reached the NCAA third round) and a No. 2 seed in 2012 (won the national championship).
The Tar Heels were the tournament's No. 1 overall seed on 17 occasions - in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007.
Thirteen of Carolina's 21 NCAA championships happened when the Tar Heels were the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament.
ROUND OF 16 MATCHUPS: Carolina will be looking for its first win in an NCAA Round of 16 matchup since 2009 when it meets Texas A&M on Sunday. The Tar Heels are 0-1-2 in the past three years in the Round of 16. Notre Dame beat the Tar Heels 4-1 in the NCAA third round in 2010. Carolina tied UCF in 2011 (did not advance on penalty kicks) and tied Baylor in 2012 (advanced on penalty kicks). UNC's last Round of 16 win came against Maryland on November 21, 2009, a 1-0 victory for the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill.
Carolina has lost only eight NCAA Tournament matches in history dating back to 1982. Three of those losses have come in the Round of 16, two of them in the NCAA semifinals and three of them in NCAA championship games. Since the NCAA Tournament expanded to at least 16 teams in 1993, UNC is 15-3-2 in NCAA Round of 16 matches, losing only to Santa Clara in 2004 and to Notre Dame in both 2007 and 2010.
FINAL REGULAR SEASON RANKINGS: After a 2-1 overtime loss in the ACC Tournament semifinals on November 8, North Carolina finished the regular-season ranked fifth in all three major national polls. UNC is No. 5 in the NSCAA coaches poll, No. 5 in the Soccer America poll and No. 5 in the Top Drawer Soccer poll.
Virginia was ranked No. 1 in the final NSCAA poll while ACC Tournament champion Florida State was ranked first by Soccer America and Top Drawer Soccer. Texas A&M is currently ranked 13th by the NSCAA and eighth by Soccer America.
TICKETS SUNDAY: All tickets for Friday's games in the NCAA Tournament third round game are general admission.
Tickets price are $8 for adults, $3 for groups of 20 or more and $5 senior citizens (55 and above) and students (ages 7 through college age). Children six-and-under will be admitted free of charge.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at the GoHeels.com Ticket Center. Tickets can also be purchased on game day.
The Carmichael Arena Ticket Office will open at 12 noon on Sunday.
THIRD ROUND GAME TO BE STREAMED LIVE ON GOHEELSTV: Sunday's NCAA Tournament third round game versus Texas A&M at 1 p.m. will also be streamed live on GoHeelsTV for no charge.
Kyle Straub will provide play-by-play coverage while Matt Bachman will do the honors as color analyst. Watch the UNC-Texas A&M game by clicking on this link.
LIVE STATS SUNDAY: Live stats for Sunday's game versus Texas A&M in the NCAA Tournament third round will be available via CBSSports.com Gametracker. Click on this link to follow the game via Gametracker.
CAROLINA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: North Carolina is currently participating in the NCAA Tournament for the 32nd time in school history. Carolina is the only school in the nation to have appeared in each of the previous 31 tournament fields.
Carolina has won 21 of the previous 31 NCAA Tournament crowns. Overall, UNC has an NCAA Tournament record of 117-8-3, a winning percentage of .926. UNC has won at least two games in every NCAA Tournament it has ever played in. The Tar Heels have played in 26 NCAA College Cups in the previous 31 years.
In addition to 21 NCAA championships, UNC has finished second three times and third on another two occasions. UNC is 24-2 all-time in NCAA semifinal games and 21-3 overall in NCAA championship games.
UNC has reached at least the NCAA Round of 16 (currently the third round in a 64-team bracket) in every tournament played to date. Only four times (2005, 2007, 2010, 2011) have the Tar Heels failed to advance to at least the NCAA Tournament quarterfinal round. In 27 NCAA Tournament quarterfinal appearances, UNC has an astounding record of 26-0-1.
CAROLINA VERSUS TEXAS A&M: North Carolina leads the all-time series with Texas A&M 13-2. That includes a 3-0 mark against the Aggies in NCAA Tournament games. All three previous NCAA games were played in the quarterfinal round.
However the Aggies won the most recent meeting between the two teams, getting the best of the Tar Heels on September 11, 2011. The Aggies beat the Tar Heels 4-3 in overtime that day in the Duke Nike Classic at Durham, N.C.
DUNN NAMED ACC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: North Carolina senior midfielder Crystal Dunn was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2013 in a vote of the conference's head coaches. She is the first player in conference history to earn both defensive and offensive player of the year honors during her career. Dunn was the ACC defensive player of the year in both 2010 and 2012.
Dunn is only the second player in ACC history to be named a conference player of the year on three occasions. Mia Hamm won the award three times (1990, 1992, 1993) when there was only an overall player of the year in the league (the awards were split by the league into offensive and defensive awards in the mid-2000s).
Both Dunn and Hamm wore the #19 uniform number at Carolina.
ACC AWARDS FOR THE TAR HEELS: North Carolina senior midfielder Crystal Dunn and North Carolina senior forward Kealia Ohai were both named first-team All-ACC in 2013. Sophomore forward Summer Green was named third-team All-ACC while freshman forward Amber Munerlyn was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team.
Dunn was named first-team All-ACC during each of her four years at Carolina. Ohai was a first-team All-ACC selection on three occasions (2010, 2012, 2013) as well as being named to the All-ACC second team in 2011.
14 GOALS FOR DUNN: Crystal Dunn's 14 goals in 2013 are the most for the Tar Heels in a season since Kealia Ohai tallied 14 goals for the Tar Heels in 2010. Dunn has missed four games out of UNC's total of 23 this season. She missed two games because of duty with the U.S. National Team and two games because of injury.
Kealia Ohai scored a pair of goals for Carolina in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament against Liberty and another goal in the NCAA Tournament second round against Indiana. That gives her 11 goals for the season. This is the second time in her career that Ohai has reached double digits in goals in a season. She had 14 as a freshman in 2010.
THE CAROLINA IRON WOMEN: Crystal Dunn has sat out two Carolina games after suffering a hamstring injury in practice on November 5. She returned to the Tar Heel lineup against Indiana in the NCAA Tournament second round Friday. She made her presence felt almost immediately, scoring the game-winner goal in the 38th minute less than four minutes after entering the contest.
Dunn missed Carolina's 2-1 overtime loss against Florida State in the ACC Tournament semifinals November 8 and the Tar Heels' 4-0 win over Liberty in the NCAA first round on November 16. Those were only the second and third games in Dunn's career that she missed due to injury. The other occasion was against Wake Forest in the 2010 ACC Tournament semifinals. She has also missed nine other games in her career due to national team duties.
Ohai has played in 84 career games, missing only six games in her junior season while she played on the U.S. U20 National Team that won the gold medal at that year's World Cup in Japan. Ohai has started 82 of the 84 games she has played in during her career at Carolina. Ohai moved into the starting lineup on August 27, 2010 versus Stanford in the first home game of her freshman year. She came off the bench in her first two career games against Texas A&M and Michigan State. Her starting assignment versus Texas A&M on Sunday will be her 82nd in a row.
Senior midfielder Kelly McFarlane has played in EVERY Tar Heel game over the past four seasons. She has never missed a game due to injury. She has now played in 90 career games.
Ohai and McFarlane are also the only two Tar Heels to have started all 23 games during the 2013 season.
2013 SHUTOUTS: Carolina has posted 14 shutouts in its first 23 games of the 2013 season. Updated stats on the NCAA website are not available currently through NCAA second round games but the Tar Heels started the week ranked 11th of 323 teams in NCAA Division I in goals against average at 0.543 and tied for 15th in the nation in shutout percentage at 0.591.
The Tar Heel defense is anchored by goalkeepers Anna Sieloff and Bryane Heaberlin as well as by a quintet of rotating starting defenders, which have included during the course of the season senior Megan Brigman, juniors Caitlin Ball and Satara Murray and sophomores Hanna Gardner and Katie Bowen. Holding midfielders Kelly McFarlane and Brooke Elby have also been outstanding all season for the Tar Heels.
Heading into this week's play, senior goalkeeper Anna Sieloff ranked eighth in the nation in goals against average at 0.484. Sieloff will be making her third start in an NCAA Tournament game Sunday versus Texas A&M. This will be her seventh NCAA Tournament game appearance overall. She has allowed a mere six goals in 1,191 minutes this season and two of those were own goals.
JUST TWICE SINCE 1986: Carolina's 2-0 setback against Virginia on October 20 of this season marked only the second loss for the Tar Heels by a margin of more than one goal in 690 games.
That streak traced back to the opening game of the 1986 season. Carolina's only other loss since that time by a margin of greater than a goal came on November 20, 2010 when the Tar Heels lost 4-1 at Fetzer Field against Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament third round.
Heading into the Texas A&M game Sunday, Carolina has lost just two games by a margin greater than a goal in the past 697 matches.
IT'S ALL ABOUT SCORING (AND WELL DEFENDING TOO): Since the start of the 2006 campaign on August 25, 2006 at Texas A&M, North Carolina has scored at least one goal in 178 of the past 197 games.
Carolina is 160-10-8 in games in which it has scored at least one goal during that time. Over the same period of time, UNC is 0-16-3 in the 19 games in which it has failed to score.
In those 197 contests, UNC has shutout its opponents 107 times and gone 104-0-3 in those games.
DID YOU KNOW...: North Carolina would have to lose its next 709 games in a row for Head Coach Anson Dorrance to have a .500 coaching winning percentage in his career at the helm of the Tar Heels.
UNC enters this Sunday's game against Texas A&M with an all-time record of 762-53-29. Dorrance has coached the Tar Heels in all 844 of their games.
DID YOU KNOW, PART 2...: When North Carolina lost to Notre Dame 1-0 on September 15 and to Florida State 1-0 on September 18, it marked the first time since October 16, 1982 and October 17, 1982 that the Tar Heels had lost back-to-back games in regulation time.
The Tar Heels lost to Missouri-St. Louis 2-1 on October 16, 1982 and to Cortland State 2-1 on October 17, 1982 with both games being played at the UCF Invitational in Orlando, Fla.
It took another 31 years for the Tar Heels to lose back-to-back games in regulation time.
OHAI NAMED SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST: Thirty NCAA women's soccer student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as candidates on August 21 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.
On October 15, Ohai was named one of the 10 finalists for the 2013 award. She is the sixth Tar Heel in the seven years of the award to be named a Senior CLASS Award finalist.
The other Tar Heels so designated were 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.
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 winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Women's College Cup® championship in December.
Ballots have been 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.
CAROLINA IN SEASON OPENERS: After a 2-0 win over Santa Clara on August 23 of this season, UNC improved to 29-4-2 all-time in season openers with losses in 1983 (road), 2006 (road), 2007 (home) and 2012 (road) and ties in 1985 (home) and 2002 (road).
UNC IN HOME OPENERS: North Carolina has a record of 31-1-3 in home openers all-time. The only loss came to South Carolina 1-0 in 2007 and the ties were against George Mason in 1985, against Stanford in 2010 and against Florida in 2012.
THE ALL-TIME RECORD: UNC heads into its match against Texas A&M with a record of 762-53-29 overall, a winning percentage of .920.
AVERAGE RECORD PER YEAR: UNC's average record per year in its 35 years of soccer is 21.77 wins per year, 1.51 losses per year and 0.83 ties per year.
SOCIAL MEDIA: You can follow match action on Twitter at @ncwomenssoccer (official feed) and @uncwomenssoccer (players feed).
Live stats for all Carolina matches will also be available on GoHeels.com.
SHUTOUTS ARE INFREQUENT: UNC's 2-0 loss to Virginia on October 20, 2013 was only the 37th time the Tar Heels have been shut out in their history. Altogether, UNC has played 844 matches since 1979. They have been blanked on the scoreboard in only 4.4 percent of the games they have played in. Carolina has suffered 27 shutout losses in its history. The Tar Heels have also played 10 scoreless ties in their history history.
TAR HEELS GARNER 750TH PROGRAM WIN: North Carolina earned the 750th victory in program history when the Tar Heels defeated Virginia Tech 2-1 on September 12, 2013 in Blacksburg, Va. With the win, UNC opened the ACC portion of its schedule with a victory for only the second time in the last four years. In addition, it was Carolina's first victory at Blacksburg since 2007 and a significant win in UNC's 2013 RPI profile as the Hokies went on to earn a No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed.
With the program having now achieved the milestone of getting more than 3/4s of the way to 1,000 overall victories, it is imperative to note they have all come under the tutelage of legendary head coach Anson Dorrance.
The Hall of Fame Tar Heel coach also won 172 games as the coach of UNC's men's team from 1977-88.
Dorrance heads into the Texas A&M game with 762 wins as the women's head coach and 934 victories at the Division I overall.
AN UNDEFEATED, UNTIED NON-CONFERENCE SEASON: With a win over West Virginia 4-2 on September 8, Carolina completed its first undefeated and untied record in non-conference regular-season matches since 2005.
The 2013 Tar Heels wound up their non-conference slate at 6-0-0. The Tar Heels were 8-0-0 in non-conference regular-season games in 2005.
OHAI'S & DUNN'S CAREER NUMBERS: Kealia Ohai has recorded 106 points in her Tar Heel career heading into the Texas A&M game. With an assist on a goal by Meg Morris in the ACC Tournament semifinals against Florida State, Ohai became the 27th player in UNC history to reach the 100-point plateau.
Her 106 career points place her 23rd in Carolina history in career points.
Ohai has scored 40 goals in her career. That equals the 19th highest total in UNC history. Rakel Karvelsson (1995-98) also scored 40 goals in her career.
Crystal Dunn has scored 31 goals in her Tar Heel career heading into Sunday. That equals the 31st highest total in UNC history (tied with Jo Boobas 1983-86 and Anne Morrell 2001-04). Dunn is tied for 41st in UNC history in career points with 87 (Betsy Johnson also had 87 from 1982-85).
Both Kealia Ohai and Crystal Dunn have moved into the Top 45 in career assists at Carolina. Ohai is 43rd with 26 career assists and Dunn is tied for 45th with Birthe Hegstad (1985-88) and Stephanie Zeh (1981-82) in career assists with 25.
30 GOALS, 20 ASSISTS: North Carolina is one of just three schools in the country, joining Ole Miss and Denver, to have a pair of players with both 30 career goals and 20 career assists. Altogether, there are 21 players in the NCAA Division I ranks who have achieved that milestone.
Ohai enters Sunday's game with 40 goals and 26 assists for 106 career points while Dunn has 31 goals and 25 assists for 87 career points.
FIFTEEN ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAS SINCE 2005: UNC has had 16 selections for the Capital One Academic All-America first, second and third teams since 2005. Carolina also had seven women's soccer players named Academic All-Americas from 1983-2001, giving the program 23 selections since the Academic All-America program began in 1983. Following is a summary of the 23 selections since 1983.
- 1983 - Lauren Gregg, third team.
- 1985 - Beth Huber, second team.
- 1993 - Shelley Finger, second team.
- 1994 - Shelley Finger, first team.
- 1998 - Cindy Parlow, first team.
- 2000 - Lindsay Stoecker, second team.
- 2001 - Kristin DePlatchett, first team.
- 2005 - Heather O'Reilly, second team; Lindsay Tarpley, third team.
- 2006 - Heather O'Reilly, first team (Academic All-America of the Year); Anna Rodenbough, second team; Yael Averbuch, third team.
- 2007 - Yael Averbuch, second team; Anna Rodenbough, second team.
- 2008 - Kristi Eveland, first team; Yael Averbuch, first team (Academic All-America of the Year); Anna Rodenbough, second team.
- 2009 - Kristi Eveland, first team; Whitney Engen, second team; Ashlyn Harris, second team.
- 2011 - Adelaide Gay, first team; Amber Brooks, second team.
- 2012 - Amber Brooks, first team.
After being named CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District earlier this month, junior defender Caitlin Ball is now on the ballot and is eligible to become the 24th Academic All-America in UNC history.
UNC'S U20 WORLD CHAMPIONS OVER THE YEARS: When they won the gold medal at the 2012 U20 World Cup, Kealia Ohai, Crystal Dunn and Bryane Heaberlin continued the legacy of outstanding UNC players who have won championships at the FIFA U20 Women's World Cups since 2002. Carolina players have played key roles in all three tournament championships for the USA.
The U.S. beat Germany 1-0 in the final game in Tokyo. Ohai scored the game-winning goal in the match, Dunn had the game-winning assist and Heaberlin played all 90 minutes in goal, shutting out the German side.
In 2002, six Tar Heels were on the American roster - Lindsay Tarpley, Amy Steadman, Lori Chalupny, Heather O'Reilly, Kendall Fletcher and Ashlyn Harris. All but Steadman started in the gold medal game for the U.S. against Canada in Edmonton, Alberta. Tarpley's goal in overtime on a rebound of her own saved shot lifted the U.S. to that title 1-0.
In 2008, a pair of UNC players - Nikki Washington and Meghan Klingenberg - started on the U.S. team which beat North Korea in the championship game on December 7, 2008 in Santiago, Chile. That same day, their UNC teammates defeated Notre Dame 2-1 to win the NCAA championship, their 20th national title, in Cary, N.C. at WakeMed Soccer Park.