By R.L. Bynum
North Carolina’s thrilling 4–3 overtime victory Sunday over Michigan for the Tar Heels’ third consecutive field hockey national championship could be just the start of a highly decorated spring for the University of National Champions.
Six other Tar Heels teams still have shots at the national championships. You can cheer on four of them in the Triangle in the coming days or follow them on television or via streaming options.
Two are a pair of victories away from national titles — the men’s soccer team and the women’s soccer team — and two open tournament play this weekend as the No. 1 overall seeds — men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse. The No. 1-seed and unbeaten women’s tennis team and the No. 6-seed men’s tennis team are each in the round of 16.
The men’s and women’s tennis teams are playing in Orlando, Fla., but the rest are playing in North Carolina with the lacrosse teams both on campus at Dorrance Field. The soccer teams play at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.
Next up in the drive for more NCAA titles is the No. 2-seed women’s soccer team (18–1), which faces No. 11-seed Santa Clara (9–1) at 8:30 Thursday night on ESPN2 in a semifinal of the Women’s College Cup.
A win puts the Tar Heels in the national-championship game Monday at 5:30 p.m. against the winner of Thursday’s other semifinal between No. 1-seed Florida State (13–0–1) and Virginia (14–4–2).
Carolina’s women, seeking the program’s 22nd NCAA title, haven’t given up a goal in the last seven matches. The last team to score on the Tar Heels was Florida State in a 3–2 Seminoles victory Nov. 15. The Tar Heels made a national semifinal by beating Denver 2–0, Washington 1–0 and No. 7-seed Texas A&M 1–0.
The men’s soccer team (9–4–4), coming off a quarterfinals upset of No. 5-seed Wake Forest, meets Marshall (11–2–3) at 6 p.m. Friday in Cary on ESPN2 in a semifinal matchup of the men’s College Cup unseeded teams.
This is UNC’s ninth College Cup appearance and seventh in the last 13 years. A UNC win would put the Tar Heels in the NCAA final Monday at 8 p.m. against either No. 3-seed Indiana (11–1–2) or No. 2-seed Pittsburgh (16–3). The Tar Heels, who own a four-game unbeaten streak, made a national semifinal after advancing past Charlotte on penalty kicks in a 1–1 match, No. 4-seed Stanford 1–0 and the Deacons 2–1.
Carolina is the only school with its men’s and women’s teams both in the College Cup.
UNC’s top-seeded men’s lacrosse team (11–2) meets Monmouth (8–2) in Chapel Hill at noon Saturday on ESPNU. A win would advance the Tar Heels to a May 22 second-round game in Hempstead, N.Y., against either No. 8-seed Lehigh (10–1) or Rutgers (18–3). Here’s the full bracket.
Carolina’s top-seeded women’s lacrosse team (18–0) has a first-round bye and opens in Chapel Hill at noon Sunday on ESPN3 against the winner of Friday’s 5 p.m. game at Dorrance Field between James Madison (11–4) and Johns Hopkins (18–6). Here’s the full bracket.
The Tar Heels have won 25 consecutive matches.
UNC’s tennis teams play in the round of 16 in Orlando with the No. 1-seed women’s team meeting No. 16-seed California (19–6) at 7 p.m. Sunday and the No. 6-seed men’s team facing No. 11 Georgia (16–6) at 10 a.m. Monday.
The men’s team (21–3) advanced with 4–0 wins over Presbyterian and Oklahoma State.
The women’s team (28–0) earned 4–0 wins over South Carolina State and Old Dominion.
When to and where to watch the Tar Heels
No. 2-seed women’s soccer team (18–1): Thursday vs. No. 11-seed Santa Clara, 8:30 p.m., WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, ESPN2, national semifinal
Men’s soccer team (9–4–4): Friday vs. Marshall, 6 p.m. WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, ESPNU, national semifinal
No. 1-seed men’s lacrosse team (11–2): Saturday at noon vs. Monmouth, Dorrance Field, ESPNU, first round
No. 1-seed women’s lacrosse team (18–0): Sunday at noon vs. James Madison or Johns Hopkins, Dorrance Field, ESPN3, second round
No. 6-seed men’s tennis team (21–3): vs. Georgia, 10 a.m. Monday, Orlando, round of 16
No. 1-seed women’s tennis team (28–0): vs. Cal, 7 p.m. Sunday, Orlando, round of 16
Photo courtesy of UNC Athletic Communications