ACC Network documentary to chronicle UNC’s women’s soccer dynasty

By R.L. Bynum

How do you explain the dominance of Carolina women’s soccer over the years?

ESPN will try to do that in an hourlong documentary, “Hidden Dynasty: The Story of Carolina Women’s Soccer,” that premieres on ACC Network on June 23 at 8 p.m.

Seven years after Title IX became law in 1972, UNC started its varsity women’s soccer program. Since 1979, Coach Anson Dorrance has led a powerhouse and one of the preeminent programs in college sports with 22 national championships, including nine in a row from 1986 to 1994.

The executive producer is Ross Greenburg, who has won Emmy and Peabody awards.

“It is time to not only acknowledge the dominance and the dynasty that Anson Dorrance and these remarkable women built in North Carolina, but also to explore their influence on the growth of women’s soccer in this country, and around the world,” Greenburg said in a release. “This program may be the most underappreciated powerhouse in American sports. I’m so proud we get to tell this story and show firsthand the impact of Title IX, and how women have advanced to unknown heights on playing fields everywhere.”

“Hidden Dynasty” chronicles how Dorrance built the program, and developed the foundation for women’s college soccer. It shows how UNC produced several incredible players who won national-player-of-the-year honors and went on to win multiple World Cups and Olympic gold medals for the United States.

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The documentary features interviews with soccer icons, including Mia Hamm, April Heinrichs, Kristine Lilly, Heather O’Reilly and Carla Overbeck, as well as key personnel and administrators who were part of the rise of this decorated program.

“Hidden Dynasty” will show how a simple varsity soccer program, with a meager yearly budget, blossomed into a dominant college dynasty.

The documentary is part of an ACC Network series called “Fifty/50” that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX.

It includes “Best of” shows about field hockey (June 15), fencing, rowing, golf and tennis (June 16), volleyball (June 17), women’s basketball (June 18), softball (June 19), women’s lacrosse (June 20), women’s soccer (June 21).

In addition to “Hidden Dynasty,” “All Access: The ACC Life — Best of Women’s Sports” airs at 8 p.m. June 22, “All Access with Pitt Women’s Lacrosse | The Inaugural Season” airs at 7 p.m. June 23 and “Pushing Forward: Title IX in the ACC” airs at 9 p.m. June 23.

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