By R.L. Bynum
National observers may not have been that impressed with Carolina’s women’s soccer team before the season began, but that has quickly changed.
The Tar Heels were ranked No. 10 in the preseason United Soccer Coaches poll, but after defeating a pair of teams ranked in the top 11 of the preseason poll, they zoomed all the way to earning a unanimous No. 1 ranking in the latest poll Tuesday while some other ACC teams dropped. UNC got all eight first-place votes.
It’s Carolina’s first No. 1 ranking since Nov. 10, 2020. Since 2000, UNC is 135–11–2 as the top-ranked team.
Carolina won both of its exhibition games, including a 2–0 victory over then No. 3 BYU (which fell to No. 9) and won its first two regular-season games last week, including a 3–0 win over then No. 11 Tennessee (which fell to No. 22).
Carolina (2–0–0) has combined to win the two exhibition games and two regular-season games 12–0. In the Tar Heels’ 2–0 Sunday win over UNCW, they outshot the Seahawks 23–2.
Preseason No. 1 Florida State fell to No. 2 after a scoreless draw against then No. 12 South Carolina (now No. 4) and a 3–1 win over Georgia. Duke, which lost an exhibition to Georgia 2–1, fell from No. 2 to No. 5 after a 1–0 win at East Carolina and a 3–1 home win over UNC Greensboro.
Virginia, which lost an exhibition to Illinois 2–1 and tied Michigan 1–1 in an exhibition, fell from No. 4 to No. 8 after a 3–1 win over George Mason and a 6–0 victory over Loyola Marymount.
Clemson moved up from No. 25 to No. 18 after a scoreless tie with Texas A&M and a 6–1 victory over Campbell.
Duke was picked to win the ACC with Virginia second and UNC third.
Also on Tuesday, senior Tori Hansen (middle in top photo) was named ACC Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career. Hansen, who played 180 minutes in the first two games, headed in a goal against Tennessee.
UNC returns to action at 8 p.m. Thursday at Texas (Longhorn Network.)
|Rank||Team (first-place votes)||Points||Record||Preseason rank|
|1||North Carolina (8)||200||2-0-0||10|
Also receiving votes: Notre Dame (28), Michigan (26), Texas A&M (19), Samford (17), Texas (16), N.C. State (16), Arkansas (10), Santa Clara (9), Washington (4), Xavier (2), UC-Irvine (2), Wake Forest (1).
|25||Thursday||W, 2–0||Texas||Austin, Texas||3–0–0|
|28||Sunday||W, 6–0||Baylor||Austin, Texas||4–0–0|
|1||Thursday||W, 3–1||Missouri||Columbia, Mo.||5–0–0|
|4||Sunday||L, 2–1||No. 1 UCLA||Home||5–1–0|
|8||Thursday||W, 3–0||X-No. 8 Duke||Durham||6–1–0|
|11||Sunday||W, 2–1||Central Florida||Home||7–1–0|
|17||Saturday||L, 3–2||No. 11 Virginia||Home||7–2–0,|
|22||Thursday||W, 1–0||Syracuse||Syracuse, N.Y.||8–2–0,|
|25||Sunday||W, 3–0||Boston College||Home||9–2–0,|
|1||Saturday||L, 2–1||Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||9–3–0,|
|6||Thursday||W, 4–0||No. 19 Pittsburgh||Home||10–3–0,|
|9||Sunday||W, 2–0||N.C. State||Home||11–3–0,|
|14||Friday||W, 1–0||Wake Forest||Home||12–3–0,|
|20||Thursday||W, 2–1||No. 5 |
|23||Sunday||W, 4–0||Miami||Coral Gables, Fla.||14–3–0,|
|27||Thursday||W, 1–0||Louisville||Louisville, Ky.||15–3–0,|
|3||Thursday||T, 0–0, 2 OTs (UNC advances 7–6 on PKs)||Semifinal vs. |
No. 8 Duke
|6||Sunday||L, 2–1||Final vs. No. 5 Florida State||Cary||15–4–1|
|12||Saturday||W, 5–0||First round: |
|17||Thursday||W, 3–1||Second round: Georgia||Chapel Hill||17–4–1|
|19||Saturday||W, 3–2||Third round: |
No. 15 BYU
|South Bend, Ind.||19–4–1|
|2||Friday||W, 3–2||Semifinals: No. 5 Florida State||Cary||20–4–1|
|5||Monday||L, 3–2, 2 OTs||Championship: No. 1 UCLA||Cary||20–5–1|
Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications