“We’re taking a bit of a risk to throw these talented kids forward,” Dorrance said. “But hopefully what we’ll gain is the capacity to score some goals.”
Scarpa will make the transition to center-forward, where Dorrance hopes the sophomore will give the Tar Heels a sure-fire scoring threat. While never having occupied the forward position, the Lakeland, Fla., native did play in an attacking-midfield role in high school. And she has impressed several of her teammates with the scorer’s mentality that she has displayed in practice.
“Getting her up top will be a nice striking threat,” said junior midfielder Joanna Boyles. “She has a rocket of a foot, so that will be exciting.”
For Bowen, the move from the back line should be smoother, as she has experience in the position at both the national and the collegiate level.
“You’re kind of like an outside back, an outside-mid,” Bowen said. “I’ve always been an outside player.
“I love it, I love getting forward, love getting back, so yeah I’m really loving the position.”
The fluidity of its lineup is something UNC has prided itself on over the past few seasons, and these recent changes have shown that Dorrance has confidence in the team’s depth — where as many as 20 players could play on a given night — something he noted after Wednesday’s practice.
“It just puts us in a wonderful position where we don’t have to overplay someone, which obviously might create an injury,” he said. “It’s going to allow us to navigate a two-game weekend.”
And with Sunday games against powerhouses UCLA and Florida State this season, the constant moving parts are something the Tar Heels are thankful for as they set their sights on a 23rd national title.