“We were playing a little bit too slow, so I was just trying to do anything I could,” Mucherera said. “Defensively, I won the ball back, and I just kept going and I saw the opportunity.”
While the Tar Heels were sluggish in the first half, they picked it up in the second.
North Carolina came out of the break as the aggressor, outshooting the Demon Deacons 7-1 and winning the corner kick battle 4-0 in the final period.
“They knew they could play better than they did in the first half,” Dorrance said.
“I thought our starters were very lackluster. The reserves actually gave us a lift.”
In the 69th minute, the Tar Heels benefited off a yellow card that allowed them to set up a play just outside the box. Dorian Bailey lined up in front of the ball with a teammate behind her, hinting at potential trickery.
But it was Bailey who knocked the ball off the left post and into the back of the net to put the Tar Heels ahead for good.
When the buzzer sounded, the best coach that collegiate soccer has ever seen practiced his normal ritual: He gathered his players in the middle of the field and talked to them about their performance.
After Dorrance gave his spiel, he was treated to an ice-water bath and a mosh pit in front of an elated home crowd at Fetzer Field.
“He was pretty pleased with how we came out in the second half and he had just gotten finished saying his speech,” Bailey said. “Then, when they showed that thing about his 800th win, I think it was Lindsey (Harris) who brought the big bucket of ice water and dumped it on his head.”
With Dorrance at the helm, the Tar Heels have enjoyed a tradition of excellence that is second to none in collegiate athletics.
In his 38 seasons as head coach, North Carolina has won over 90 percent of its games and claimed 20 ACC championships and 22 national championships.
His success — just like his in-game decisions and postgame speech — has always and will always continue to run like clockwork.