The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday December 7th

Players Enjoy, Take Lessons From Dorrance's 500th Win

Freshman Anne Morrell said team members decided they wanted to win the game for Anson Dorrance.

The seniors, who have won two national championships during their UNC careers, said they were happy to be a part of history.

"It's just really nice that we've achieved so much," Remy said. "It's an amazing accomplishment."

The wins, national championships and awards are nice, but players said those things are a small part of the man who Thursday became the first NCAA women's soccer coach to win 500 games.

Some of Dorrance's players said his unselfish approach to the game and to his team is what endears him to them.

And that admiration was evident in the players' voices as they discussed what being a part of win No. 500 meant to them.

"He gives us so much every day and never asks for anything in return," said junior goalkeeper Jenni Branam. "It's nice to be able to finally give something back to him."

Senior midfielder Jena Kluegel said Thursday's win was special for so many different reasons including the fact the win came against No. 14 Clemson, a team that beat the Tar Heels 2-1 last season.

"We were really excited because he was so happy with the way we played," Kluegel said. "Clemson beat us last year, something that rarely happens. To get this win the way we did made it that much more exciting for us."

Dorrance echoed those sentiments during the press conference, where he was quick to shy away from questions regarding the win in the context of records but was quick to address the win's importance to this year's team.

"Maybe this will be a turning point for us this year," he said. "Not that we've had a lot of miserable performances, but I know the kind of performance we need to compete at the highest level, and I saw that performance tonight."

A turning point for an undefeated team? Remy said the fact Dorrance won't rest on his laurels challenges the players to strive to achieve higher goals as well.

"He motivates us and makes us want to play for him," she said. "And I think that's why we're successful."

Even some of North Carolina's younger players said they understand the significance Thursday's game could have on them.

Freshman Anne Morrell, who scored the game's first goal, said she was happy to contribute on such a special night.

"We all huddled before the game and said, `Let's win this one for Anson,'" Morrell said. "He's an awesome guy, a great coach. He wants to see you improve, to go to higher levels."

But as much fun as win No. 500 was, Borgman said the most important thing she will take from Dorrance's tutelage is keeping soccer in perspective.

"I mean, the first thing he does when we get to another college is look for the golf course," she said. "That just says soccer isn't the only thing that exists."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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