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The Daily Tar Heel

Flashy Goals Earn UNC 13th Straight ACC Title

Yes, North Carolina won its 13th consecutive ACC title in a typical and predictable fashion against a Florida State team that had never even played in the title game before.

Yes, the Tar Heels trounced the Seminoles 4-0, recording their 13th shutout of the season. UNC (19-0, 8-0 in the ACC) has held its opponents scoreless for 397 minutes, with its last goal allowed coming when the Tar Heels played N.C. State on Nov. 1.

Yes, the Friday night quarterfinal game that UNC won 3-0 against Wake Forest to send it to the title match was essentially decided at the half.

Yes, the Tar Heels dominated time of possession and made the locally televised game seem like a North Carolina ball-handling drill at times.

Yes, it is true that none of that makes for very exciting television.

But each time UNC found the back of the net Sunday at Wake Forest's Spry Stadium, the goals were certainly worthy of an ESPN highlight reel -- not merely a FoxSportsNet feature presentation.

"The thing that thrilled me most was the quality of our goals," said UNC coach Anson Dorrance. "All four goals were superb."

Midfielder Sara Randolph struck early and scored her first career goal in the third minute. Forward Alyssa Ramsey collected a deflected UNC shot and darted around two defenders to dish the ball to a waiting Randolph on the far post. Randolph knocked the ball past FSU goalkeeper Kerry York with the outside of her left foot to score.

Only two minutes later, Ramsey, who earned tournament MVP honors, faked out one defender and nailed a floater inside the far post to put UNC up by two.

Anne Remy added to the lead in the 55th minute when Ramsey scuffled with two defenders and FSU's goalie just feet from the goal. Remy ran into the goalbox just in time to settle the ball and slam a low shot into right side of the net.

"We work on (combination plays) in practice," Remy said. "We have drills, and we work on it, but for some reason it doesn't transfer to the games. We try. Finally, after all this work, we had an opportunity, and we did it."

The scoring roll call would not be complete without UNC's third starting forward, Anne Morrell, who chipped in during the 58th minute. Morrell slid the ball over to Remy while on the run, and Remy completed the give-and-go combination, passing the ball back to Morrell so she could slip it past Seminole goalie Ali Mims for the Tar Heels' fourth and final goal.

"Just when you think you've solved the pressure, just when you think you've got a breath of fresh air, the next player is there," said FSU coach Patrick Baker. "It's suffocating."

And UNC certainly isn't planning on giving any opponent breathing room.

"I consider this the best conference in the country," Dorrance said. "It's nice to go into the postseason with this championship."

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