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The Daily Tar Heel

Tar Heels Cruise to 14th ACC Title

"Coming into the tournament, I only had two goals and forward Alyssa Ramsey only had four assists," Bush said. "We were roommates, and we made this deal. She was going to assist in this tournament, and I was going to score."

In the seventh minute, on her first shot of the game, their plan became a reality.

Bush's goal ignited a streak for the Tar Heels that kept Clemson from getting off a single shot until midway through the second half, when UNC's 6-0 drubbing of the Tigers at the Seminole Soccer Complex to clinch its 14th ACC title was almost complete.

About 10 minutes after Bush's goal, North Carolina coach Anson Dorrance substituted defender Catherine Reddick into the game. Reddick took a 3 a.m. Sunday flight from California, where she played 95 minutes in the Gold Cup championship game with the U.S. Women's National Team on Saturday night.

Less than 30 seconds after entering the game in a forward position, the junior finished a cross from Ramsey with a header, also Reddick's first touch of the game.

"I was expecting to give a break to some of the forwards," Reddick said. "I didn't expect my first touch to be a goal. I miss scoring, and I miss playing up front."

The goal wouldn't be the only one for Reddick.

Four minutes before halftime, freshman Kasey White fired a shot from about 25 yards out. The ball sailed above a leaping Lauren Heos, hit the cross bar and bounced into the net.

Despite a three-point lead, the Tar Heels came out of halftime charged up, still dominating in shots.

In the 64th minute, Leea Murphy got her first goal of the season, shooting the ball off a rebound from a Clemson defender. Leigh Blomgren dribbled the ball into the box, but was tackled by a Clemson defender. Murphy collected the ball, shot it and then placed the rebound neatly past Heos.

The trend continued for the Tar Heels, who took advantage of nearly every opportunity.

Reddick was moved back to defense after Carmen Watley got into a scrape with a Clemson opponent and fractured her left arm. In the 75th minute, Reddick scored on a shot launched from about 40 yards out. Reddick was greeted with squeals from defender Leslie Gaston, who was awarded Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

"What was neat about today is rarely in a conference final you have the chance to play your roster, and we did," Dorrance said. "Every kid that we brought that wasn't hurt had a chance to play."

This marked the 14th consecutive time that the Tar Heels have clinched the tournament but the first one in history that had such a wide margin of victory.

UNC shut out its opponents in each game, including its Friday night 4-0 win against Maryland.

The Tar Heels will find out today which team they will play in the first round of the NCAA tournament, which starts Friday. As ACC champions, UNC is guaranteed a berth to the tournament -- its 21st successive one.

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

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