If you’re looking for an alternative way to describe Anson Dorrance’s influence on college soccer — other than the 1,000-plus career wins and 22 national championships – take a peek at his coaching tree.
On Sunday, as the No. 4 North Carolina women’s soccer team (3-0-1) hosted No. 23 Central Florida (0-2) at Finley Fields South, Dorrance sat under the shade of the touchline dugout, studying his team’s performance against the Knights.
A little more than 10 yards to his right, UCF head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak mirrored Dorrance’s actions, attempting to guide her team to a second victory against the Tar Heels in as many years.
Once a star midfielder who won two national titles playing for Dorrance in the 1990s, Roberts Sahaydak is now his counterpart.
This scenario has not been an isolated occurrence early in the 2018 season for Dorrance and UNC.
Sunday’s match against UCF, a 1-0 win for the Tar Heels, marked the fourth time in as many games that Dorrance coached against a former player of his.
He did so in the season opener against Illinois’ Janet Rayfield, Dorrance’s first-ever recruit and against Ohio State (Lori Walker-Hock) and Texas (Angela Kelly).
“Those four teams, all coached by Tar Heels, are going to win a heck of a lot of games this year,” Dorrance said. “And so, they’re going to help us with our RPI, just like I hope we help them with (their) RPI, and I think this was a great four-game stretch against former Tar Heels that are coaching elite Division I teams. I’m very proud of all of them.”
For Roberts Sahaydak, a three-time first-team All-ACC selection at UNC, Sunday’s match marked the fourth time she squared off against Dorrance, the coach she said “taught us all about care” while also being an “incredible motivator.”