The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday August 11th

Five former Tar Heel soccer players capture World Cup

UNC midfielder Crystal Dunn (19) runs down a loose ball.
Buy Photos UNC midfielder Crystal Dunn (19) runs down a loose ball.

The U.S. Women's National Team defeated the Netherlands 2-0 on Sunday to earn back-to-back World Cup titles – thanks in part to the efforts of five former Tar Heels.

Defender Crystal Dunn, who starred at UNC from 2010 to 2013, played in six of seven games for a U.S. back line that allowed just three goals in the entire tournament. 

Forward Tobin Heath, at UNC from 2006 to 2009, played six games and recorded an assist and three shots on goal. 

In an interview with the DTH last month, North Carolina women's soccer head coach Anson Dorrance was effusive in his praise of former players, calling Dunn a "devastating" outside back and saying that Heath "could be the margin of victory for the United States." Dorrance coached the USWNT from 1986 to 1994, and has won 22 national championships as the coach for the Tar Heels.

It wasn't just the U.S. that benefitted from the talents of North Carolina alumni. Coaching the Netherlands was former Tar Heel Sarina Wiegman, who played under Anson Dorrance and won a national championship with the team in 1989.

With the Netherlands victory, 23 different Tar Heels have won a World Cup for the United States. And of the 84 players that have played on at least one of the USWNT's four World Cup-winning squads, 28 of those players – exactly one third – went to UNC.

Rounding out UNC's national team contributors were midfielder Allie Long and forward Jessica McDonald, who both saw the field in one World Cup game, and veteran goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.

It was the first World Cup win for Dunn, Long and McDonald, while Heath and Harris joined Kristine Lilly, Carla Overbeck and Mia Hamm as the only former Tar Heels to win two World Cups. 

@ryantwilcox

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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