After searching for redemption in the 2019 NCAA Championship following their loss in the championship game the year before, the North Carolina women’s soccer team was once again met with heartbreak.
The Tar Heels fell to Stanford last year in a crushingly close penalty shootout — Stanford had five conversions to UNC’s four — after both teams failed to score in the two previous overtimes. Still, the Tar Heels had an impressive record for the season despite the lack of a national title.
The 2019 ACC champions had an official mark of 24-2-1 under head coach Anson Dorrance. Their marquee season wins included an impressive final score of 2-0 over No. 5 Florida State and a double overtime thriller victory against a top-ranked Virginia, 2-1, with Alessia Russo’s game-winning goal coming 1:48 into the second overtime period.
Now, as the ACC Preseason Coaches Poll favorite to win the 2020 conference title, North Carolina is back and ready to play. The Tar Heels came in at No. 1 with eight first-place votes and 129 votes overall, the next closest team being the Seminoles with three first-place votes and 123 votes overall.
Due to precautions and circumstances regarding COVID-19, the ACC has abbreviated all conference schools' schedules to include just eight conference games, with the option of scheduling more games to count outside of conference standings. The Tar Heels will play the eight ACC-mandated games and has opted to remain in the conference for two additional games against Virginia and Duke, although they will not count to their ACC record.