The staff here at Keeping It Heel got together to look back on 2012 and celebrate the top contributors to the athletic program at the great University of North Carolina. Today we will celebrate the greatest achievements in the year that is now behind us and honor those who helped make it memorable. Here we’ll look at our choice for Tar Heel Team of the Year the National Championship winning Women’s soccer team. Be sure to check back later for the rest of the series where we honor the male & female athlete of the year, the coach of the year, game of the year, play of the year, team of the year, alumni professional sportsman of the year and comeback player of the year . To view portions of this series published so far click HERE.
Dean Smith used to say that North Carolina was a Women’s soccer school and that statement was validated yet again when the Heels won their 22nd national title. After all the NCAA has been awarding women’s soccer championships for 31 years; 21 of the trophies belong to Carolina before they won a 22nd this season.
This title was one of the most special titles in Carolina history, UNC coach Anson Dorrance said before the season she didn’t even know if this was a team that would qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
Even after the team qualified for the tourney nobody expected a title for this team. Dorrance obviously found some satisfaction by proving them wrong.
“We were not in the top 10 in any national poll,” Dorrance said. “I think they had forgotten about North Carolina, so what was kind of cool was reminding them who the heck we are.” Herald Sun
The Tar Heels capped off their magical season with a convincing 4-1 victory over sixth-ranked Penn State. UNC was led in the championship game by tournament Most Outstanding Offensive Player Kealia Ohai, who scored in the opening minute of the game, and Most Outstanding Defensive Player Satara Murray. Along with Ohai and Murray the All-Tournament Team included senior midfielder Amber Brooks, junior midfielder Crystal Dunn and senior goalkeeper Adelaide Gay.
The Womens soccer team was the only Tar Heel championship team in 2012 and the way they pulled it off was nothing short of a sports miracle making them our Tar Heel team of the year.