On Sunday at 4 p.m., Anson Dorrance has a chance to make history — again.
Dorrance, the 67-year-old head coach of the North Carolina women’s soccer team, is one win away from 1,000 in his career. With a win against No. 23 Ohio State, at Finley Fields South, the No. 6 Tar Heels (1-0) would get him there.
In an effort to contextualize Dorrance’s unprecedented success in the world of college women’s soccer, The Daily Tar Heel has gathered 10 statistics that tell the story. Special thanks to Dave Lohse, associate director of athletic communications and team SID, for making such statistics available in a thorough media guide.
Career wins for Dorrance. Dorrance has won 827 matches as head coach of the women’s soccer team, and won 172 matches as head coach of the men’s soccer team. In 51 total seasons of college coaching — including a nine-year period from 1979 to 1988 when he coached both soccer teams — Dorrance’s career record is 999-135-59.
Len Tsantiris is second on the list, with 570 career victories as the head coach of UConn women’s soccer from 1981 to 2017.
Total years of service by Dorrance to the UNC soccer programs. He coached the men’s soccer team from 1977 to 1988, before being succeeded by Elmar Bolovich. He founded the women’s soccer program in 1979 and enters his 40th season as head coach in 2018.
Dorrance also coached the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1986 to 1994. He led the team to a gold medal in the first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup, held in China in 1991.
Percentage of matches the UNC women’s soccer team has won under Dorrance, before a 3-1 win against Illinois on Thursday. Heading into the 2018 season, the Tar Heels have also won 91.3 percent of their home games; 89.9 percent of their road and neutral-site games; and 89.9 percent of their NCAA Tournament games.
National championships won by UNC under Dorrance. The first came in 1981, in a 12-team tournament sanctioned by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. The remaining 21 are NCAA championships.
UNC’s 21 NCAA titles are the most by any women’s sports team; Stanford women’s tennis is second with 19. Among all college programs — men’s and women’s — no program has more total national championships than UNC’s 22.
Percentage of national championships won by UNC (22), among all 37 in the history of college women’s soccer. Notre Dame is next on the list, with three national championships. Only 10 teams besides North Carolina have won a women’s soccer national championship.
Nine of those UNC championships were won consecutively, starting in 1986 and ending in 1997.
The last year Dorrance won a national championship. UNC won 15 of 17 national championships between 1981 and 1997. From 1998 to 2017, the team has won seven of 20 national championships — more a reflection of increasing parity in the sport than anything else.
When Dorrance won his 20th NCAA title in 2009, he became the first coach in NCAA history to do so, while coaching a single sport.
Matches without a loss for UNC, from 1986 to 1990. The Tar Heels won 97 matches and tied in six others during that stretch. The Tar Heels would challenge that streak a few years later, with a 101-match unbeaten streak that ended in 1994.
Games between losses by more than one goal for North Carolina. On Nov. 24, 1985, George Mason beat UNC, 2-0, in the national championship match. For the next 25 years, the Tar Heels never lost by more than one goal. The streak was snapped on Nov. 20, 2010, with a 4-1 loss to Notre Dame. The loss to George Mason was the last time the team lost in the 1980's.
Former UNC players to appear on the United States National Team, since its 1985 creation. The 2015 team, which won a FIFA Women’s World Cup gold medal, featured six Tar Heel alumnae — defender Lori Chalupny; defender Whitney Engen; goalie Ashlyn Harris; defender Meghan Klingenberg; forward Tobin Heath; and midfielder Heather O’Reilly.
In total, North Carolina had nine current or former players compete in the last World Cup, for four different countries. It ranked first among U.S. colleges in terms of player representation.
Senior classes to leave UNC without a national championship, in the program’s history. Only the classes of 2016 and 2017 have left North Carolinawithout a title — again, a nod to the increased parity in the sport, something Dorrance has praised many times.
The 2016 squad went 17-4-3 and lost, 1-0, to West Virginia in the NCAA semifinals. The 2017 squad went 17-3-2 and lost, 2-1, to Princeton in the round of 16.