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The Making Of A Dynasty: UNC Women’s Soccer

Since its inception in 1982, the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament has been dominated by one school: North Carolina. No one has come close to the Tarheel's success.

They have won the most titles, 21, and have had the most All-Americans with 70. Names like Mia Hamm and Cat Reddick have all played for the storied program over the years.

So why are they so dominant? According to a recent article by ESPNW, they have a culture of winning that surrounds the program.

Just like the men's basketball program, which has a history of being one of the best programs in the country, UNC's women's soccer program accepts nothing less than excellence in Chapel Hill and that starts with coaching. And just like the presence and influence of former basketball coach Dean Smith can be felt today on campus, so is the influence of UNC's women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance.

Dorrance has been part of the program since the late 70s, and in that time has been one of the most successful coaches in any sport.

One rival coach of the Tarheels has said that the reason why this team is so successful is that not only are they tough, they are mean. Former player Mia Hamm echoes that sentiment.

"I grew up always good at sports, but being a girl, I was never allowed to feel as good about it as guys were. My toughness wasn't celebrated. But then I came here, and it was O.K. to want to be the best."

Their mental and physical toughness is why they have been so successful and why so many teams dread facing them.

"From the beginning, what I've always tried to do is think about the kind of team that I would hate to play against if I were a player," Dorrance said.

"I would hate to play against my team. I would hate it. I would love to play against some of these other teams that give you pockets of areas to play-make and stage and slow the game down...But who would I hate to play against? Someone coming at me for 90 minutes."

Or, in this team's case, one that comes at you for 90 minutes at a time, for the last 30+ years, and keeps coming.

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