CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Avery Patterson’s goal in double overtime was her fifth of the season but one of the biggest in program history as it took down No. 15 Notre Dame and secured the historic 900th win for head coach Anson Dorrance and the Tar Heel women’s soccer program.
“It’s a testament to the fact that (UNC Athletic Director) Bill Cobey back in the day responded to a women’s club that decided to petition for varsity status,” said Dorrance. “My long-time friend and assistant Bill Palladino helped me build a great program and obviously the extraordinary number of great player players that have come here and played their hearts out for this wonderful university.”
The goal came less than one minute into the second overtime off the foot of do-it-all star Avery Patterson. Usually a mid-fielder Avery was forced to play center-back when Maycee Bell, the All-ACC center back, was helped off the field after suffering a left ankle injury on a Notre Dame corner kick.
“Avery is so good we can drop her wherever the holes are on the field and with Maycee (Bell) our we knew she could play center back,” said Dorrance. “We would rather play her farther forward because she has been absolutely magic for us at left-midfield — I think a big player stepped up in a big game.”
Dorrance, the only head coach in the program’s 43-year history, is the NCAA record holder in wins. He is 330 ahead of former Connecticut head coach Len Tsantiris, who is second with 570. The 330-win margin is the second-largest in NCAA records.
The win keeps the UNC women’s soccer team in the hunt for an ACC Tournament bid. UNC faces Miami this Thursday in Coral Gables a 7 p.m. for their final regular-season game.