Soccer Champs

In every sport, there is one team that stands for success. A franchise that has a long tradition of great players, great coaches and great victories. In pro sports you have great teams like the New York Yankees, Green Bay Packers, Boston Celtics and Montreal Canadiens. These teams have storied histories and have earned the respect of fans around the world.

In the world of college women's soccer, just like in other sports, one team is the measuring stick of success- the University of North Carolina.

21 titles: Earlier this week, the Tarheels knocked off Stanford, 1-0, to win the 2009 Women's College Cup. The championship capped an amazing season for North Carolina and continues their unprecedented run of success. Dating back to 1981, the Tarheels have won 21 College Cup championships. No other team has come close to the level of success of North Carolina!

Players and coach: Some of the best players in the history of soccer have played for North Carolina. The great Mia Hamm, Lindsay Tarpley, Kristine Lily and Cindy Parlow are all former Tarheels. These players are some of the biggest names in women's soccer and have gone on to great international and professional careers. Anson Dorrance is the legendary coach of North Carolina. He took over the new women's soccer program in 1979 and has been one of the most successful coaches in all of college sports since then. He has won the National Coach of the Year award seven times.

How they do it: A legacy of strong players and coaches is a great asset, but it takes more than history to win a Women's College Cup. The players on this year's squad lived up to the tradition though a season's worth of improvement and determination. North Carolina's players are known for their work ethic and defensive effort, and this year's team was no exception. All season long, the Tarheels were always the first ones to the ball. This type of swarming effort made it impossible for the other teams to get into a rhythm. In fact, North Carolina has posted 10 shutouts in its last 11 games. Even Stanford, which entered the championship game undefeated, couldn't figure out a way to get on the board.

North Carolina, as it traditionally does, won the Women's College Cup with a simple diet of hard work and consistent effort.

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