The UNC influence on the US Women’s national soccer team continued on when three former Tar Heels were named to the roster for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which doubles as World Cup qualifying for the USWNT.
Their qualifying campaign kicked off Thursday night, and a couple of those Tar Heels played a role in a big 6-0 win over Mexico. Two of the three former Heels, Tobin Heath and Crystal Dunn, got the start and as fate would have it, combined for one of the USWNT’s goals.
In the 61st minute with the US up 3-0, Dunn made a run down the left side, and sent a cross back towards goal. It was met there by Heath’s head. She scored it to increase the lead to 4-0, and the US never looked back from there.
That was the only goal or assist recorded by either of them. Dunn played all 90 minutes, while Heath was substituted out in the 77th minute with the US up 5-0. The third Tar Heel, Ashlyn Harris, was backup goalkeeper for the game and did not see action in the opener.
The USWNT are heavily favored to qualify easily from this tournament, and is definitely on track to do so after this win. It’s an especially good win considering Mexico would have been among the other contenders to qualify for the World Cup, having also qualified for the previous two tournament in 2011 and 2015.
The team are next in action on Sunday, when they take on Panama before finishing up group stage play against Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday. The top three in the tournament automatically qualify for the World Cup, while fourth place will take on Argentina in a playoff for the final spot in France next summer.
This game, along with the rest of the USWNT’s group games are being played in Cary. If you’re looking for some live sporting action (especially with UNC football off this weekend), supporting some former Tar Heels and the rest of the US team is a pretty good option.