More on the weekend: UNC-UCLA

August, 24, 2009

No. 1 North Carolina 7, No. 5 UCLA 2

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- More to come on North Carolina tomorrow, but the surprise score of the opening weekend was as dominant a performance as the numbers suggest.

Tobin Heath scored in the first minute as the Tar Heels swarmed the UCLA box after a long throw from Jessica McDonald, and the defending champions led 3-0 before the game was 15 minutes old. Heath and Casey Nogueira were typically tremendous, including a stint in the middle of the field for Heath, in addition to her more familiar place on the flank.

But six North Carolina players scored in all (the seven goals allowed were the second-most by a UCLA team). Substitutions are nothing new for an Anson Dorrance team, but even by the program's lofty standards, the talent available on the bench this season borders on staggering.

"People always assume we have this phenomenal depth; we don't always," Dorrance said. "What I believe is I believe in playing a lot of players. So even if the bottom of my roster is abominable, we're going to play it, because I think in collegiate soccer, first of all, I think we have a moral obligation to play kids that are busting themselves in half. And we'll play a kid for five or 10 minutes, if she just works for us. So I think it's not so much we've always had depth; no, we've always played a deep roster. But now I can say yes, we have great depth."

Graham Hays covers college sports for espnW, including softball and soccer. Hays began with ESPN in 1999.



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