UNC women's program claim national title
The North Carolina women's athletics program won its first Capital One Cup, which is awarded to the top NCAA Division I program in the country.
UNC will receive $200,000 toward student-athlete scholarships and will be formally honored during the ESPY Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on July 17.
The Tar Heels' national championship in women's soccer and runner-up finish in field hockey put them in a first-place tie with Penn State in January before falling to fourth after the winter sports season.
UNC, which finished with 140 points, won a national title in women's lacrosse and finished fourth in the final tennis coaches' poll to help end Stanford's two-year reign in the standings. The Cardinal finished 10.5 points behind the Tar Heels, followed by Oregon, Texas, Penn State, Florida, Oklahoma, Kansas and Southern Cal (tied for eighth) and Connecticut.
"This is a wonderful accomplishment by our women's sports programs, and the entire Carolina community congratulates these outstanding women for their achievement," UNC director of athletics Bubba Cunningham said. "To earn first place in the Capital One Cup is a credit to the hard work, perseverance and dedication of these students, our coaches and support staff. Additionally, we would like to thank Capital One for its support of college athletics."
Schools earn points based on their teams' top-10 finishes in NCAA championships and in final official coaches' polls across 20 women's and 19 men's sports as they compete to win the Capital One Cup trophy and a combined $400,000 in scholarships for student-athletes.
"Based on the fierce competition we saw in the race for the Capital One Cup the past two years, I was eager to see how this year's race would play out at the end of the spring season," said Brandi Chastain, a member of the Cup advisory board member. "North Carolina definitely brought its championship mentality this year, ... and its entire athletics program should be very proud of their on-field accomplishments. An award like the Capital One Cup speaks volumes because it celebrates student-athletes on and off the field."
The Capital One Cup men's title, won by Florida the past two years, will be announced after the conclusion of the NCAA College World Series in late June.