The 1987 Tar Heels opened with seven consecutive wins that included four wins over teams bound for the NCAA tournament. The final three wins were by shutout, but Maryland ended that run with a 2-1 victory in College Park. UNC responded with a six-game stretch in which they outscored opponents 24-1, posting five shutouts. A 3-2 win over JMU closed the regular season, and the Heels then won a pair in the ACC tournament, including a 5-0 win over Maryland in the final. UNC was named the top seed for the tournament thanks to a defense that allowed only 14 goals all season. The Heels were led by Maryellen Falcone, who was a Honda finalist that year. She, Tracey Yurgin and Lori Bruney were all named first-team All-Americans. The Tar Heels hosted the finals but lost the rubber match of the season to Maryland in overtime.
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