The 1989 Tar Heels opened with four wins, outscoring opponents 29-2 with two shutouts. A 1-0 loss on the road to ODU ignited the Heels to win their next seven games, five by shutout. A 2-1 loss against Northwestern halted the run, but UNC won its next four games to enter the ACC tournament at 15-2. A pair of wins advanced Carolina as the three seed into NCAAs, but the Heels were on the road where they defeated Northeastern in the quarters and then sent Iowa to their first defeat of the year in the semis. UNC defeated ODU in strokes in the final as the Heels won their first NCAA in school history this season, allowing only 10 goals throughout the entire year behind goalie Evelien Spee. Spee was stellar for the Heels, as not only did she only allow one goal, but also she scored the decisive stroke to clinch the title. The team posted 13 shutouts in the 22 games as UNC won 20 games in a season for the first time. Future Olympian Leslie Lyness won the Honda Award, and she and Kathy Staley were named first-team All-Americans. The Tar Heels split with ODU during the season, with each team winning at home. The final fittingly went to strokes after three overtimes.
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