The 1996 Tar Heels opened with an incredible five-game shutout streak that reached almost 400 minutes; the overtime loss to ODU ended both runs. Undaunted, UNC putting together an 18-game winning streak to close out the season. The first 13 wins closed out the regular season, including a 4-2 victory over ODU; the Heels then won a pair of games in the ACC tournament and entered the NCAAs as the top seed. Led by Jana Withrow in the cage and Tiki Barber and Cindy Werley, the ACC Players of the Year over the last two years, and All-Americans Joy Driscoll and Nancy Pelligreen, UNC set a then-record of 4.17 goals per game, winning the national championship to put an exclamation point on an 18-game run to end the season. UNC outscored its opponents 101-21 over the year, giving up more than two goals in a single game only once all year.
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