WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The UNCW women’s soccer program was the most improved team in the nation for the 2012 season, according to research conducted by the NCAA.

The Seahawks, under the guidance of veteran Head Coach Paul Cairney, posted a nine-game improvement last season to edge Ivy League-member Dartmouth (+8.5) for the nation’s best turnaround.

“It’s great be ranked No. 1 in this category,” said Cairney. “To make this type of turnaround in just one season is a great testament to our players and coaching staff. Our players should be very proud about being the most improved team in the nation.”

After posting a 3-16-0 record in 2011, UNCW bounced back to post a 12-7-3 overall mark in 2012. The Seahawks returned to the CAA Tournament after a two year hiatus and advanced to the championship game for the second time in four seasons before falling to champion Hofstra in double overtime.

UNCW was one of two CAA programs to make the list. Drexel fashioned a six-game improvement, earning the Dragons a tie for the nation’s seventh-best turnaround.

2012 Most-Improved Division I Women’s Soccer Teams*




(3-16-0 to 12-7-3)




(4-12-0 to 13-4-0)


San Diego State


(10-7-3 to 21-2-1)


Eastern Michigan


(3-13-2 to 11-6-2)


Miami (Ohio)


(9-8-1 to 19-3-1)

*To determine games improved, add the difference in victories between the two seasons to the difference in losses, then divide by two; ties not counted. Includes postseason.