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    Wildcats Continue Tough Road Swing at No. 3 Tar Heels, No. 11 Commodores

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Jessica Russo had a big game against Notre Dame in the season opener, recording two goals, an assist and a pair of draw controls.
    Jessica Russo had a big game against Notre Dame in the season opener, recording two goals, an assist and a pair of draw controls.

    Feb. 24, 2011

    No. 2 Northwestern (1-0, 0-0 ALC) at No. 3 North Carolina (3-0, 0-0 ACC)
    Friday, February 25 • 4 p.m. CT • Fetzer Field (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
    No. 2 Northwestern (1-0, 0-0 ALC) at No. 11 Vanderbilt (2-1, 0-0 ALC)
    Sunday, February 27 • Noon • VU Lacrosse Complex (Nashville, Tenn.)

    Live Video (Weather Permitting): North CarolinaVanderbilt
    Gametracker: North CarolinaVanderbilt
    In-Game Twitter Updates: @NU_SportsLIVE
    Northwestern Game Notes (PDF)

    Opening Draw
    Northwestern continues its challenging season-opening road trip against a pair of top-11 teams this weekend. The Wildcats head to Chapel Hill, N.C. for a rematch of last season's NCAA semifinal, facing third-ranked North Carolina Friday, Feb. 25. Northwestern then heads west to Nashville, Tenn., for its American Lacrosse Conference opener against 11th-ranked Vanderbilt Sunday, Feb. 27.

    Scouting the Tar Heels
    2011: 3-0 overall, 2-0 at home. Ranked third in this week's IWLCA poll.
    Last Three Games: W vs. Florida (10-9, OT), W at Vanderbilt (14-10), W vs. Richmond (14-8).
    Head Coach: Jenny Levy (Virginia, 1992). 16th season at North Carolina (197-82, .706).
    Key Players: Corey Donohoe (Sr., A): 13 goals, 2 assists, 6 draw controls; Kara Cannizzaro (So., M): 6 goals, 6 ground balls, 6 draw controls; Becky Lynch (Jr., A): 5 goals, 3 assists, 6 draw controls, 3 caused turnovers; Abbey Friend (Fr., M): 5 goals, 2 ground balls, 2 caused turnovers; Lauren Maksym (So., GK): 29 saves, .518 save percentage., 8.71 goals against average.



    Series Information
    Northwestern and North Carolina meet for the 10th time Friday with the Wildcats holding a 7-2 series advantage. The teams met twice last year with the Tar Heels earning an 18-16 victory at Lakeside Field on April 18, snapping Northwestern's NCAA record 58-game home winning streak. The Wildcats responded by defeating UNC 15-10 in the NCAA semifinal in Towson, Md. Northwestern is 2-1 all-time in Chapel Hill, including a 12-7 victory in 2009 in a game remembered for a freak snowstorm that hit the Carolinas.

    Scouting the Commodores
    2011: 2-1 overall, 1-1 at home. Ranked 11th in this week's IWLCA poll.
    Last Three Games: W at Presbyterian (22-3), L vs. North Carolina (10-14), W vs. Canisius (16-5).
    Head Coach: Cathy Swezey (Trenton State, 1993). 13th season at Vanderbilt (116-101, .535).
    Key Players: Katherine Denkler (Sr., A): 8 goals, 5 ground balls, 2 caused turnovers; Emily Franke (Sr., M): 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 draw controls; Courtney Kirk (Jr., A): 5 goals, 7 assists, 5 ground balls, 4 caused turnovers; Ally Carey (Jr., M): 3 goals, 9 ground balls, 12 draw controls, 5 caused turnovers; Katie Mastropieri (Fr., A): 5 goals, 3 assists, 4 ground balls; Natalie Wills (Jr., GK): 6 saves, .261 save percentage, 7.53 goals against average.

    Series Information
    Sunday marks the 13th meeting between Northwestern and Vanderbilt as the Wildcats hold a 9-3 edge in the series, having won the last nine games between the two. The Wildcats and Commodores met twice in 2010 as Northwestern defeated Vandy 27-9 in Evanston on April 24 before knocking off the 'Dores 23-14 in the ALC Championship final. The Wildcats are 3-1 all-time in Nashville, the last meeting resulting in a 22-10 Northwestern victory in 2009.

    LoManto, Leonard Nab American Lacrosse Conference Weekly Honors
    A pair of Wildcats have been recognized by the American Lacrosse Conference for their efforts in the season-opening victory against 10th-ranked Notre Dame Saturday. Brianne LoManto was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Week while Alyssa Leonard was tabbed the Rookie of the Week. LoManto, who picked up the second ALC Defensive Player of the Week honor of her career, had nine saves against the Fighting Irish. She had a pair of key stops early, helping keep Notre Dame off the board and helping the Wildcats break out to a 3-0 lead. Then, leading 14-11, LoManto had a pair of crucial saves down the stretch to preserve the victory for Northwestern. Leonard made an immediate impact in her first collegiate game, recording a goal off a hard angle shot from the right side of the net against the Irish. But where she really made her mark was in the draw circle, winning a game-high six draw controls as Northwestern dominated Notre Dame 22-5.

    Northwestern Looks To Continue Dominance of ALC
    Few teams in any sport have had as much success against their conference opponents as Northwestern has had against American Lacrosse Conference foes over the past seven seasons. The Wildcats enter Sunday's ALC opener against Vanderbilt having won 36 consecutive conference games, dating back to the 2004 season. Fittingly, it was the Commodores that was the last ALC team to beat the Wildcats, defeating Northwestern 10-9 in overtime in Evanston. Northwestern has won six consecutive ALC titles and have won all four ALC tournaments since its inception in 2007.

    2011 Northwestern Season Tickets On Sale Now
    The Wildcats have seven home dates at beautiful Lakeside Field this spring, including four games against 2010 NCAA tournament teams and a pair of American Lacrosse Conference matches. Thanks to the support of Northwestern's passionate fan base, the Wildcats have led the nation in attendance for the past two seasons, averaging just under 1,000 fans per home game in 2010. The Wildcats set an NCAA record by winning 58 consecutive home games from 2004 through 2010 and each of the Wildcats' 2010 home games were televised either live or on tape delay by the Big Ten Network last year, adding to an already electric game day atmosphere. Adult season tickets for the 2011 campaign are $40, with youth season tickets priced at $25 for fans 18 and younger. A Family Plan is also available for $80, which admits two adults and three children to all seven Northwestern home games. Season tickets can be purchased by contacting the Northwestern ticket office at 888-GO-PURPLE or clicking the ticket link at


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