March 27, 2014
SCHEDULE ALERT: Northwestern Athletics announced Saturday that the Northwestern vs. North Carolina women's lacrosse game scheduled for Sunday, March 30, at Lakeside Field has been postponed due to team travel issues for UNC. The game has been rescheduled for Monday, March 31, at 3:30 p.m. CT at Lakeside Field.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Two mainstays at the top of the women's college lacrosse rankings and the last two NCAA champions square off Monday (3:30 p.m. CT) in a key nonconference matchup, as No. 7 Northwestern (5-3) welcomes top-ranked and undefeated North Carolina (11-0) to Lakeside Field in Evanston.
Tickets to watch the Wildcats and Tar Heels renew their rivalry are available at the entrance to Lakeside Field ($7 adults, $4 youth/senior citizen, $3 for groups of 15 or more, FREE for Northwestern students). Parking is free for all fans.
That's A First
Northwestern has hosted dozens of top-5 and top-10 matchups in Evanston under Kelly Amonte Hiller'sleadership, but Monday's game against North Carolina marks the first time under Amonte Hiller that NU will play host to an opponent ranked No. 1 in the nation. The Wildcats have hosted the No. 2-ranked team on three occasions, all three of which came when NU held the top spot in the poll: vs. Duke in 2005 (W, 12-11), vs. Maryland in 2007 (W, 12-7), and vs. UNC in 2010 (L, 18-16).
Wildcats On The Web
In lieu of original plans to broadcast the game on CSN Chicago, Monday's game will stream live via YouTube and is free to watch for all fans. Live Twitter updates also will be available by following the @NU_SportsLIVE handle.
Milestone in Sight for NU Lacrosse
In addition to being a significant step in their hunt for a national championship, a Northwestern win over the Tar Heels Monday would also mark a milestone in the history of Northwestern Lacrosse. The NU Lax program stands one victory shy of 300 all-time wins, with a record of 299-94. Kelly Amonte Hillerhas led the Wildcats to 220 of those wins, with the remaining 79 coming during the initial era of Northwestern Lacrosse from 1982-92.
The Tar Heels in Brief
Coming off the first NCAA championship in program history last spring, North Carolina arrives in Evanston with a 15-game winning streak dating to last season and has shown no signs of slowing down in 2014. Nine of the Tar Heels' 11 victories this year have come by five or more goals, with their closest call coming in a 14-13 road win over No. 4-ranked Boston College.
North Carolina's high-powered attack has the Heels averaging bet¬ter than 18 goals per outing, led by the dynamic trio of senior Abbey Friend (54 pts.), sophomore Aly Messinger (44 pts.) and freshman Sydney Holman (44 pts.). Meanwhile, solid sophomore goalkeeper Megan Ward has started all 11 games for the Heels but has also shared time with newcomer Caylee Waters (42 saves, 6.77 GAA, .553 save pct.) in the cage.
Ultra-successful head coaches Kelly Amonte Hillerand Jenny Levy will square off against one another for the 15th time in their careers, with Amonte Hiller's NU sides holding a 10-4 advantage in the all-time series but with UNC having won the last two. The two coaches, who have combined for 453 career wins, have seen their games decided by a single goal five times, including a stretch of three straight from 2011 to 2012. NU is 4-1 all-time against North Carolina in games played in Evanston, with the lone loss coming in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup on April 18, 2010.
Can I Help You?
Northwestern dropped nine assists in its 20-6 victory over Division I-newcomer Michigan on March 11, the most in a single game by the Wildcats in almost exactly two years; NU also posted nine assists on March 10, 2012, against William & Mary. The nine helpers against the Wolverines came courtesy of eight different players with only Kate Macdonald(2) registering a multi-assist effort.
Two games later at No. 10 UMass, senior Kelly Rich broke out against her home state university for a career high four assists, a single-game high for a Wildcat this season and the most by an NU player since Shannon Smithnotched four in the NCAA semifinals vs. Maryland on May 25, 2012. The NU senior's career-best for goals in a game also came against the Minutewomen when she netted four goals in the 2013 season-opener.
Up to Her Old Tricks
Ever since making a splash as a freshman in the 2011 NCAA Championship game, Kerri Harringtonhas developed a reputation as being one of the nation's top lockdown defenders and faceguarders. Last weekend, Harrington received her first two faceguarding assignments of the season and thrived on both occasions. She first locked up Syracuse super sophomore Kayla Treanor, who entered the game with 51 points this season but managed only one 8-meter goal until netting the final goal of the game with 4:26 remaining. Two days later at UMass, Harrington was assigned to dynamic UMass attacker Katie Ferris, who averaged 4.9 points per game coming in but was limited to only one second-half assist and zero shots on the night.
Behind Enemy Lines
Last time out for the Wildcats, head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller found herself standing down the sideline from two of her former standout players who are among the many branches on her coaching tree -- Angela McMahon ('04) and Brianne LoManto ('12), now the head coach and assistant coach of a top-10 ranked UMass program. On Monday, there will be another former Wildcat sporting enemy colors against Northwestern, this time 2010 alum and All-American attacker Katrina Dowd. Dowd is in her second year as an assistant coach for the Tar Heels after helping them to their first NCAA title in 2013. She ranks fifth on NU's career goals list (209) and seventh in points (267).
@NULax Gameday At A Glance
Game details, series history, facts, figures and more to get you set for Northwestern's matchup with No. 1 North Carolina Monday afternoon...
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