Feb. 27, 2009

Courtesy of North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL - The University of North Carolina women's lacrosse team will face a stiff challenge this weekend when it hosts No. 1-ranked and four-time defending NCAA champion Northwestern on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill.

The Wildcats have won the last four national titles and have lost just two games in the last two-plus seasons. One of those losses was in their last visit to Chapel Hill, however, as Carolina beat Northwestern 9-8 in overtime in the 2007 season opener for both teams at Fetzer Field.

"Northwestern has developed a style of play that is aggressive and up-tempo," says Carolina head coach Jenny Levy. "If your team isn't comfortable playing that tempo, it can be intimidating and take you out of your style of play. We have to stay focused on playing our style and not get taken out of our rhythm."

The Tar Heels have started the 2009 season well, winning their first three games to start 3-0. Carolina won its season-opener two weeks ago in overtime at then-No. 12 Vanderbilt. Last weekend, the Tar Heels swept a pair of home games against unranked opponents in Chapel Hill, topping Oregon, 15-7, and Richmond, 15-8.

Northwestern plays Vanderbilt on Friday night in Nashville, Tenn., before heading to Chapel Hill for Sunday's matchup at Fetzer Field. The Wildcats are 3-0 entering Friday's game at Vandy.