Once again peaking when it matters most, second-ranked Northwestern heads to Philadelphia and Villanova University this weekend looking to extend one of the most impressive dynasties in collegiate sports. The Wildcats, winners of seven NCAA championships in the last eight years, will try to stay perfect in NCAA semifinal outings (8-0) when they face third-ranked North Carolina to lead off semifinal Friday in Philadelphia.
Northwestern-North Carolina: Series Info
• Just over three months to the day since being dealt its first loss of the season on a rainy February night in Chapel Hill, Northwestern has a second crack at North Carolina this weekend. The Tar Heels emerged as 11-8 winners in the regular-season meeting despite a dominant effort on the draw circle by Northwestern (16-5) — specifically Alyssa Leonard, who had 12 in the game. Nine first-half turnovers by the ‘Cats allowed the hosts to surge to a 7-1 lead less than 15 minutes in, and although NU would cut its deficit to two with 14:40 to play, North Carolina held on for a key early-season win.
• The victory by the Tar Heels in February snapped Northwestern’s four-game winning streak in the series between the two schools, as well as a run of 10 straight wins against ACC opponents by the Wildcats. Despite NU’s lopsided advantage in the all-time series (10-3), the two teams head into Friday’s semifinal matchup with their last four head-to-head meetings having been decided by a total of six goals.