Penn Women's Lacrosse on Twitter
Live Stats | Live Video
PHILADELPHIA - No. 18 Penn will look to get on track this weekend after a season-opening loss to Drexel last Saturday, but the task will not be an easy one as No. 3 North Carolina comes to Franklin Field in an early marquee women's lacrosse matchup.
The blossoming rivalry between the Quakers and Tar Heels has been a close one, Penn holding a slim 3-2 lead in the all-time series. All five meetings have come over the last five seasons, with Penn holding the only two wins in games contested in Philadelphia - an 11-2 win in 2009 and a 10-7 victory in 2011.
The 2011 victory saw the Quakers defeat a third-ranked Tar Heel team on the strength of a 6-2 run over the game's final 19:03. Caroline Bunting and Tory Bensen each had two goals in that game-winning spurt, while Meredith Cain had a pair of goals in the first half.
Last year, No. 7 Penn was bested by the No. 2 Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, 15-6. Bunting again had two goals, while Bensen, Cain and Maddie Poplawski each scored once. Despite the score, Emily Leitner was huge in goal for the Quakers, making 11 saves in the loss.
The Red and Blue spotted Drexel too big of a lead last weekend in their season opener, thrice getting within one goal in the second half, but unable to slay the Dragons. Poplawski led the Quakers in scoring with two goals and an assist, while Bensen returned to the lineup with two goals.
North Carolina is 3-1 entering the weekend, and coming off an impressive 11-8 win over No. 1 Northwestern in Chapel Hill last weekend. UNC was dominant in the first half, darting out to a 7-1 lead midway through the opening thirty minutes. Abbey Friend had three goals, while Sammy Jo Tracy, Kara Cannizzaro and Taylor George each had a pair.
The Tar Heels are 3-1 overall, and winners of their last three games. After a 5-3 loss to No. 3 Florida to start the year, UNC has gone on to defeat No. 17 Towson (9-6) and Richmond (14-7) before the win over the defending national champion Wildcats. All four games have been at home, making Saturday's tilt at Franklin Field the first road test of 2013 for the Heels.
Cannizzaro leads the Tar Heels in scoring with 11 points, including 10 goals over the first four games of the season. A third-team All-American and second-team All-Region performer last season, Cannizzaro scored 42 goals last season. Friend was second-team All-Region last season and entered 2013 with 86 career goals through two seasons. She already has seven goals this season.
Second-team All-American Sloane Serpe returns for the Tar Heels and already has five ground balls and three caused turnovers this season. She had 21 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers last season. In goal, Lauren Maksym and Megan Ward have split time, Maksym recording the decision in each game. Maksym has a 5.20 GAA and a .480 save percentage. Ward is making saves at a .458 clip with a GAA of 8.67.