|(3) North Carolina (11-1 4-0)||9||9||18|
|Virginia Tech (6-5 0-3)||7||4||11|
All Time vs. North Carolina: 0-17 • At VT: 0-6 • At UNC: 0-9 • Neutral: 0-2
Notes: The Hokies are still in search of their first win over North Carolina ... UNC has been ranked in 14 of the 17 meetings ... This is the fifth straight game the Tar Heels have been ranked in the top 5 when facing Tech ... The two teams last met a season ago when UNC topped the Hokies 15-4 in Chapel Hill ... Tech will make a trip to Chapel Hill later this season as the Tar Heels will host the ACC Tournament.
Scouting North Carolina
The Tar Heels enter the weekend game at 10-1 on the season, after topping No. 6 Duke 12-11 in overtime Thursday night in Durham. They fell in their season opener to a ranked Florida team, 5-3, and bounced back winning ten straight since then. North Carolina has knocked off six ranked teams in the process.
Leading the Heels offense this season has been his week’s ACC Player of the Week Kara Cannizzaro, who has put away 31 goals. Emily Garrity has been a strong set-up man for North Carolina, assisting 13 scores while also adding seven goals of her own.
Margaret Corzell has helped anchor North Carolina’s string defensive unit, picking up 21 ground balls and causing 14 turnovers this year. Lauren Maksym boasts an 9-1 record so far this season in cage, as well as a .467 save percentage. Entering the week, Maksym led the league with a 5.99 goals against average, which also ranked her third in the nation. As a team, the Tar Heels rank ninth nationally, only allowing 7.60 goals per game.
Last Time Out
The Hokies brought the momentum back from the West Coast as they made it three straight wins when they defeated Old Dominion 16-8 at Thompson Field. Tech dominated the first half, stringing together a six-goal run through the latter part of the half, while also holding the Lady Monarchs to just two first-half goals.
Tech matched the first-half total, scoring eight goals again in the second half to keep its distance. Megan Will led the team with five points, while Meg Bartley, Libby Rosebro and Kelly Naslonski also added four points. Christina Patten caused three turnovers for the second straight game and Kristin Semones caused a pair of turnovers, also picking up four ground balls.
The Hokies will hit the road next week as they head to nearby Liberty for a midweek game. This is the third straight week Tech has only played one game in a week.
Controlling the Draw
The Hokies as a team have dominated the draw this season, winning 130 so far, while their opponent has only won 103. Sophomore Meg Bartley leads the league averaging 4.70 per game, while the team sits at fourth in the conference with 13.00 per game.
The Hokies are among the top teams in the conference in offensive production, trailing only Maryland and Duke averaging 4.80 assists and 16.50 points per game.Tech sits at fourth in the league in scoring, averaging 11.70 goals per game, just behind North Carolina which scores 11.80 goals per outing.
Showing great efficiency, the Hokies have earned their fourth-place ranking while taking the fewest shots per game among league teams.
The Tech defense has been a strong force this season, holding opponents to just 9.30 goals per game. Anchored by redshirt senior Christina Patten, seniors Charlotte Marsh and Kristin Semones and sophomore Ann Wallace Tazewell as well as senior goalie Alex Gale make up the threatening unit. Patten is tied for second among ACC players with 1.30 caused turnovers per game. As a group, they have been a key piece in holding eight of Tech’s 10 opponents so far this year to single-digit scoring, while combining to grab 62 ground balls and cause 31 turnovers.
Against The Best
Being in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Hokies play a plethora of the nation’s best teams and players on a weekly basis. Having already taken on No. 7/6 Duke, now ranked James Madison and No. 20 Boston College, Tech will host No. 3/3 North Carolina this weekend. North Carolina will bring to town one of the strongest defensive units in the country. The squad allows just 7.60 goals per game, which leads the ACC and ranks ninth nationally.
Although Tech is just 5-74 against ranked opponents, the Hokies have knocked off two ranked opponents in the last two seasons, earning their first-ever defeat of a top-10 foe when they topped then-No. 7 Virginia last year.
Senior Alex Gale is one of just two current players on Tech’s roster to rank amongst the all-time best in career stats, as she sits in fifth place at Tech with 348 career saves.
Sophomore Meg Bartley has already broken into the all-time top 10, sitting in eighth place with 90 career draws. She has also made her second notch on the single-seasons draw list, ranking eighth with 47 so far this year.
Senior Julia Heaps is on the brim of cracking into the top-10 at Tech as she has 25 career assists, needing just 10 more, while sophomore Megan Will is 10 goals away from breaking into the single-season scoring list with 27 goals already.
For updates on Virginia Tech lacrosse, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Lax).