The Virginia Women's lacrosse team was selected to the NCAA field of 16 tonight, the Cavaliers' 16th straight trip to the tournament. The Cavaliers (9-8) will travel to Chapel Hill to take on North Carolina (13-5) Saturday at noon.
While uncertainty existed about whether the team would make the field, the bracket unveiled tonight included Virginia; the program continues their streak of NCAA tournaments, the second longest in the nation after Maryland. Despite finishing the regular season with a middling 9-8 record, the team's high strength of schedule, including wins vs. #14 Princeton, #17 Penn State, and at #15 Syracuse, likely lifted the the Cavaliers into the tournament.
The matchup against the Tar Heels will be the third meeting between the teams this season. Carolina took each of the first two, winning 8-7 in a thriller in Chapel Hill and 16-5 in the ACC tournament in Cary, NC. The teams also met in the second round of the NCAA tournament last year, with UNC prevailing 17-7.
Head coach Julie Myers told NBC 29, "I think this is a team that can make a run. I think we're one of the better 16 teams in the country. We have to prepare during exams, and then we take it on the road." Despite an up and down regular season, the battle-tested Virginia team expects a tough effort. The Cavaliers seek a second-ever national title, their first coming in 2004 after defeating Princeton.
Check out the full women's bracket, published by the NCAA, here.