The Tar Heels get the distinct pleasure of facing the No. 1 lacrosse team in the nation two weeks running. See, we in the ACC like to look out for each other. So when opportunity arose for Virginia to concede the No. 1 spot to Hopkins for a week, in order to allow UNC to build their RPI, SOS, and all that good stuff, Hoo were we to pass on that? Carolina returned the favor by taking down Hopkins last week and allowing Virginia to regain the top spot.
Virginia is in Chapel Hill for the first time in four years, with the last visit being a 12-11 overtime win for the good guys. Steele Stanwick is the current ACC Offensive Player of the Week, as well as the Nike Player of the Week after an offensive explosion against Maryland just last week. At 1-0, Virginia is the only team in the conference without a loss, and they look to keep the trend alive this afternoon.
Expect today's matchup to be a high-flying, offensive display by both teams. Carolina's defense isn't anything special compared to the other teams that Virginia has faced so far this season, and Duke exposed this earlier this year when they took down the Heels 13-11, though the halftime score was an impressive 9-3 in favor of Duke. Likewise, Carolina's offense ranks 10th in the nation at 12.0 goals a game.
Carolina doesn't force turnovers very often (6.18 a game, 52nd in the country) and Virginia doesn't turn the ball over very often (12.5 per game, first in the country), so if Virginia can just keep their nose to the grindstone, keep them on their toes in terms of switching between man-to-man and 3-3 zone, I don't think the Hoos should stumble today.
In fact, the Hoos haven't stumbled against Carolina in a while. No one currently at UNC -- not even head coach Joe Breschi -- has beaten Virginia. The Heels have not beaten Virginia since this weekend back in 2004.
Faceoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and will live broadcast on ESPN and ESPN3. Audio will be available via WINA 1070 and Cavaliers Live online.