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Women's lacrosse Game of the Week: No. 5 North Carolina at No. 11 Northwestern

2017 Tewaaraton Award finalist Marie McCool with 25 goals and two assists
2017 Tewaaraton Award finalist Marie McCool with 25 goals and two assists (Jeffrey A. Camarati / North Carolina Athletics)

No. 5 North Carolina (5-2) at No. 11 Northwestern (5-2)

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

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Outlook: Northwestern leads this battle of perennial national championship contenders with an 11-7 series record, but the Tar Heels have won the past three meetings and five of the past six. Last year, North Carolina won 17-12 in a game that went back and forth early. With the score tied at 10 with 14 minutes to go, the Tar Heels scored four straight goals to take control. Both teams have dynamic offensive threats — the Tar Heels led by 2017 Tewaaraton Award finalist Marie McCool with 25 goals and two assists and the Wildcats by Selena LaSota with 16 goals and two assists. Each team has numerous additional threats as the Tar Heels average 15 goals while Northwestern scores 14.43 per game. The Wildcats have been stingier on defense, giving up only 7.86 goals per game while the Tar Heels allow 11.67. North Carolina, however, has played four teams currently ranked in the top seven — losses to No. 3 James Madison and No. 6 Florida and wins over No. 4 Maryland and No. 7 Virginia — while the Wildcats have just one, a loss to No. 1 Stony Brook.

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