CHARLOTTESVILLE - The ninth-ranked Virginia women's lacrosse team faces No. 1 Northwestern on Saturday (April 28) at 1 p.m. (Eastern Time) in Evanston, Ill. Live statistics and live video (subscription required) can be accessed at VirginiaSports.com.
Virginia (11-6, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) is coming off a semifinal appearance at the 2012 ACC Tournament. The Cavaliers defeated No. 17 Boston College, 13-8, in the quarterfinals before dropping a 14-6 semifinal contest to No. 3 North Carolina.
The Cavaliers are led by Josie Owen, recently named a nominee for the 2012 Tewaaraton Award. Owen, a senior attacker from Gibson Island, Md., leads UVa in points (76), goals (41) assists (35) and draw controls (40). She ranks 14th in the nation in points per game (4.47).
Freshman Sloan Warren (Philadelphia, Pa.) is second on the team in goals (25) and points (37), while senior Julie Gardner (Severna Park, Md.) is third with 33 points on 20 goals and 13 assists.
Junior goalkeeper Kim Kolarik (Riva, Md.) has started 16 of the Cavaliers' 17 games and has posted a 9.88 goals-against average. She has been named the ACC Defensive Player of the Week three times this season.
Northwestern is the nation's No. 1-ranked team. The Wildcats have an overall record of 15-1 and a 4-1 mark in the American Lacrosse Conference (ALC). In their last outing, Northwestern defeated Notre Dame, 17-7. The Wildcats' lone loss was on April 21 against then-No. 5 Florida, 8-7.
Northwestern is led by Shannon Smith, who has posted 52 goals and 19 assists for 71 points. Erin Fitzgerald is second on the team with 43 goals and 52 points.
This is the 12th meeting between the two women's lacrosse programs and Northwestern holds a slight 6-5 lead in the series. Last season in Charlottesville, the Wildcats prevailed by a score of 8-4.
Notably, the teams met for the 2005 and 2007 NCAA Championships, with Northwestern winning both titles.
The field for the 2012 NCAA Championship will be announced on Sunday, May 6.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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