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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The sixth-seeded and 10th-ranked Virginia women’s lacrosse team will open play at the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships Thursday evening, playing third-seeded and fourth-ranked North Carolina at WakeMed Park in Cary, N.C., at 7 p.m. There will be a free live webcast of the game provided by the ACC Network on Live statistics will also be available. Links for both can be found at

Thursday’s game will mark the second time this season that the Cavaliers (9-5, 1-4 ACC) and Tar Heels (10-4, 3-2 ACC) have faced each other and the fifth time in the past six seasons that the two have met in the postseason. In ACC Tournament games, Virginia holds an unblemished 4-0 record against North Carolina.

In the meeting on March 12, the Tar Heels held on for an 8-7 victory in Chapel Hill, N.C. Virginia used a string of four-straight goals to erase a 7-3 halftime deficit and even the score at seven all with 10:59 to play. North Carolina snapped the Cavalier scoring streak at the 7:29 mark, as Sarah Kuonen scored the second half’s lone goal and the game-winner for the Tar Heels.

Juniors Charlie Finnigan and Julie Gardner lead the Cavaliers this season, each contributing 51 points. Finnigan tops the team with 38 goals, while Gardner has a team-best 23 assists.

Defensively, sophomore goalkeeper Kim Kolarik leads the way with an ACC-best 32 ground balls, while senior All-American Liz Downs leads all field players in the league with 28 ground balls.

Corey Donohoe paces UNC’s offense with 50 points on 37 goals and 13 assists, while Becky Lynch is second on the team with 41 points. Mia Hurrin leads the defense with 23 ground balls.

In goal for the Tar Heels, Lauren Maksym is allowing 8.09 goals per game and has stopped 47.9 percent of shots faced.

With the 8-7 victory earlier this year, North Carolina earned a slight 13-12 advantage in the all-time series with Virginia. In the last 10 meetings between the two programs, the series is knotted at five all, although Carolina has won four of the last five contests – including the last two.

At the ACC Tournament, Virginia holds an all-time record of 17-9 and has won five conference championships – including three of the last five (2006-08).

The winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal match-up will advance to the semifinals and face second-seeded and second-ranked Duke at 7 p.m., Friday.

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