CHAPEL HILL - The University of North Carolina women's lacrosse team will play a top-five opponent for the second time in the first three weekends of the 2013 regular season when it hosts top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Northwestern on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Fetzer Field.
Two weeks ago, third-ranked Florida beat fifth-ranked Carolina, 5-3, in Chapel Hill in the season opener for both teams. The Tar Heels bounced back with a pair of home wins last weekend over Towson and Richmond.
Northwestern enters Friday's game with a 2-0 record and have won seven of the last eight NCAA championships, including the 2012 title.
SERIES HISTORY VS. NORTHWESTERN
• Northwestern leads the all-time series with North Carolina, 10-2, including four wins in a row over the Tar Heels.
• The Tar Heels are 2-6 against the Wildcats in regular season play and 1-3 against Northwestern in games played in Chapel Hill.
• Friday's game will be the eighth meeting between Carolina and Northwestern in the last five seasons (since 2009). The Wildcats have won seven of the last eight matchups in the series with UNC's win during that span coming in the 2010 regular season in Evanston, Ill.
• Last year, the Wildcats beat Carolina 8-7 in Evanston. In each of the previous three years (2009-2010-2011), the squads met in both the regular season and the NCAA Tournament.
• In 2011, Northwestern won a pair of one-goal decisions over UNC, picking up a 7-6 overtime in in Chapel Hill in the regular season and an 11-10 win in the NCAA Tournament semifinals in Stony Brook, N.Y.
• In the 2010 regular season, the Tar Heels beat Northwestern 18-16 in Evanston. The Wildcats responded with a 15-10 win over Carolina in the 2010 NCAA Tournament semifinals in Towson, Md.
• Prior to Carolina's regular-season win in Evanston in 2010, Northwestern had won three consecutive meetings with UNC and six of seven games in the series. Carolina beat Northwestern, 9-8, in two overtimes, in the 2007 regular season in Chapel Hill for its first win over the Wildcats.
TAR HEEL ASSISTANT DOWD FACING HER ALMA MATER
• Former Northwestern All-America Katrina Dowd is in her first season as first assistant coach at North Carolina, joining Jenny Levy's staff in the summer of 2012 after a season as an assistant at Syracuse. Her duties include recruiting and coaching the offense and draws.
• Dowd posted a stellar playing career at Northwestern, where she helped the Wildcats to three consecutive national championships from 2007-09. She also is a standout for the United States National Team, joining former Tar Heel players Kristen Carr, Amber Falcone, and Jenn Russell on the 2012-14 U.S. women's national senior team. Dowd has been a member of the U.S. national team since 2008 and was chosen as an alternate on the 2009 U.S. FIL World Cup Championship squad.
• A native of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Dowd was a two-time first-team IWLCA All-America at Northwestern (2009, 2010), winning three NCAA championships (2007, 2008, 2009).