The contest is Carolina's final regular season game of the season. The Tar Heels will host the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament next weekend in Chapel Hill and await an NCAA Tournament bid next month after final exams.
Carolina is ranked second in the nation in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association poll and third in the deBeer/Inside Lacrosse media poll this week. The Tar Heels began the season ranked fifth, moved into the No. 3 spot for a month after beating top-ranked Northwestern on Feb. 22 and advanced to the No. 2 spot in both polls on April 2 prior to losing at top-ranked Maryland on April 6.
Carolina (12-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) has won 12 of its last 13 games, winning 11 in a row before a loss at Maryland on April 6. The 11-game winning streak matched the second-longest in program history.
Saturday's game completes a nearly month-long stretch that will see Carolina play four of five games on the road. The span started with the March 28 win at Duke and concludes on Saturday.
Carolina will host the 2013 ACC Tournament at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill on April 25-28.
The Tar Heels have the nation's 12th-best scoring defense entering Saturday's game, allowing 8.3 goals per game. UNC senior goalkeeper Lauren Maksym is eighth in the nation in goals-against average at 7.52. A veteran defensive unit that includes returning All-America Sloane Serpe, All-America candidate Margaret Corzel, sophomore Caileigh Sindall and freshman Mallory Frysinger has helped Maksym post her best season yet in 2013.
Carolina is led offensively by senior All-America Kara Cannizzaro (40 goals, eight assists), junior Abbey Friend (24 goals, 10 assists), Brittney Coppa (23 goals, three assists), junior Taylor George (20 goals, five assists) and freshman Aly Messinger (19 goals, eight assists).
Saturday's Carolina-Vanderbilt matchup will be streamed live online on Vanderbilt's official website. For more information, visit VUCommodores.com.
Carolina leads the all-time series with Vanderbilt, 16-1, and has won eight in a row over the Commordores. Vanderbilt's victory over UNC came in 2004 in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels are 8-0 against the Commodores in Nashville.
Vanderbilt enters Saturday's game with a record of 2-13, including 0-5 in the American Lacrosse Conference and 2-5 at home in Nashville.
The Commodores and Tar Heels have played six mutual opponents this season (Jacksonville, Boston College, Northwestern, Duke, Penn and Florida). Carolina is 5-1 against those opponents (losing only the season opener to Florida). Vanderbilt is 0-6 versus those six opponents.
Vanderbilt is led offensively by Carly Linthicum, who has 48 goals and 14 assists. Mallory Schonk has 22 goals and nine assists and Abby Wheeler has 24 goals and three assists this spring.
UNC will host the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Lacrosse Tournament at Fetzer Field on April 25, 26 and 28. The Tar Heels also will host the ACC Men's Lacrosse Tournament on Friday and Sunday at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill.
Carolina, with a 4-1 ACC record this season, will be the No. 2 seed and will receive a bye to the semifinals on Friday April 26. Maryland will be the top seed. The tournament bracket and schedule will be released this weekend.
Tickets for the tournament are $8 for adults and $5 for students and children. For more information or to order tickets for either the women's or men's ACC lacrosse tournaments, visit the Ticket Center on GoHeels.com.