The game will be streamed live online by Orange All-Access on Syracuse's website, Cuse.com (subscription required). The contest is part of a doubleheader, as the UNC and Syracuse men's teams will meet at 6 p.m. in the Carrier Dome after the women's matchup.
Carolina will be playing a top-tier opponent for the third game in a row and is in the midst of the toughest stretch of its schedule. The Tar Heels lost at No. 6 Northwestern on March 31 and beat No. 2 Maryland at home in Chapel Hill last Saturday afternoon. After Saturday's game in the Carrier Dome, Carolina will return home to host Duke, another top-10 foe, next Wednesday.
UNC has won 16 of its last 17 outings. Syracuse is 12-1 this season (4-1 in ACC play) and has won six consecutive games entering Saturday's contest. The Orange's only loss of the season came on March 10 to Maryland.
The Tar Heels have a 5-0 ACC record this season, tying the program record for most conference wins in a season. Prior to the ACC expansion that added Syracuse and Notre Dame to the conference this year, Carolina had posted one 5-0 ACC record in its history (in 2012). UNC has had two undefeated conference seasons since the ACC began sponsoring the sport in 1997—in 1998 (3-0) and 2012 (5-0).
Although Saturday's contest will be a road game for the Tar Heels, it will be a homecoming of sorts for Tar Heel redshirt freshman Carly Davis, who is a native of Skaneateles and attended Skaneateles High School.
A total of 10 Carolina players are New York natives, including Davis, Mallory Frysinger (Corning), Sammy Jo Tracy (Bedford), Kate Burbank (Bedford Corners), Abbey Friend (Canandaigua), Lindsay Scott (Yorktown Heights), Sarah Scott (Yorktown Heights), Maggie Bill (Huntington), Paula Schmidt (Wantagh) and Kayla Miles (Watertown).
Carolina and Syracuse have met three times previously in women's lacrosse with the Orange leading the series 2-1.
Saturday's game will be the first regular season meeting and the between the two schools and the first Atlantic Coast Conference matchup between them. Syracuse is in the midst of its first season as an ACC school after joining the conference last summer.
Katrina Dowd, now in her second season as an assistant coach at Carolina, served as an assistant at Syracuse under Orange head coach Gary Gait for one season in 2012.
On May 10, 2001, the Tar Heels beat the Orange, 14-9, in the NCAA first round in Chapel Hill. On May 17, 2008, Syracuse beat Carolina 13-11 in the NCAA quarterfinals in the Carrier Dome. On May 19, 2012, the Orange beat the Tar Heels in a thriller in the NCAA quarterfinals in the Carrier Dome, 17-16.
Two years ago in the NCAA quarterfinals, Michelle Tumolo scored with five seconds remaining to cap a furious Syracuse rally in the final minutes and defeat Carolina, 17-16. The Tar Heels led 16-14 after a goal by Laura Zimmerman with 3:04 left to play, only to see Syracuse score three times in the final 2:24, including twice in the final 39 seconds, to take the victory. Carolina's bid for a fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA semifinals fell short, despite the Tar Heels rallying from a 4-0 deficit in the first five minutes of the game.