MORNING BRIEFING: Irish look for another upset

MORNING BRIEFING: Irish look for another upset

One of the biggest women's crowds of the season is expected at the Nike/Carolina Classic Friday night when No. 4 Notre Dame looks to knock off No. 2 North Carolina again.

The Irish upset UNC, 3-2, in a memorable third-round NCAA Tournament clash last year. The Irish attack -- Kerri Hanks, Brittany Bock and Michele Weissenhofer -- that scored two goals 14 seconds apart in the 13th minute returns intact.

Senior Lauren Karas, who held off a furious Carolina assault, has been replaced in goal by Kelsey Lysander, who shut out Santa Clara, 2-0, on Sunday.

UNC, also 3-0 after two weeks, suffered extensive losses on its backline but has been boosted by the play of Whitney Engen, who has moved from the frontline to the back.

Only two UNC starters weren't around for last year's loss to Notre Dame -- only their seventh in NCAA Tournament history. Ali Hawkins red-shirted last year, and Courtney Jones, daughter of former San Francisco 49ers star Brent Jones, is a freshman.

Sophomore Rachel Givan has been making a case to break into the Heels' starting lineup.

WEEKEND TOP 25 ACTION
Friday
#1 USC vs. #12 Santa Clara
#2 North Carolina vs. #4 Notre Dame (Nike/Carolina Classic)
22 Tennessee vs. #14 West Virginia (First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic)
Saturday
#4 Notre Dame vs. #11 Duke (Nike/Carolina Classic)
#21 Cal State Fullerton vs. #12 Santa Clara
#22 Tennessee vs. #13 Illinois (First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic)
#14 Wake Forest vs. #18 Texas A&M (Hawthorne Suites Hokie Invitational)

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