Loyola University, the BIG EAST’s entrant in the 2011 NCAA Championship, will travel to North Carolina on Saturday, May 21 for a second round tournament contest. The Greyhounds (17-2, 6-2 BIG EAST) are seeded No. 6 in the 16-team NCAA tournament and will take on the No. 3 seed Tar Heels (14-5, 3-2 ACC) at 1:00 p.m. ET.
The winner will advance to play either Northwestern or Albany in the NCAA Semifinals on Friday, May 27 in Stony Brook, N.Y.
Loyola’s date with the Tar Heels in the NCAA Quarterfinals is the Greyhounds’ first trip to the Round of 8 since 2003 when they defeated Yale 13-7 to advance to the Semifinals. The Greyhounds are making their 14th appearance in the NCAA Championship and have a 12-13 record in their previous tournament games.
The Greyhounds are 6-1 all-time in NCAA Quarterfinals games, including a 7-5 victory over North Carolina in Chapel Hill on May 14, 2000. Loyola and North Carolina will be meeting for the 14th time when they take the field on Saturday and the third time in NCAA Championship play. The Tar Heels hold an 8-5 advantage in the previous meetings, but Loyola has won both NCAA games, including a 10-8 decision on May 17, 1997.
Earlier this month, Loyola placed a conference-high eight players on the All-BIG EAST teams, led by first-team honorees Grace Gavin and Abby Rehfuss. Gavin also was named the BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year for the second season in a row.
Gavin had scored at least one goal in 59 consecutive games, dating back to March 30, 2008 at Penn State, until Massachusetts held her without one last week. She did have a game-high three assists, extending her points-scored streak to 66 games. Gavin has scored at least one point in 69-of-70 career games. She is Loyola’s all-time leader in points scored with 301. Gavin leads the team with 88 points this season, including 66 goals.
Last Saturday’s victory in the NCAA First Round over Massachusetts was Loyola’s 17th of 2011, tying the school record for victories in a season. The 2003 team that advanced to the NCAA Final Four also won 17 games and finished with a 17-2 record.