Revenge has become a factor every time North Carolina and Wake Forest have met in a field hockey match in the last two years.
UNC (12-1, 2-0 in the ACC) gained the upper hand the last time the two teams met, defeating Wake Forest 3-2 at Henry Stadium on Sept. 30. The win knocked Wake (11-1, 2-1) from third in the nation to fourth and restored the Tar Heels to No. 3 in the rankings.
The victory was also good for bragging rights in the ACC because tonight's 7 p.m. game at Wake's Kentner Stadium will not count toward ACC totals. The league requires each team to schedule an ACC opponent only once a season.
Wake swept the Tar Heels in three meetings in 1999. Avenging those losses was a priority for the Tar Heels going into the Sept. 30 game.
And even with the win out of the way, UNC coach Karen Shelton said her team isn't changing anything in its game plan for Wake.
"We want to be concerned with our team, ourselves and our development," Shelton said. "I think that we've been improving, so we want to take another step. It doesn't necessarily matter who we're playing.
"It's a big game - it's a big game for them. It's a big game for us. So in that regard, there's pressure on our team. But specifically, we're not going to make any changes or doing anything different because it's Wake Forest."
The Tar Heels will try to carry their offensive momentum from Sunday's
10-0 trouncing of Radford into their game against the Demon Deacons. UNC showed a varied offense, with five different players scoring goals.
"We're thinking about Wake right now," junior forward Katie McDonald said after Sunday's victory against the Highlanders. "This helps give us more confidence that we had the opportunity to score a lot of goals. Hopefully, this will carry into Tuesday."
UNC will need Kristen McCann, one of the few forwards who couldn't find the back of the net Sunday, to duplicate the two-goal performance she had against Wake earlier this season.
McCann leads the Tar Heels with 15 goals and has moved into the UNC top-10 career goals and total points lists this season.
Wake's leading scoring, Jenny Everett, was held to an assist in the Sept. 30 game. She has 12 goals so far this season for a team with a more varied offensive attack than the Tar Heels.
Five Wake players have six or more goals going into tonight's game.
The Sports Editor can be reached at email@example.com.