CHAPEL HILL – The University of North Carolina has earned the No. 3 seed in the 2013 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament, the NCAA Selection Committee announced on Sunday night.  The Tar Heels earn a bid for the ninth consecutive year and the 15th time overall.

UNC will host a first-round game between High Point (10-8) and Loyola (10-8) on Friday at 5 p.m. in Chapel Hill.  The winner of that game will advance to play Carolina in the second round on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Fetzer Field.

If the Tar Heels (14-3) win on Sunday, they will advance to host a quarterfinal game the following weekend in Chapel Hill against Georgetown, Penn or Virginia.

“We’re excited to get a bid to the tournament,” says head coach Jenny Levy.  “There are good teams that got left out of the field, so I’m glad our body of work earned us the third seed.  Our strength of schedule was good, one of the top two most difficult in the nation.”

Carolina played 14 games against 12 opponents who made the expanded, 26-team field this spring, including five games against top-six seeds.  UNC is 11-3 this season against teams in the 2013 NCAA Tournament field.

Undefeated Maryland is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by No. 2 seed Northwestern and No. 3 seed UNC.  Syracuse is the No. 4 seed, Florida is No. 5, Georgetown is No. 6, Penn State is No. 7 and Navy is No. 8.

UNC is a top-five seed for the fifth year in a row and is the No. 3 seed for the fourth time in five years (2009-2010-2011-2013).  UNC was the No. 5 seed last year.

“Now that we know the path ahead, we can take care of finishing our final exams and then avoid distractions as we focus on how we want to play to close the season,” Levy says.  “Regardless of who we play on Sunday, we want to be playing at our very best and continue to improve moving forward.”

Carolina is making its 15th NCAA Tournament appearance in 18 years as a varsity program. The Tar Heels are 17-14 in NCAA Tournament games and have made six semifinal appearances (1997, 1998, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2011), including three in the last four years. In 2009, UNC reached the NCAA championship game for the first time in school history.

The NCAA semifinals and national championship game will be played on May 24 and 26 in Villanova, Pa.