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Louisville and Syracuse won the opening round Wednesday afternoon and now move on to the Semifinals. Wake Forest, North Carolina, Clemson, and Notre Dame are the top four seeds in bracket play and all will be hosting opponents on Sunday, November 8 at 1 p.m.
The winners will move on to play in the semifinals on November 11, as we near closer to naming a champion.
Let’s take a closer look at each matchup below.
#9 Louisville vs #1 Wake Forest
This is actually a rematch of a game that just happened over a week ago, when the Demon Deacons won 4-2 to claim the ACC regular-season title and the Atlantic Division.
Now these two teams meet up again, as the Cardinals hope to upset the No. 1 team in the country on their home turf. In that game on October 30th, Hayden Partain played tremendously for Wake Forest, getting three shots on goal and scoring two of the four goals that night. Jacori Hayes and Jackson Harrison were the other two goal scorers in the win for Wake Forest.
Louisville hopes to deter Wake Forest from getting out in front so quickly like they did in their last outing, when the Demon Deacons scored three goals in the first 17 minutes of play, before Danny Reynolds got the Cardinals on the board with a goal.
The Cardinals will have their hands full, as Wake Forest is 10-1-1 at home this year and they haven’t lost a game since September 15 against Elon. They also have 10 shutouts on the season, as Alec Ferrell finished the season with a .49 goals against average.
#5 Virginia vs #4 Notre Dame
The last time these two teams met was back on September 25th, when the Cavaliers traveled to Notre Dame and suffered their first loss of the season, losing 3-1 to the Irish. Now these two teams meet up for a chance to move on to the Semifinals in the ACC Championship.
The Cavaliers will have to be tough on defense, especially with the likes of Jon Gallagher, who finished second in total goals this season with eight, while players such as Evan Panken and Patrick Hodan are more than capable of creating offense and opportunities for the Irish.
The Hoos are coming off a double overtime tie against North Carolina back on Oct 30, as they were able to get back on track to finish the season. Virginia hopes to get out early on the road against Notre Dame and depend on goalie Jeff Caldwell, who has 42 saves on the season.
The winner of this game will face either Louisville and Wake Forest.
#6 Boston College vs #3 Clemson
The Clemson Tigers have been one of the hottest teams down the stretch, holding onto their eight game win streak as they take on Boston College, a team they recently defeated on Oct 23rd.
The Eagles, who suffered a tough loss on the road last time against Clemson, will travel back down to South Carolina for a rematch against the Tigers in the ACC Quarterfinals. In the last game these two teams played in, the Eagles only gave up one goal early on to Thales Moreno, but used a solid defensive effort to hold the Tigers scoreless after. The Eagles just weren’t able to muster anything past goalie Andrew Tarbell that night.
For Clemson, T.J. Casner and Diego Campos have been solid all year long and dangerous weapons for the Tigers offensively, while Tarbell has ranked near the top in the conference in almost all defensive statistics in goal.
The Eagles will need Simon Enstrom and company to create something on the offensive side of the ball, in what could be another defensive battle between these two teams.
The winner of this game will take on the winner of Syracuse and North Carolina.
#7 Syracuse vs #2 North Carolina
These two teams met back in early October, when the Tar Heels rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit to take down the Orange 2-1 in Chapel Hill.
Now, the Orange hope for revenge back in Chapel Hill, as these two team meet up in the quarterfinals.
The Tar Heels have been a scoring machine this season, averaging 2.12 goals per game, while only giving up 12 to their opponents all year long. For North Carolina, Tucker Hume leads the way this season with nine goals and four assists, while Alan Winn has chipped in six goals of his own. Overall though, UNC has had 12 players score a goal and 12 players record an assist this season.
Syracuse isn’t far behind offensively, scoring a total of 34 goals this season, as Julian Buescher leads the way for the Orange offensively with seven goals, seven assists.
The Tar Heels are 11-0-1 on the season at home, while Syracuse is 3-4 on the road. Both programs bring offensive firepower, so which defense will step up in this matchup?
The winner of this game will take on the winner of Boston College and Clemson.