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Whether it’s on the men’s side or women’s side, ACC Soccer has simply been dominating the field this year, with multiple teams being ranked in the Top 25 rankings, along with several others gaining national attention. On the men’s side, North Carolina comes in at No. 2 this week, while Clemson follows in at No. 5, Wake Forest at No. 6, Notre Dame at No. 7, Virginia at No. 10, and Syracuse getting in at No. 22.
On the women’s side, the ACC owns the top three spot in the national rankings, with North Carolina leading the way at No. 1. But not far behind them are Florida State and Virginia, who come in at No. 2 and No. 3 and have a chance this week to bump the ACC even more with nationally ranked games. Clemson comes in at No. 7, while the Hokies continue to show a ton of potential, come in at No. 9, and Notre Dame is at No. 16.
Let’s take a weekly look at each programs schedule and matchups, as we start rounding out the season and head into the ACC Championship.
ACC Men’s Soccer
No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels (8-0-1)
The Tar Heels come in on the week with an 8-0-1 record but will play two tough back-to-back games against UNC-Wilmington, who comes in with a 6-1-2 record and just on the edge of making the Top 25 rankings. Then following that, North Carolina takes on ACC Top 25 opponent in Syracuse, before welcoming in College of Charleston on the following Tuesday. UNC-Wilmington and Syracuse rank in the top ten in scoring offense this year, with the Seahawks at No. 2 in the nation and the Orange ranking at No. 9. Coming into this week, the Tar Heels lead the Coastal with a 4-0-0 conference record.
No. 5 Clemson Tigers (8-1-2)
After playing on Tuesday night against Charlotte and getting the 1-0 victory, the Tigers will only have one game in a week span, coming against Louisville at home on Friday night. The matchup will have two of the better scorers in the ACC with senior T.J. Casner for Clemson and freshmen Tate Schmitt battling it out, both having six goals on the season so far. This will be a rematch of last year’s ACC final, in with Clemson won 2-1 in 2OT.
No. 6 Wake Forest (8-1-1)
The Demon Deacons have one game on the schedule this coming week after their game against No. 15 South Carolina on Tuesday. The Deacons travel to Raleigh to take on the Wolfpack for a Friday night showdown in the ACC. Currently, Wake Forest is 3-0-0 on the road this year so far. Wake Forest’s Jackson Harrison is coming off being named Co-Offensive Player of the Week, scoring two goals against Boston College and now has 13 total points on the season.
No. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-2-2)
The Fighting Irish host two games this coming week, one being an out-of-conference game against Michigan, who received 24 votes this past week in the Coaches Rankings. Then they welcome in the Duke Blue Devils, who have struggled in conference play this season with a 0-3-1 record and who is 5-4-2 overall.
No. 10 Virginia Cavaliers (7-1-2)
Virginia bounced back from their road loss to Notre Dame with two wins against Louisville and Portland. Now they travel Friday night to Boston College and then welcome in American to Charlottesville for a small break in ACC play. Virginia moved up one spot from last week to No. 10 and is hoping to stay close to North Carolina in the Coastal Division.
No. 22 Syracuse Orange (8-2-1)
Now on a five game win streak, Syracuse has a big game against the top team in the ACC on the men’s side in North Carolina. This one will be in Chapel Hill but the Orange are on a roll and could get a huge boost towards their season if they can get the road win. They will then welcome in Bowling Green, who is home to one of the elite scorers in the country in Pat Flynn (nine goals). But the Orange have their own weapon in Julian Buescher, who has scored a least one point in the past eight games for Syracuse.
Virginia Tech (4-4-1)
The Hokies are hoping to stay above .500 overall this week and get their first win in conference play. They will have one chance this week to get it against Pittsburgh and then hit the road again to take on High Point for an out-of-conference matchup. High Point has been on a nice roll to start this week and have a 3-1-1 record at home.
Pittsburgh Panthers (5-4-1)
The Panthers are coming off a 1-1 tie against a not so great Niagara team that only has one win on the season. But they stay home this week in their six home game stretch, welcoming a Virginia Tech team that is one of three Coastal teams that haven’t secure an ACC win yet (Pittsburgh is one of them). Cleveland State will be the second opponent of the week, which will be played next Tuesday.
Boston College (7-3-1)
The Eagles only take on one opponent this week but it could be a big one before heading into the ACC tournament in a few weeks. They welcome in No. 10 Virginia to Newton, Massachusetts for a Friday night showdown. These two teams haven’t meet up since the 2013 season, when Virginia took a 1-0 win.
Louisville Cardinals (4-4-3)
After a strong start, the Cardinals have gone 1-3-3 in their last seven, with the only win coming against Memphis in September. It could be hard for the Cardinals to get their first ACC win against a very good Clemson team this week. They will then welcome in UConn next Tuesday night at home. The Tigers will see if they finally get over the hump this week with three close games recently, none giving them the win.
Duke Blue Devils (5-4-2)
After a strong start to the season and being ranked in the Top 25, the Blue Devils have fallen off and are still searching for their first ACC win. Duke has one chance to gain that in what would be an upset against No. 10 Notre Dame away from Durham, while going up against Holy Cross next Tuesday. The Blue Devils are coming off a win though against No. 23 Hofstra, so we shall see if that can change things up for Duke.
NC State Wolfpack (6-2-2)
After two straight ties in conference play, the Wolfpack take on two nationally ranked teams in Wake Forest and South Carolina, both in Raleigh. The Demon Deacons come in on Friday night, while the Gamecocks will battle it out nest Tuesday. The one thing the Wolfpack have going for them is that they are 4-0-1 at home this season so far.
ACC Women’s Soccer
No. 1 North Carolina (11-0-1)
North Carolina is one of three teams at the top of the Top 25 rankings this week but will be tested on who might be THE best in the ACC. First, they travel to Louisville, Kentucky to take on the Cardinals who comes in this week with a 6-5-1 record and 2-2 in conference play. Then, they travel down south in one of the biggest matchups of the weekend in women’s soccer, as they take on the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles, who are 10-1-1 and are looking to prove they are the best team in the country.
No. 2 Florida State Seminoles (10-1-1)
The Seminoles have two homes games, with one having national implications. Florida State started out the year No. 1 in the nation but has now moved up to No.2, one behind the Tar Heels. They welcome two North Carolina teams in the Wolfpack and Tar Heels to Tallahassee, with the game against UNC being the battle between the two top teams in the ACC and nation.
No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers (8-1-1)
Virginia is right in the middle of their four game road stretch. The game in Raleigh was postponed but in a tight race for the No. 1 ranking, Virginia travels to Clemson, South Carolina on Thursday night against No. 7 Clemson and then three days later, travels to Winston-Salem to take on Wake Forest. The game against the Tigers will certainly be the biggest of the week in a national showdown.
No. 7 Clemson Tigers (9-1-1)
After losing to Florida State back on Sept 24, the Tigers have clawed back with two wins and are now in their four-game home stretch, with their first battle against No. 3 Virginia on Thursday night and then No. 9 Virginia Tech. This will be no easy challenge for the Tigers but if they can get these two wins at home, they could put themselves in contention for an ACC title.
No. 9 Virginia Tech Hokies (11-1-1)
The Hokies have been pretty steady all year long, staying in between No. 13 and No.9 in the rankings and is coming off a nice win against then No. 22 Duke in Durham. Now, they hit the road for two games this week against a Wake Forest team that has struggled and then head into a Top 10 matchup against Clemson. The only loss so far this season for the Hokies was against the Tar Heels in a tight 2-1 game back in September.
No. 16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-3-1)
Notre Dame is hoping to get back on track this week, after dropping two 1-0 games against Florida State and Miami. Now they host Syracuse on Thursday night and Boston College on Sunday night. Syracuse ranks last in the ACC with a 0-4-0 conference record, while Boston College is hoping to prove they belong near the top of the ACC. Notre Dame needs these two games to get back towards the top of the ACC, as they sit with a 1-3-0 conference record.
Wake Forest (4-7-2)
The Demons Deacons host two top teams in the ACC in Virginia Tech on Thursday night and then Virginia on Sunday, both of them being ranked. Luckily, both games come at home in Winston-Salem, where the Deacons are 3-3 and hope to be spoilers against the two Virginia schools.
Syracuse Orange (4-8-1)
Unlike the Men’s side, the Syracuse Women’s team is heading in the wrong direction with four straight losses. It won’t get much easier though this week playing at Notre Dame on Thursday night and then against Pittsburgh on Sunday night before having a week off.
Pittsburgh Panthers (9-2-1)
The Panthers were riding high with an eight game win streak before being brought back down to earth with a 6-0 loss to Florida State this past weekend. Now, they welcome two ACC opponents to Ambrose Urbanic Field, as Boston College and Syracuse come into town. Boston College should present a great test for Pittsburgh with an 8-4-1 record, while Syracuse sits in last place in the ACC.
Boston College (8-4-1)
The Eagles showed tremendous fight against North Carolina but now finish up their four-game road stretch with a game at Pittsburgh and then against No. 16 Notre Dame. The Eagles could start to build momentum if they could somehow go 2-0 in these two games.
Louisville Cardinals (6-5-1)
Riding a two game win streak, the Lady Cardinals have two tough matches, starting with the top-ranked Tar Heels this Thursday night. It will be one of three home games the Cardinals will have in as many of matches. The second home game comes against Duke on Sunday night.
Duke Blue Devils (6-4-3)
Just like on the men’s side, Duke Women’s soccer has had some troubles in their past four games, going 0-2-2 and now have to hit the road against Miami on Thursday and then Louisville on Sunday. They certainly have a chance though against the Hurricanes, who come in with a 4-7-0 record overall, while Louisville could be a little more difficult. But the Blue Devils have a chance to go 2-0 this week and get their first wins in conference play.
NC State Wolfpack (4-8)
The Wolfpack are on a four game losing streak and are 0-3 in conference play this season. But NC State could play spoiler for one top ranked team, as the Wolfpack travel to Tallahassee to take on No. 2 Florida State Thursday night. After that, they will be staying in the Sunshine state and head to Miami to take on the Hurricanes, as both will be fighting to stay out of last place in the ACC.
Miami Hurricanes (4-7-0)
The Hurricanes are coming off a double overtime win against nationally ranked Notre Dame and they hope that can get them on track to get back to .500 in conference play against two teams that haven’t won an ACC game yet in Duke and NC State. These are two games that the Hurricanes must have in a tough stretch to end the season. Watch out though for Gracie Lachowecki, who is coming off scoring the game winner against Notre Dame, while goalie Catalina Perez filled in nicely for the injured Phallon Tullis-Joyce. Both took home ACC Players of the Week honors.