Top 10 Preview
Two top-four matchups await No. 3 Florida State in UVa and VT
No. 1 Virginia
The Cavaliers remained the only unbeaten and untied team in Division I following a 2-0 win at then-No. 4 North Carolina on Sunday. Top-ranked Virginia, which is four points ahead of No. 3 Florida State the ACC standings, will now return home for its final three games of the regular season. Two of those games will come this weekend, including a Sunday battle with the second-place Seminoles.
First, Virginia (16-0-0, 10-0-0) will have to get by Miami on Thursday. The Cavaliers, led by 29 points this season from both Makenzy Doniak and Morgan Brian, could clinch the ACC regular-season title with a win. The Hurricanes went undefeated out of conference play, but stand 11th in the ACC at 3-6-1. One of those wins came against then-No. 3 Notre Dame on Oct. 6.
Third-ranked Florida State will then visit Charlottesville on Sunday, and they will be coming off a matchup with No. 4 Virginia Tech on Thursday. Currently, the Seminoles are 13-0-3 overall and 8-0-2 in the ACC.
No. 2 UCLA
UCLA has won nine of its past 10 games following its lone loss of the season, which came out of conference against North Carolina in early September. Since then, the Bruins have outscored opponents 19-3. They will head out on the road this weekend as they look to stay atop the Pac-12 standings. With five games to go on the schedule, UCLA (13-1-1, 5-0-1) holds a five-point lead on Washington.
The Bruins’ games this weekend are both against the squads that are tied for third in the Pac-12 standings, a point behind Washington. First, they will play at Utah (7-3-5, 3-2-1). The Utes are coming off a 1-0 loss at Stanford. UCLA will then travel to Colorado (11-3-1, 3-2-1), which drew with then-No. 8 California last weekend.
No. 3 Florida State
Two road tough tests await the Seminoles this weekend, as they will play two teams against top-four teams in the country and the first-place and third-place teams in the ACC. Florida State (13-0-3, 8-0-2) sits at second in the conference with 26 points, one point ahead of No. 4 Virginia Tech and four points behind No. 1 Virginia.
The Seminoles will take on the Hokies in Blacksburg on Thursday. Virginia Tech, which is riding a nine-game winning streak, is 13-1-2 on the year and 8-1-1 in the ACC. Then Florida State will matchup with top-ranked Virginia, which has yet to lose or tie in 16 games and 10 ACC games. It will rely on Kelsey Wys’ goalkeeping, as Wys has played every minute in goal this season, making 34 saves and allowing just eight.
No. 4 Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech has ascended in the rankings every week since mid-September and has not lost since falling at the hands of North Carolina on Sept. 12. Overall, the Hokies are 13-1-2 and 8-1-1 in the ACC, standing one point behind their first opponent this week, Florida State. Virginia Tech will host that game on Thursday evening with the chance to vault into second place in the ACC.
The Hokies will then play host to Miami on Sunday. The Hurricanes are 8-6-1 overall and 3-6-1 in the ACC. Miami will have just played at No. 1 Virginia on Thursday.
No. 5 North Carolina
North Carolina will be looking to get back on the winning track on Thursday when it hosts Clemson. The Tar Heels had won six consecutive games before losing 2-0 at Virginia on Sunday. They are 13-3-0 overall and 7-3-0 in the ACC, giving the 21 points, which is four points behind third-place Virginia Tech.
Clemson will come into Thursday’s matchup in seventh place in the ACC with a 4-4-2 conference record and standing at 7-5-4 overall, but it has won one game in its past six. North Carolina will then face off with No. 22 Wake Forest on Sunday. The Demon Deacons spent some time in the top 10 this year, but has fallen to a 9-4-2, 4-4-2 record and a sixth-place standing in the ACC.
No. 6 Portland
Portland netted a winner in overtime on Saturday against Gonzaga to keep its winning streak alive, extending it to 26. With five games remaining on the schedule, the Pilots (12-1-1, 4-0-0) are tied for first in the WCC with No. 11 Santa Clara. Portland will stay at home for two matches this weekend as it looks to keep its winning streak. On Thursday, it will host San Diego, followed by a matchup with No. 24 BYU on Saturday.
San Diego (9-6-0, 2-2-0) is in fourth place in the WCC and is coming off a 2-1 loss to Pepperdine last weekend. BYU, which will have played Gonzaga on Thursday, is currently 9-4-1 overall and 3-1-0 in the WCC. It has won four of its past five games.
No. 7 Florida
With three games to go in the regular season, Florida is tied with Kentucky for second in the SEC standings. The Gators are 6-2-0 in the conference and 12-3-1 overall, while Texas A&M has the same overall record but is 7-1-0 in the SEC. Florida will get its chance at A&M on Sunday afternoon, but first, it will play against Tennessee on Friday.
Tennessee (7-6-3, 2-4-2) is 11th in the conference standings and has won just one game in its past seven. Texas A&M, which was the first team listed as receiving votes in this week’s NSCAA coaches’ poll, is on a seven-game winning streak, but will also play against Mississippi before it meets up with the Gators.
No. 8 Stanford
Stanford, which responded from three consecutive losses with a win against Utah last weekend, will travel north for two away games this weekend. The Cardinal are 3-3-0 in the Pac-12, good enough for a tie for fifth-place, and 10-3-1 overall.
Stanford will first play at Oregon State on Friday. The Beavers are two points behind the Cardinal in the standings, and are 4-9-2 overall and 2-3-1 in the Pac-12. Oregon, which is tied for last with a 1-4-1 conference record, will be awaiting on Sunday.
No. 9 West Virginia
West Virginia will finish its regular season this weekend with two away games. The Mountaineers have vaulted into the top 10 thanks to an eight-game winning streak and are the only undefeated team in the Big 12 at 6-0-0 in the conference. They are two points clear of Texas (5-1-1) in the standings.
Their first game of the weekend will be on Friday at Oklahoma, which is in last place in the Big 12 at 1-5-0 in the conference. Then on Sunday West Virginia will conclude its season at Texas Tech, which is in third place at 3-0-2 in Big 12 play.
No. 10 Michigan
Michigan, newly in the top 10, has three games left on its schedule before the Big 10 tournament begins. It stands in second place in the conference, two points behind Nebraska with one more game than the Cornhuskers have left. Michigan is 12-2-1 overall and 6-1-1 in the Big 10.
This weekend, the Wolverines will play two road games. It will start with an eighth place Illinois (8-6-2, 3-4-1) squad on Friday, followed by last-place Northwestern (3-11-2, 1-7-0) on Sunday.