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Pat Ralph | Excelle Sports | October 5, 2017

Three top-15 ACC field hockey matchups to watch this weekend

Virginia takes on UNC this weekend after winning in four straight shutouts.

Conference play in the college field hockey world is in full swing as we move into the month of October, and the ACC continues to be one of the best conferences in college field hockey. With five teams ranked in the top 10, the ACC once again has some of the best teams in the country. This weekend, the conference offers three top 15 matchups that field hockey fans will not want to miss.

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No. 3 Virginia vs. No. 6 North Carolina

Friday October 6th, 5:00 p.m.

The first of three top 15 showdowns in the ACC this weekend pits the Cavaliers and Tar Heels against each other in Charlottesville on Friday night. On a nine-game winning streak, Virginia (10-1) is establishing itself early on as one of the favorites to win the conference title. The Cavaliers improved to 3-0 in conference last weekend with a 2-0 shutout win over No. 13 Wake Forest on the road. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels (10-2) are making their voices heard in the ACC this season too. Since losing to Wake Forest last month, North Carolina has rattled off seven straight wins. Last weekend, UNC took down Old Dominion 3-1 at home. While this is North Carolina’s lone game this weekend, Virginia plays host to Drexel on Sunday. Both the Cavaliers and Tar Heels are two teams that are red-hot right now, but one team is going to end up on the losing side on Friday night. Nevertheless, this game should be fun.

No. 8 Boston College vs. No. 11 Louisville

Friday October 6th, 6:00 p.m.

The second top 15 ACC matchup this weekend takes place in Boston where the Eagles will host the Cardinals in a battle of the birds. Unlike Virginia and UNC, Boston College (8-4) is struggling right now in conference play. The Eagles are 0-4 this season in the ACC, including most recently a 3-2 shootout loss at home last Friday. BC bounced back with a 4-0 road win over New Hampshire last Sunday. While Louisville also stands at 8-4, the Cardinals have gotten off to a much better start in conference. The Cardinals, who are on a four-game winning streak, improved to 2-1 in the ACC after defeating Syracuse 2-1 in double overtime at home last weekend. Both teams will follow up Friday night’s game with contests on Sunday too. Boston College will host crosstown rival No. 13 Harvard, while Louisville will travel to New Hampshire. It might be too early in the season to say Friday’s game is a must win for Boston College, but a win would turn its fortunes around in the ACC.

No. 2 Duke vs. No. 9 Syracuse

Saturday October 7th, 12:00 p.m.

The third and final top 15 matchup in the ACC this weekend will showcase the Blue Devils and Orange going head-to-head in Durham this Saturday. Duke (9-1) enters Saturday’s contest on a six-game winning streak, with victories over Boston College (3-2) and No. 25 Boston University (5-1) over the road last weekend. At 2-1 in conference play, Duke will look to improve to 3-1 when the Orange come to town. After starting the season at 7-0, the Orange (9-3) have lost three of their last five games to fall from No. 7 in the polls. Last weekend, the Orange lost a heartbreaking 2-1 game at Louisville in double overtime to fall to 1-3 in the ACC this season. Syracuse bounced back last Sunday with a 1-0 win at home over No. 14 Princeton. While this is Syracuse’s lone game this weekend, the Dukies will play a back-to-back when they host No. 23 Iowa on Sunday. Like Boston College, Syracuse is in desperate need of a conference win. Unfortunately, it won’t come easy against one of the best teams in the country.

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