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Pat Ralph | Excelle Sports | October 12, 2017

Three ranked ACC matchups headline exciting conference play

  Six of the seven ACC teams were ranked in the latest NFCHA coaches' poll.

For a second straight weekend, the three best games in college field hockey all come from the ACC. With seven teams ranked in the top 15, the ACC continues to set the tone as the best conference in Division I field hockey. The Big Ten is certainly close with three teams in the top 15, but it pales in comparison to the dominance of the ACC so far. This weekend, six of the seven ACC teams ranked in the top 15 go head-to-head in three thrilling matchups to watch that you won’t want to miss.

No. 2 Duke vs. No. 12 Wake Forest

Friday October 13th, 6:00 p.m. ET

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The first of three top 15 ACC matchups this weekend comes in North Carolina where a pair of long-time rivals will go head-to-head in Durham.

The Blue Devils (10-2) saw their six-game win streak get snapped last weekend in a 2-1 loss at home against Syracuse. However, Duke bounced back with a 4-2 win over No. 22 Iowa. Standing at 2-2 in conference play, the Blue Devils will continue their five-game home stand against the Demon Deacons on Friday.

Also at 2-2 in the ACC, Wake Forest (8-5) moved up from No. 15 in the polls after a pair of wins over Appalachian State and Richmond. Riding a three-game win streak, the Demon Deacons look to continue their winning ways against Duke in a big conference showdown. Both teams will have games on Sunday too. Duke will host Miami (Ohio) while Wake Forest travels to No. 17 James Madison.

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No. 5 North Carolina vs. No. 11 Louisville

Saturday October 14th, 1:00 p.m. ET

The second top 15 conference showdown this weekend pits the Tar Heels against the Cardinals in Chapel Hill.

North Carolina (11-2) is arguably the hottest team in the conference right now as it enters Saturday’s game on an eight-game win streak. In their lone game last weekend, the Tar Heels improved to 3-1 in the ACC with a dominant 4-0 shutout win over Virginia. UNC will look to extend its win streak to nine games when it faces Louisville (10-4) on Saturday.

RELATED: NFHCA coaches' poll

The Cardinals are also playing very well, entering Saturday’s contest on a six-game win streak and are 3-1 in ACC play as well. Last weekend, Louisville defeated No. 9 Boston College 4-1 on the road before traveling to New Hampshire and capturing a 5-2 win. With first place in the ACC on the line, this game shouldn’t disappoint at all. While this is Louisville’s lone game this weekend, the Tar Heels travel to VCU on Sunday.

No. 4 Virginia vs. No. 7 Syracuse

Saturday October 14th, 1:00 p.m. ET

The third and final top 15 ACC game features the Cavaliers and Orange going at it in Syracuse. The Cavaliers’ nine-game win streak was snapped last weekend by UNC, handing Virginia (11-2) its first conference loss this season. Virginia rebounded with an 8-0 win over Drexel, but the loss to North Carolina slid Virginia down from No. 3 in the polls.

The Cavaliers look to get back on track in conference when it travels to Syracuse (10-3), who jumped up from No. 9 in the rankings this week. The Orange stand at 2-3 in the ACC after an impressive 2-1 at Duke in their lone game last weekend. While a win for Virginia will continue to keep the Cavaliers at the top of the ACC, a win for Syracuse would vault the Orange back into the conference title race. After facing Syracuse, Virginia will travel home to face former ACC rival and No. 16 Maryland while the Orange will host Drexel on Sunday.

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