soccer-women-d1 flag | September 18, 2013

Preview: New No. 1 Virginia faces road tests

No. 1 Virginia

Virginia, installed as the new No. 1 in this week’s coaches’ poll, will see its first test as the top team as it goes on the road to play at Boston College on Thursday. The Cavaliers (7-0-0) opened their ACC schedule with a win at home against Syracuse last Thursday and slid in to No. 1 following North Carolina’s loss.

Boston College comes in at 4-3-0 and is coming off a win at Pittsburgh and a loss at Clemson last weekend. The Cavaliers will then stay on the road to take on Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Panthers are 4-3-1 and went winless without a goal in two games in its ACC debut weekend.

No. 2 Stanford

Stanford extended its home unbeaten streak to 71 when it beat Iowa State 3-1 on Sunday and moved up a spot to No. 2 in the NSCAA rankings. The Cardinal (5-0-1) plays two West Coast Conference opponents in matches that hold significance beyond the programs’ Bay Area roots. Thursday’s match against Saint Mary’s (Calif.) matches Stanford head coach Paul Ratcliffe against the team he coached for five seasons. The Gaels are 3-5-0 this season.

The Sunday contest against No. 22 Santa Clara (4-2-0) joins teams that have met in three of the past four NCAA tournaments and nine in all.

No. 3 Florida State

It's a clash of two top-five teams Wednesday night inside the Seminole Soccer Complex when No. 3 Florida State (6-0-2, 1-0-1 ACC) hosts No. 5 North Carolina (7-1-0, 1-1-0).

The Seminoles are coming off a road weekend to open ACC play which resulted in four points following a tie at No. 7 Wake Forest and a win at No. 15 Duke to remain unbeaten on the year. The Tar Heels come to Tallahassee after suffering their first loss of the season this past Sunday falling to Notre Dame 1-0 in Chapel Hill.

Wednesday night's showdown will mark the 14th time in the past 16 meetings that these two teams have faced each other while ranked in the top 10 and the first top-five meeting since the two met in the 2009 ACC championship game.

The Seminoles will wrap up the weekend when they host North Carolina State (6-2-0) on Sunday.

No. 4 UCLA

The Bruins will stay in Los Angeles this week with road games at Pepperdine on Friday and at Loyola Marymount on Sunday. UCLA (6-1-0), led by Darian Jenkins’ five goals this season, is coming off a 2-0 win against San Diego State last Friday.

Pepperdine comes in at 4-2-1 on the year, including an overtime win at Southern California last Friday. Loyola Marymount is 3-5-0 overall and is currently on a four-game losing streak.

No. 5 North Carolina

The Tar Heels will look to regroup from their first loss of the season, a 1-0 defeat against Notre Dame, as they travel to No. 3 Florida State and Miami this coming week. UNC will meet the Seminoles Wednesday, then travel to Miami Sunday to meet the Hurricanes in Coral Gables.

Florida State is 6-0-2 this year and 1-0-1 in the ACC after beating Duke 2-1 Sunday in Durham. Carolina is 24-4-2 all-time against the Seminoles but it has lost that last two meetings to FSU, both by 1-0 scores at Fetzer Field. The two teams have split the last six meetings 3-3. Miami is 5-2-0 on the season, and lost its first two ACC games last weekend to Duke and Wake Forest.

No. 6 Wake Forest

Wake Forest is still undefeated (6-0-1) on the season after beating Miami and drawing with Florida State last weekend. Katie Stengel has five goals and six assists to lead the Demon Deacons, who will continue ACC play on Thursday when they host No. 18 Duke.

The Blue Devils are 4-3-1 following a split in the conference’s opening weekend. Wake Forest will then travel to play at Maryland on Sunday. The Terrapins are 5-2-0 and opened ACC play with a win against Clemson.

No. 7 Notre Dame

The Irish started their inaugural ACC season in style last weekend. After topping North Carolina State 3-1, Notre Dame went to Chapel Hill and knocked off then-No. 1 North Carolina 1-0 on a goal from freshman Morgan Andrews.

Notre Dame (6-1-0) will continue conference play when it hosts fellow ACC newcomer Syracuse on Thursday in its only game of the weekend. The Orange are 4-4-0 following losses to Virginia and Virginia Tech to open its conference slate.

No. 8 Florida

For its only match of the weekend, the Gators face its first Southeastern Conference opponent of the season when Alabama (2-5-0) comes to James G. Pressly Stadium on Friday. The Crimson Tide ended last weekend with a win against UAB 1-0.

No. 8 Florida (6-1-1) finished its non-conference matches this past weekend. The Gators started the weekend with a 2-0 shutout against Minnesota on Friday at home and a played to a 1-1 tie at South Florida to end the weekend.

No. 9 Penn State

Penn State (6-1-1) opens up Big Ten play this Friday, hosting Northwestern. The Nittany Lions moved into the top 10 following wins at Bucknell, Oklahoma State and Tulsa last week. Maya Hayes scored four goals and had one assist in the three games.

Northwestern comes in at 2-4-2, and most recently defeated Oakland 2-0.

No. 10 Georgetown

The Hoyas have cracked the top 10 after an undefeated start to the season, going 7-0-0 and outscoring their opponents 27-3 in the process, including 17-0 in the past four games. Most recently, Georgetown topped Yale 8-0.

Next up for the Hoyas is a home match against UCF, which is coming off shutout wins against Stetson and Brown and stands at 6-2-0 on the season. Georgetown will then travel to Connecticut, which is 5-3-0 in 2013.

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