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Celia Balf | Excelle Sports | September 22, 2017

So. Carolina-Tennessee among weekend's can't-miss games

  No. 3 South Carolina hosts undefeated No. 21 Tennessee in a SEC clash Sunday afternoon.

Believe it or not, we are already about halfway through the NCAA Division I women’s soccer regular season, and another high-stakes weekend is about to take off with several top-ranked teams going head-to-head.

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Week 6 really began Thursday night with a huge match between No. 4 Duke and conference opponent Notre Dame. The Blue Devils edged the Fighting Irish 3-0 in an ACC showdown at Alumni Stadium. Duke scored all three of its goals in the second half. The first was called an own goal with the second coming from Iamni Dorsey in the 73rd minute and Malinda Allen two minutes later. Also as a weekend teaser, South Carolina continued to rack up wins and hold onto the No. 3 spot in the rankings after a 1-0 win against SEC opponent Kentucky. The No. 2 Stanford Cardinal earned three points last night thanks to a 2-1 victory over Washington State.

Friday, Sept. 22

The UCLA Bruins hold onto the No. 1 position in the United Soccer Coaches rankings again this week and will look to keep their undefeated streak cruising at Colorado on Friday. The Bruins are fresh off a draw against Pepperdine last week, so they will be looking to clinch three points on the road. Also happening on Friday night, No. 5 West Virginia will meet Baylor and No. 7 Penn State will face Iowa. West Virginia holds a 7-2-0 record and shot up one spot in the ranks after last week. The Penn State Nittany Lions are 6-2-0 and also moved up one spot in the polls.

Saturday, Sept. 23

There are 144 games slated for Saturday and Sunday, so if you are overwhelmed by that number and have no idea where or with whom to start, here’s a helpful briefer.

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You are not going to want to miss North Carolina vs Virginia. The Tar Heels are steady in the No. 8 spot and Virginia at No. 11. The Tar Heels are coming off a win over Clemson and similarly the Cavaliers are cruising after a solid 1-0 win against Miami on Thursday.

Sunday, Sept. 24

It will be a good test to see how the Fighting Irish respond to NC State on Sunday after their tough loss against Duke. Florida State and Virginia Tech will meet on Sunday; the Seminoles defeated Louisville on the road on Thursday and will travel to the Hokies for a ACC conference match-up.

RELATED: Cal's Emily Boyd's records 30th career shutout

Arguably the biggest matchup of the weekend, the No. 3 South Carolina Gamecocks take on the No. 21 Tennessee Volunteers on Sunday. The 9-0-0 Vols will look to maintain their perfect record as they face the 7-1-0 Gamecocks. Tennessee will likely rely on junior Khadija Shaw, the team’s leading scorer, to give them the edge.

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