Conference-play is underway, and for the ACC, that means the toughest part of the season. In a conference brimming with national contenders and loads of MAC Hermann level talent, every game is just as important as the last.
The Commonwealth Clash might be an exception to this rule, as one of the ACC's and country's best offense in Virginia will be taking on in-state rival and one of the conference's and country's best defense in Virginia Tech.
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The Hokies and Cavaliers face each other on September 26 in Charlottesville. It will be both team's second ACC match so far this season. Virginia Tech is coming off of a 2-0 win over Miami, and Virginia is coming off of its first non-victory of the season — a tie against Wake Forest 1-1.
|TALE OF THE TAPE||
|No. 1||Ranking||No. 16|
19th season at Virginia
306-92-46 all-time at Virginia
Charles "Chugger" Adair
9th season at Virginia Tech
115-48-18 all-time at Virginia Tech
|Lost in the round of 16||2018 NCAA tournament||Lost in the round of 16|
|32||NCAA tournament appearances||10|
|Alexa Spaanstra & Megan McCool, 9||Returning goal scorer from 2018||Karlie Johnson, 6|
|Alexa Spaanstra & Taryn Torres, 9||Returning assists leader from 2018||Emily Gray, 6|
2:00 p.m. ET
Sunday, Sept. 29
|Next match||at Clemson,
1:00 p.m. ET
Sunday, Sept. 29
Virginia, whose offense leads the ACC in points (98) and goals (36), is led by one of the nation's top goal scorers, Diana Ordonez. The Hoos' leader upfront is first in the ACC and tied for fourth in the nation in goals with 9. She also leads the conference in points per game and is tied for first in game-winning goals.
Ordonez also has help, as her counterparts in the midfield feed her a steady diet of balls to Ordonez in scoring positions. UVA midfielder Alexa Spaanstra is tied for second in the conference in assists with 7.
Tech, on the other hand, is known for keeping balls out of the net. The Hokies are one of two teams in the ACC who have only allowed 2 goals all season. This stat also puts them tied for second in the whole country in goals allowed. VT's stingy defense is led by one of the top goalkeepers in the nation, Mandy McGlynn, who has been an absolute force for the Hokies. She leads the ACC in goals allowed average (.222), save percentage (.929) and shutouts (7). She is also tied for second in the country for shutouts.
This will be the first big test for Virginia Tech so far this season, as the perfect Hokies will hope their stout defense can hold up against one of the country's most lethal offenses. A win for VT would be huge for their confidence in ACC play as the road doesn't get much easier after they face UVA. The following three matches are also against ranked teams, as they travel to Clemson the following match, and then host a tough Duke squad and defending national champs Florida State to round up the four-game stretch versus ranked teams.
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The Hokies are one of three remaining teams who have a perfect record — the others being BYU and Oregon State. If they were to emerge from these next four matches 13-0-0, it would be the strongest case yet to why Virginia Tech is the favorite to win the ACC. As for now, Tech's head coach, Charles "Chugger" Adair wants the team to take their success one day at a time.
"I try to remind them, you know, what's important and try to hold standards throughout our training, throughout our games and throughout our practices," Adair said during a press conference Wednesday. "And continue to push them to be better each day and still improve, and not focus on our record and not focus on what we've done. Today's a new day."
As for Virginia, they got their first big test in non-conference play when they took on and defeated a then top-10 Penn State team 2-1 on September 15. They'll hope to still be considered one of the top teams in the country after Virginia Tech, as the Hoos will look to battle Duke in a potential top-10 matchup on September 29.
Virginia-Virginia Tech women's soccer: How to watch, follow live
Virginia versus Virginia Tech will take place in Charlottesville, Virginia on Thursday, September 26 at 5 pm ET. The match can be streamed on foxsports.com or espn.com/watch. It will also be broadcasted on local ACC regional sports network affiliates. More information can be found here. You can also follow live via Virginia and Virginia Tech's Twitter pages.
Virginia-Virginia Tech women's soccer history
The Cavaliers have dominated the all-time series versus the Hokies, with an all-time record of 15-4-1. The series between the two started in 1994 when UVA crushed Virginia Tech 5-0. Although VT has only won four out of the 20 times the in-state rivals have gotten together, they do have the upper hand in the very recent past. Tech won last year's matchup 1-0.
|Oct. 20, 1994||Charlottesville, Va.||UVA, 5-0|
|Oct. 4, 1995||Blacksburg, Va.||UVA, 6-1|
|Sept. 24, 1996||Charlottesville, Va.||UVA, 1-0|
|Oct. 20, 2004||Charlottesville, Va.||UVA, 3-0|
|Nov. 3, 2004||Cary, NC||UVA 8-0|
|Oct. 13, 2005||Blacksburg, Va.||UVA, 4-0|
|Oct. 12, 2006||Charlottesville, Va.||UVA, 2-1|
|Oct. 18, 2007||Charlottesville, Va.||UVA, 2-0|
|Oct. 9, 2008||Blacksburg, Va.||VT, 1-0|
|Nov. 7, 2008||Cary, NC||Tie, 1-1|
|Sept. 30, 2009||Charlottesville, Va.||VT, 2-1|
|Sept. 23, 2010||Blacksburg, Va.||UVA, 3-0|
|Oct. 20, 2011||Charlottesville, Va.||UVA, 4-0|
|Nov. 20, 2011||Charlottesville, Va.||UVA, 4-0|
|Oct. 21, 2012||Blacksburg, Va.||UVA, 5-0|
|Oct. 31, 2013||Charlottesville, Va.||UVA, 2-0|
|Nov. 8, 2013||Cary, NC||VT, 4-2|
|Oct. 26, 2014||Blacksburg, Va.||UVA, 2-0|
|Sept. 16, 2016||Charlottesville, Va.||UVA, 2-0|
|Sept. 27, 2018||Blacksburg, Va.||VT, 1-0|