There is plenty to watch this week in the world of women's soccer, but nothing comes close to a national championship rematch. That's right, No. 3 North Carolina will host No. 5 Florida State Thursday for a rematch of the 2018 College Cup final.
Check out that match, and everything else happening this week in women's soccer:
No. 3 North Carolina (13-1-1) vs. No. 5 Florida State (12-3-0) 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Oct. 24| WATCH: ACC Network
When the rematch of the previous year's College Cup is the same as a major ACC and top-5 clash, you better believe it will draw some eyes. No. 5 Florida State travels to Chapel Hill to take on No. 3 North Carolina tonight. This match will be a clash between the old ACC and the new ACC. The old ACC boils down to two words — North Carolina. The Tar Heels won the ACC championship every year except one from 1989-2009 — accumulating 20 conference banners. The past decade has been a different story. UNC has only won the ACC championship once in the past 10 years. Enter the new ACC and the Florida State Seminoles. The Noles didn't start winning ACC titles until 2011, and they haven't slowed down since. FSU has won six ACC titles in the past decade, including two national championships.
Although North Carolina still has a 28-12-2 all-time lead over FSU, the Noles have a 9-6-1 lead in the past 10 years, including beating the Tar Heels in the 2018 national championship. Thursday will be the next installment of the UNC-FSU series, as the two vie for the top spot in the ACC standings. A more in-depth preview and live blog of the match can be found here.
No. 1 Virginia (12-0-3) vs. No. 12 Louisville (11-1-2) 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Oct. 24 | WATCH: ACC Network Extra
Louisville hasn't lost since its first ACC match against North Carolina back in September. Virginia is undefeated, one of two DI teams still unbeaten. Although the Cavs haven't lost a match on the year, they are still a win away from competing with Florida State and North Carolina for the regular season ACC crown. Virginia sits in third in the conference with 15 points, as Carolina and Florida State sit first and second respectively with 19 and 18 points.
The Cardinals, who were bumped up from No 14 to No. 12 in the latest edition of United Soccer Coaches rankings, are fresh off of two ties in conference play — a 0-0 match against Notre Dame and a 1-1 draw versus Duke. Louisville is led by Emina Ekich, a junior midfielder from the Louisville area. Ekich has posted 7 goals with 7 assists on the year, with 4 game-winning goals. She'll be up against a lethal Virginia offense that has been led by two of the best goal-scorers in the ACC — Diana Ordonez and Megan McCool. Ordonez leads the Hoos with 13 goals. McCool is just behind her with 10 on the year. If the Cardinals were able to steal a win in Charlottesville, something no team has been able to do all year, they would be in a prime position to make some noise in the ACC tournament. For UVA, it's simple, win, and continue to be the best team in the nation.
No. 16 Michigan (12-3-1) vs. No. 21 Rutgers (12-2-2) 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Oct. 24 | WATCH: Big Ten Network Plus
Two of the top four teams in the Big Ten will face off Thursday night for what could be a battle for the regular-season conference crown. Rutgers will travel to Ann Arbor to face Michigan, as both of these teams look to get out of the shadow of No. 10 Wisconsin — the highest ranked team in the Big Ten nationally. The Wolverines are currently locked up with the Badgers atop the Big Ten standings, each with 22 points within the conference. After them is Penn State with 21, and Rutgers and Iowa with 19 each. Both the Scarlet Knights and Michigan will look for a victory Thursday night to propel them to the driver's seat of the Big Ten.
A trio of playmakers have led the Wolverines to the top of the conference. Meredith Haakenson leads the team in goals with 8, as both Raleigh Loughman and Sarah Stratigakis lead Michigan in points, both with 18. Rutgers has a a pair of dynamic scorers up front in Amirah Ali and Nneka Moneme. Both have 8 goals. Brittany LaPlant and Taylor Aylmer have been a ferocious support staff for the Scarlet Knights. LaPlant has notched 5 assists, adding to her three goals, and Aylmer has 7 assists as the midfielder has found a home passing the ball to Rutgers' lethal scorers up front. Rutgers concludes the regular season with a match against Michigan State on Oct. 27, as the Wolverines host Maryland on the same day.
No. 18 UCLA (9-4-1) vs. No. 19 Washington State (10-3-1) 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 27 | WATCH: Pac-12 Washington
UCLA was ranked No. 2 in the country after a 4-0 start with strong victories versus Florida State and Florida. After they dropped their first match against Santa Clara, the Bruins began to fall in the rankings. Now they are No. 18 in the land with additional losses against Arizona, Cal and Stanford. Washington State has bounced in and out of the top 25 all season but now finds itself at No. 19 with five matches left, two of them versus ranked teams. On Oct. 24, the Cougars will face Southern Cal, a benchmark that will help set the scene for Washington State when they take on UCLA. The Bruins will have to get through Washington before WSU — a match they cannot take lightly as the unranked Huskies are 5-1 in Pac-12 play.
MEET THE UNDEFEATED: BYU and Virginia are the last two undefeated teams left in women's soccer
Although UCLA has fallen in the rankings, their roster includes some of the best players in the country. Ashley Sanchez and Jesse Fleming, two players on the MAC Hermann preseason watch list, have combined for 7 goals, 10 assists and 24 points. The Bruins also have Mia Fishel, who leads the team with 7 goals. The Cougars have a trio up top that has helped lead Wazzou to fourth in the Pac-12 standings. Morgan Weaver, Elyse Bennett and Averie Collins lead the Cougars in points with a combined 37 with 14 goals and 9 assists between them. Washington State's assist leader is Brianna Alger, who might be recognized for her razzle-dazzle, but ultimately she is the glue that makes this team go. She leads WSU in assists with 7 on the year.
No. 20 Florida (10-5) vs. No. 8 South Carolina (11-1-2) 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 27 | WATCH: SEC Network
Florida and Arkansas are tied atop the SEC standings with 18 points each, with South Carolina just behind them with 17. This match between the Gamecocks and the Gators will have big implications in the SEC standings and could possibly set the stage for the next regular-season SEC champion. This is the last big test for both of these teams prior to the SEC tournament. Florida has to get past Tennessee before taking on the Gamecocks, and then will travel to Athens to face Georgia for their final regular-season match. South Carolina has Ole Miss before battling Florida and then travel to Alabama to take on Auburn for its last game of the season.
The Gamecocks have allowed only 6 goals all season, second in the SEC. They have forced 9 shutouts (second best in the conference), thanks to one of the best defender-goalkeeper duos in the country in seniors Grace Fisk and Mikayla Krzeczowski. Krzeczowski has the third best goals-allowed average in the SEC and Fisk has been deemed one of the best defenders in the country as she landed a spot on the MAC Hermann preseason watch list. Vanessa Kara leads the Gators with 8 goals. Both teams will hope to lead the SEC heading into the NCAA tournament.