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Natalie Bode | NCAA.com | October 27, 2021

5 predictions for rest of the women’s soccer season through the NCAA tournament

5 women's college soccer predictions ahead of the 2021 tournament

With conference tournaments approaching and the NCAA tournament field set to be released in just a matter of weeks, we decided to make five predictions from now through the end of the NCAA tournament.

Let's take a look at some predictions for the rest of the 2021 women's college soccer season:

1. The ACC will once again dominate the College Cup

This is to be expected at this point, especially after three of the four College Cup teams last season were from the ACC. But this year it may not be only the usual suspects. Florida State started 14-0, then tied North Carolina and lost to Duke — all in a matter of one week. Duke and Virginia look well positioned to make a deep run, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see typical contenders Florida State and North Carolina make their way back.

2. We could see a first-time champion this year

It has been seven years since we crowned a first-time champion in DI women’s soccer (Penn State in 2014), and this could be the year that drought ends. Virginia, Duke and Arkansas have yet to claim a national title. After speaking with Duke’s Caitlin Cosme back in September about how "the sky is the limit" with this specific Duke team, I would not be surprised to see the Blue Devils make an incredible run — especially after defeating powerhouses North Carolina and longtime No. 1 Florida State this season.

"IT'S A DUKE ERA": Caitlin Cosme on the Blue Devil's 2021 potential

3. There will be the no undefeated teams entering the NCAA tournament

As of Oct. 27, only two undefeated teams still stand in Division I women’s soccer: UCLA and Georgetown. Georgetown has six ties so far this season, so although it is unbeaten, there have been many close calls. Five of those six ties are in conference, and I anticipate at least one team breaking through and handing the Hoyas a loss before a Big East champion is crowned. As for UCLA, the Bruins schedule features two top-10 matchups with in-state rivals before the end of the regular season. To remain undefeated, UCLA would have to defeat No. 9 Stanford and No. 10 Southern California. Not that it couldn’t happen, I just anticipate one of these in-state rivals upsetting the Bruins.

UNDEFEATED: Here are the remaining undefeated women's college soccer teams

4. An SEC team will be one of the four teams in the College Cup

It has been four years since the SEC has been present in the national semifinals (South Carolina in 2017), and I see the conference making a comeback this year. Arkansas is perfect so far in SEC play, and has offensive star Anna Podojil making a great case for the Razorbacks being the team to get back to the national stage.

5. Mikayla Colohan, Jaelin Howell, Penelope Hocking and Anna Podojil will be repeat first-team All Americans

Although this one may be more obvious, it is worth restating that these four are still making waves on the national stage. Mikayla Colohan is one of the top five goal-scorers in the country and is ranked fourth in total points and total assists accumulated this season. Penelope Hocking also leads the stats column in many offensive categories for Southern California, while Podojil has the Razorbacks on the verge of completing an undefeated regular season in the SEC. As for Jaelin Howell, the former MAC Hermann Trophy winner continues to be an anchor for the dominant Florida State Seminoles this season.

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