No. 3 North Carolina
Following a 2-0 victory over Liberty on Tuesday, Oct. 12 and dominating wins against Wake Forest and Radford last week, North Carolina (9-2, 5-0 ACC) jumped one spot in the rankings to No. 3 this week after falling from No. 2 a week earlier.
The Tar Heels battled for the ACC lead against Wake Forest on Oct. 8, defeating the Deamon Deacons 1-0 to remain undefeated in the conference. On Oct. 1, North Carolina snapped No. 4 Virginia’s winning streak with a 1-0 victory, defeating the Cavaliers – last year’s NCAA champions – for the first time since 1977.
Led by senior midfielder Michael Farfan and sophomore forward Enzo Martinez, North Carolina’s offense has dominated on the field this season, outscoring its opponents 20-9.
The Tar Heels look to capture the ACC title again this year on their way to a College Cup championship.
No. 4 Maryland
On Oct. 12, Maryland (7-2-1, 3-1-1 ACC) claimed its seventh shutout of the season with a 3-0 victory over Lehigh and moved up to No. 4 in the national rankings. This season, the Terps boast not only the fifth-best recruiting class in the nation but also the top-ranked offense.
Maryland is led by junior forward Casey Towsend and senior forward Jason Herrick, a first team All-ACC selection. The pair have combined for nine goals in the first 10 games of the season.
In nonconference play on Oct. 5, the Terps upset No. 2 UConn 1-0, handing the Huskies their first loss of the season. Maryland claimed another notable victory on Oct. 1 against Duke, shutting out the Blue Devils 2-0. Maryland has only two losses on their record this season, the first to No. 21 Michigan State in the season opener and the second to No. 3 North Carolina.
With six games left in the regular season, the Terps look forward to entering the NCAA tournament for the 10th consecutive season.
No. 14 Tulsa
The University of Tulsa’s fifth-ranked men’s soccer team lost 1-0 on Saturday to the No. 20 Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina, dropping their record to 1-1 in Conference USA and 7-3 on the season. Despite the loss, the Tulsa Hurricanes have had an impressive run thus far including victories over Memphis, Missouri State, Saint Louis and Western Illinois. Junior Neil Austin, who has 16 points on 28 shots so far this season, leads the Hurricanes in scoring. Second in scoring with five goals and four assists, senior Ashley McInnes is one of only 38 collegiate players recently named to the Hermann Trophy watch list. Tulsa looks to bounce back from their recent loss with a victory over Marshall today at Hurricane Stadium.
No. 1 Stanford
Boasting an unbeaten record and several impressive wins, No. 1 Stanford (11-0-2, 2-0-0 Pac-10) is the hottest team in soccer. The Cardinal is clearly capable of running the table in the Pac-10 this year, as Sunday’s victory over UCLA was their last game against a ranked opponent. The only blemishes on their record are two ties in August, the first against No. 3 North Carolina and the second against No. 9 Boston College.
The Cardinal features the nation’s top scorer in senior forward Christen Press. Press, who has found the net 16 times thus far this year, recently broke the school’s records for both total points (152) and goals scored (60). But Stanford is more than offense; freshman goalkeeper Emily Oliver ranks first in the Pac-10 with a .850 save percentage.
Barring a major conference upset, the Cardinal will likely enter the postseason as the overall No. 1 team. To earn the title, however, they will have to go through defending champion North Carolina and teams such as No. 9 Boston College and No. 2 Portland.
No. 11 Boston College
The Eagles (9-3-1, 2-3-0 ACC) need a victory to turn their season around. After several impressive early season games – including a victory over No. 3 North Carolina and a tie with No. 1 Stanford – the Eagles have sputtered, dropping their last three games to conference rivals.
BC is led by the duo of sophomore forward Victoria DiMartino and sophomore midfielder Kristie Mewis. DiMartino leads the ACC in both goals and total points, while Mewis leads to conference with nine assists. The Eagles undoubtedly have the talent to reclaim the ACC but have recently struggled in their execution.
BC travels to Tobacco Road next week for games against Duke and Wake Forest, then closes the season with a two-game home stand. The Eagles will need to capitalize on home-field advantage in order to enter the postseason on a high note.
No. 13 Florida
The University of Florida women’s soccer team (10-2-2) is tied for second in the current standings of the Southeastern Conference with Tennessee. On Sunday the team suffered its second loss in a 1-0 contest against the Auburn Tigers; the game’s lone goal came in the final minute off a corner kick. Just two days earlier, Florida went into double-overtime at Alabama and came out with a 1-1 tie.
Despite the late season dip, the Gators have been strong throughout the season with victories over the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
Today Florida takes on Tennessee in a rematch of last year’s SEC Tournament opening round game, which the Gators won 1-0 in double overtime.