Wake Forest’s Rachel Nuzzolese Will Be Key for Hopes of A Road Win
Florida State vs Wake Forest (7:00)
OK Florida State, it’s put up or shut up time.
The Noles have been criminally overrated by the wide legion of pollsters who apparently think Mami Yamaguchi and Sanna Talonen are still prowling the pitch for FSU. The Seminoles’ best win of the season so far has come against Miami (FL), themselves no great shakes. Perhaps the pollsters are doing their very best to ignore Florida State’s loss to what looks like a slightly above average Auburn team earlier in the year. Regardless, a win by Florida State should prove their Top 25 chops at the very least. Their opponents are showing the form of a talented team relying on the major contributions of freshmen, that is inconsistency. But Rachel Nuzzolese and Katie Stengel have been phenomenal when on song and look like they have the potential to form one of college soccer’s greatest strike partnerships before their careers are over. A win in Tallahassee would add to their growing legend.
Maryland vs Virginia (7:00)
Another heavyweight ACC showdown between a proven commodity and a team searching for results to validate its lofty ranking. The Terps are enjoying an undefeated season thus far, but it’s safe to say last weekend’s 1-1 thriller against Duke was its biggest challenge to date by a mile. That changes on Thursday night when a potent Virginia team rolls into town. The Cavs have shown an ability to light the scoreboard up in impressive fashion on many occasions this year, but as the 1-0 loss to West Virginia shows, their offense still goes MIA at inopportune times. That’s not a great omen considering a lethal Maryland attack may force the Cavs into an offensive slugfest if they have their way. Then again the Terps’ offense hasn’t been tested by a defense as tenacious as Virginia’s.
Minnesota vs Wisconsin (8:00)
The Badgers are going to be in a chronic bubble battle for the rest of the season in all likelihood after their slow start. Getting a result against Big Ten favorites Minnesota would help their cause immensely at this point. The Gophers rebounded well after a surprise draw against Iowa to beat Illinois and establish themselves as firm favorites in the conference. With both teams featuring stingy defenses, this one might well come down to who scores first…if at all. Minnesota’s well-rounded attack may enjoy an edge over Wisconsin’s overreliance on Laurie Nosbusch up front, but the Badgers have shown recently that they know how to grind out wins on the road.