BC’s Leading Lady, Victoria DiMartino, Will Have to Be On Target for the Eagles Against UNC on Thursday Night
North Carolina vs Boston College (7:00)
The Best is First in ACC league play this season. In all likelihood, the ACC regular season title will be decided in Chapel Hill on this evening as national title contenders UNC and BC hook it up under the lights at Fetzer Field. Both sides have looked nigh-unstoppable in their matches other than affairs against Stanford, whom they both drew against. The respective offenses have made the headlines for both sides as UNC have gotten goals galore from Alyssa Rich and Kealia Ohai, while BC has had Victoria DiMartino to thank for many of their scoring efforts. Inevitably, it may come down to the keepers. Jillian Mastroianni has already turned in one man of the match performance against Stanford and could be called upon to make some big saves again. For the Heels, the rotation of Hannah Daly and Anna Sieloff has worked just fine thus far, although they figure to be put through their paces by the Eagles’ attack. A convincing win by either side could put them at the top of the very short list of national title contenders.
Cal vs Portland (6:00)
Alex Morgan, the stage is yours.
Cal’s superstar and the future #1 pick in the 2011 WPS Draft has been in blistering form so far in 2010, helping fuel an offense that has cut through some opponents in imperious style. But even Morgan hasn’t been able to cure the maddening inconsistencies that are still plaguing this team to a certain extent. A draw against Santa Clara was a respectable result, the one against UC Irvine was a win thrown away at the last, the tie against Pacific was just baffling. It almost served as a reminder to those considering Cal an elite team that Morgan’s Bears are still a cut below the top tier of contenders. Equally interesting may be Morgan’s Hermann Trophy chances. Can a player win the prize without being on a title contender? At the very least, Morgan needs a signature win over a big opponent to place on her resume. Portland may just be that foe. The Pilots are still perfect and are legitimate contenders to walk away with the trophy in Cary in December. But this won’t be an easy task with an amped up crowd and a motivated Bears team lying in wait.
Duke vs Wake Forest (7:00)
A crunch match between two squads who aren’t as safely in the NCAA field as they’d like. Wake has caught the dreaded UCLA Virus in the past few weeks and hasn’t showed up on Sundays, taking losses to Villanova and South Carolina that could prove costly down the line. Duke certainly look like a Top 25 team but are paying the price for scheduling some ridiculous teams to notch wins against. With home advantage, the pressure is on Duke to top Wake Forest and climb in the RPI standings. If the Deacons can come out of Durham with a win, it’d be a huge feather in the cap of a still young team.
Virginia Tech vs Virginia (7:00)
What once looked like a formality now looks like a much more tantalizing fixture thanks to Virginia’s stunning capitulation at West Virginia on Sunday. The Mountaineers made the in-form Cavs look very mortal on their way to a slightly fortuitous victory. Tech has turned their season right around after a less than convincing start and can boost their NCAA resume with a good result here. It won’t be easy though. The Hokies’ defense has resembled a sieve at times this season, and Virginia’s legion of attackers will be keen to prove that their flat match against WVU was an outlier rather than the continuation of a trend that has plagued the Wahoos in seasons past.
Marquette vs West Virginia (8:00)
Like the showpiece villain of a horror movie, West Virginia lurched back to life with a shock win against a high-flying Virginia side on Sunday. The Mountaineers are still nowhere near the bubble discussion but can get one step closer with a road win over erratic Marquette on Thursday. The Golden Eagles have dominated play against many opponents but don’t have a record that reflects that dominance. These are the types of matches Marquette must win if they want to seal a place in the Top 2 of their division in the Big East and be guaranteed home advantage until the Big East Tournament Semi-Finals.