There are four games remaining on the ACC women’s soccer schedule, and three of the 11 conference schools have completed regular-season play. Yet only one seed has been nailed down for the conference tournament, which begins Sunday with quarterfinal round play at campus sites.
Only third-ranked Florida State (15-1, 8-1 ACC) knows its position. The Seminoles will be seeded first, having clinched the regular-season title by beating No. 9 Maryland 1-0 on Sunday.
No other team has solidified its seed, although six more teams are assured berths in the eight-team field. Florida State, seventh-ranked Wake Forest (12-3-3, 6-2-1) and Maryland (11-5-2, 6-3-1) know they will host quarterfinals. No. 12 Duke (12-4-2, 5-3-2), No. 10 Virginia (12-4-1, 5-3-1) and No. 8 North Carolina (9-4-2, 5-3-1) are all in the running for the fourth seed. No. 21 Boston College (10-5-3, 4-4-1), which upset Florida State 3-2 last week and plays at Virginia on Thursday, could be seeded anywhere from fifth to eighth.
Miami (8-6-3, 3-4-2) and Virginia Tech (12-5-1, 3-5-1) are battling for the final spot, and the Hokies probably have to win at Wake on Wednesday night to qualify. A tie with the Deacons could result in goal differential being used as a tiebreaker. Miami, which hosts Florida State on Thursday, helped itself immensely with a 1-0 overtime win at Maryland and a 0-0 tie at Boston College last week. The Hurricanes are eighth in the ACC with 11 points, one ahead of the Hokies.
The only other certainty is that Clemson (6-10-2, 1-9) and N.C. State (5-13, 0-9) won’t play in the ACC tournament.
Ups and downs: It was a roller-coaster week for UNC’s Rob Lovejoy. Following offseason surgery, the junior forward from Greensboro finally played in his first game. He scored a hat trick in the Tar Heels’ 3-0 victory at College of Charleston on Oct. 13.
Lovejoy was named the ACC player of the week, the College Soccer News national player of the week, and a member of Top Drawer Soccer’s national team of the week.
Six days later, then-No. 2 UNC had a chance to knock off undefeated Maryland, No. 1 in the country. But Lovejoy’s penalty kick in the final minute of regulation was saved by Terrapins goalkeeper Keith Cardona and Maryland went on to win in overtime, 1-0.
Making Peace: William Peace University will add men’s soccer as a varsity sport in 2013, and former Virginia player Zane Hill has been named head coach.
Hill, who coaches a U-18 girls team and a U-16 boys team for the Triangle United Soccer Association, said Monday he is “a little nervous, but excited about building a new program in downtown Raleigh.”
Hill said William Peace will be an independent team in 2013, playing junior colleges, some NCAA Division III schools and reserve teams. The school will compete in the Division III USA South Conference in 2014 and become eligible for the league championship and postseason play.
“We want to build a little bit of confidence and hopefully be successful as quickly as possible,” said Hill, a 2005 graduate of Virginia who was a four-year letterwinner for the Cavaliers.
Hill said he plans to recruit in the Raleigh area and statewide as well as in Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee. His plan is to bring in approximately 20 players for next season.
He said William Peace has a lot to offer.
“It’s small in size but has great potential for student-athletes,” Hill said. “That’s really the selling point. It’s a new program, and they have a chance to come in and make history.”
Looking ahead: N.C. State will close out its women’s soccer season when the Wolfpack hosts UNC on Thursday. Despite a promising start to the season in nonconference play, the Pack is winless in the ACC. The Tar Heels, meanwhile, need a victory and maybe some help with goal differential to nail down a home game for the first round of the ACC tournament. Duke has completed regular-season play and could be seeded anywhere from fourth to sixth in the ACC.
In men’s action, fourth-ranked UNC (11-2-1, 4-1-1) visits N.C. State on Friday night. The Wolfpack (8-7, 1-5) needs to stay above .500 if it is to have any hope of making the NCAA tournament. Duke (5-7-1, 2-4-1) is in a similar situation as it travels to Virginia Tech (5-7-3, 0-5-1) Saturday.