ACC men's soccer tournament
At WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C.
No. 4 seed Maryland vs. No. 5 Virginia, noon.
No. 3 Boston College vs. No. 6 Duke, 2:30.
No. 1 Wake Forest vs. No. 9 Clemson, 5:30.
No. 2 North Carolina vs. No. 7 N.C. State, 8.
Semifinals: Friday, 5:30 and 8.
Final: Sunday, 1 (Comcast SportsNet).
Outlook: With seven teams in Soccer America's top 25 rankings, the ACC offers the most compelling league tournament in the country and will provide some of the top seeds for the upcoming NCAA tournament. Sixth-ranked Maryland (12-4-2) and eighth-ranked Virginia (12-3-2) face one another for the second time in 12 days after a 0-0 tie, a result that stretched the Terrapins' unbeaten streak against the Cavaliers in College Park to eight years. That game, though, lacked rhythm and quality scoring opportunities and included five yellow cards and two reds. "We play them again away from their home field at a neutral site," Virginia Coach George Gelnovatch said, "and there will be much better soccer."
In last year's ACC tournament, Maryland defeated Virginia in the championship game, 1-0, for its third title. The Terrapins, defending NCAA champions, have scored just three goals in their previous four matches and will have a hard time breaking down the Cavaliers, who are unbeaten in eight straight, have registered five consecutive shutouts and not conceded multiple goals in any game. Their 0.39 goals-against average is third in the country behind Monmouth and Akron (0.33 apiece).
Wake Forest (13-3-2) is the top seed for the second straight year, winning a tiebreaker in the standings with North Carolina. The Demon Deacons' quarterfinal opponent was determined Tuesday in the preliminary round when ninth-seeded Clemson defeated eighth-seeded Virginia Tech, 2-0.
-- Steven Goff