The timing of the annual Maryland-Virginia men's soccer match couldn't have been better.
The Terrapins enter tonight's 8 p.m. meeting at Ludwig Field in College Park with a 10-3-0 record (4-1-0 in the ACC), a five-game winning streak and the No. 6 spot in Soccer America's rankings.
The Cavaliers are unbeaten in their last seven matches to improve to 9-1-2 (5-0-0 ACC) and soar to No. 2 in the nation.
Virginia is coming off a 1-0 home victory over No. 10 Duke on Sunday, a result that prompted Coach George Gelnovatch to say, "It was arguably one of our best performances from start to finish."
The Cavaliers' weakness this year was supposed to be defense, but they have yielded just nine goals. Their defense will be tested by a Maryland team that has outscored opponents 17-3 in the last five games -- including four against nationally ranked North Carolina last Friday -- and boasts one of the nation's leading scorers, senior forward Jason Garey (13 goals, three assists).
Meantime, Virginia Tech, which has won six straight since a 1-3-3 start, has moved up to No. 13. The Hokies routed then-No. 7 North Carolina State, 4-0, last weekend. Old Dominion (10-1-2) is seventh.
-- Steven Goff