Conference play is in full swing this weekend in college soccer and big schools with postseason ambitions square off in the ACC, Pac-10 and even the Ivy League while mid-major powerhouses are trying to avoid conference slip ups.
Tonight, No. 3 North Carolina travels north to face No. 18 Boston College. The Tar Heels are 4-0 since their upset to Old Dominion, outscoring the opposition 9-1. UNC will try to ride the hot streak of Martin Murphy, who has scored three goals in his last three games while the Eagles are fighting consistency problems. After an undefeated start, Boston College has gone 2-2-1 and sit mid-table in the highly competitive ACC.
Ivy-League favorites Brown square off against preseason favorites Harvard in a matchup featuring two teams going in opposite directions. Brown had their five-game winning streak snapped against Princeton last week but still have a defense that surrendered only one goal through their first nine games. Sean Rosa leads the Bears with 11 points so far this season. Harvard is a team in crisis and in desperate need of a turnaround. After rising to a peak of sixth in the NSCAA polls, the Crimson have plummeted, going 2-3-4 since Sept. 11.
The final game of the weekend could be crucial in the race for the Pac-10 title. Both No. 13 UCLA and No. 10 California are 3-0 in conference play and both teams are perfect in October. But UCLA has won only once away from home, surrendering nine goals in four games. The Bruin defense will be tested by a Golden Bears attack that has averaged four goals a contest in their last three games.
Fox Soccer Channel will be broadcasting two games on Friday night. Maryland-Baltimore County takes on Boston University at 8:00 followed by No. 19 Duke traveling to take on UC Santa Barbara at 11:00.
Here is a rundown of this weekend's top college matches:
No. 23 Charlotte at George Washington, 3:00
No. 12 Monmouth at Long Island, 4:00
Virginia Tech at No. 6 Virginia, 7:00
No. 3 North Carolina at No. 18 Boston College, 7:00
San Diego State at No. 10 California, 7:00
Marshall at No. 14 Tulsa, 9:00
Loyola Marymount at Santa Clara, 10:00
No. 13 UCLA at Stanford, 10:30
No. 19 Duke at UC-Santa Barbara, 11:00
No. 17 Pennsylvania at Dartmouth, 4:00
Harvard at No. 15 Brown, 7:00
George Southern at No. 25 Charleston, 7:00
Notre Dame at No. 2 Louisville, 7:00
Clemson at No. 4 Maryland, 7:00
Central Florida at No. 20 South Carolina, 7:00
No. 9 Butler at Wright State, 7:00
Buffalo at No. 1 Akron, 7:30
No. 5 Connecticut at St. John's, 7:30
West Virginia at No. 22 South Florida, 7:30
No. 11 Creighton at Evansville, 8:30
No. 8 UC-Irvine at Cal Poly, 10:00
No. 23 Charlotte at Richmond, 1:00
No. 12 Monmouth at St. Francis (NY), 1:00
Wisconsin at No. 21 Michigan State, 2:30
Valparaiso at No. 16 Ohio State, 2:30
No. 13 UCLA at No. 10 California, 5:30
What do you think about this weekend's games? Do you think Boston College can take out UNC? Could one of the top sides slip up? Can Butler maintain their perfect record for another week?
Share your opinions in the comments section below.