ACC Friday Predictions
Friday night’s bill includes four crucial ACC match-ups with each one of the league’s four ranked teams in action. We have an in-state battle between No. 16 Wake Forest and a momentum-building Duke team, N.C. State travels to Clemson, No. 8 North Carolina hosts Virginia and top-ranked Maryland takes on Virginia Tech in College Park. Read our predictions right here and follow the ACC Friday Scoreboard for viewing listings and scores at the end of the night.
Duke (3-3-0, 1-1-0) at #16 Wake Forest (4-1-2, 0-0-2) – 7 p.m.
Wake Forest has had an outstanding season playing Jay Vidovich’s style of balanced, team-oriented soccer. The Demon Deacons boast the fourth-ranked offense in the ACC in terms of goals per game (1.57) and the second-best defense with a .79 goals against average. Duke is 0-2 on the road this season and went scoreless in the losses to Notre Dame and Virginia. However, the Blue Devils have gone 2-0 in their last two games and outscored their opponents by a combined score of 5-0.
Both teams are playing well so expect a clean, close game between a pair of in-state rivals down in Winston-Salem.
Prediction: Wake Forest 1, Duke 1
#17 N.C. State (6-2-0, 0-1-0) at Clemson (1-5-2, 0-1-1) – 7 p.m.
The only factor making this game a tough pick is Clemson’s prestigious fan base which turns out almost 3000 per game at Historic Riggs Field. The Tigers earned an impressive draw against Wake Forest at home two weeks ago, but since then they have been shut out by Duke and South Carolina in road matches. N.C. State has been struggling since opening the season 6-0, so Clemson is likely to get on the scoreboard but look for the Wolfpack to rebound nicely.
Prediction: N.C. State 2, Clemson 1
Virginia (4-2-1, 1-0-0) at #8 North Carolina (4-1-1, 1-0-1) – 7 p.m.
There’s no denying the Tarheel offense is slumping right now. North Carolina, once the clear No. 1 team with an unblemished 4-0 record, has now gone scoreless in its last two matches and gets another tough opponent tonight. The National Champions are going to come out swinging tonight, even if it means taking a risk or two defensively. They know what they have defensively, which is statistically the best back line and goalkeeper in the country. However, eight shots on goal combined in their last two games is reason for concern, and I expect the Tarheels to put that concern behind them when they host a hot UVA team tonight in Chapel Hill.
Prediction: North Carolina 2, Virginia 1
Virginia Tech (3-2-1, 0-1-1) at #1 Maryland (5-0-1, 2-0-0) – 7:30 p.m.
Until Maryland loses, it’s going to be hard to pick against their professional grade attack. Nine players have gotten in on the Terps’ 21 goals in just six matches this season, led by Schillo Tshuma and John Stertzer’s four each. Patrick Mullins’ six assists are tied for the NCAA lead as well. Virginia Tech has far surpassed expectations so far and historically they play elite teams very close. But Maryland’s high-powered offense, especially at home is going to be too much.
Prediction: Maryland 3, Virginia Tech 1
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