ACC Own the Pitch Week 1 High and Lows
Every soccer season has its ups and downs, and its highs and lows. But, the old college coaching proverb is to ‘Keep your highs low and your lows high’. In other words, never get too caught up in success or too caught up in defeat and to stay level. Every Wednesday throughout the season, ACC Own the Pitch will keep tabs on the highs and lows of the teams throughout the conference by presenting three of each category from the week before. Here is the first entry.
–Four ACC teams record shut outs on opening weekend
North Carolina, Maryland, Clemson and Wake Forest all recorded shutouts in their opening matches, and the Tigers have now gone two games without allowing a goal to their opposition after playing to a scoreless draw with Davidson on Monday night. What is perhaps even more impressive is that ACC teams have played in 13 games collectively so far this season, and have only surrendered nine goals- a combined goals against average of .692.
-N.C. State gets first road win since 2009
Despite being one of the toughest programs in the conference playing in the friendly home confines of Dail Soccer Field in 2011, the Wolfpack struggled more than anyone on the road going a hapless 0-7-0 in away matches. On Friday when head coach Kelly Findley’s group went into Lynchburg, Va. and beat Liberty 2-0 they recorded their first road win since defeating Duke 1-0 in double overtime on Oct. 9, 2009. N.C. State has won games on neutral sites, but had gone more than two calendar years between true road wins. Findley told ‘Own the Pitch’ before the season began that fixing the road woes was his first priority, and it seems he has the squad well on its way to sorting them out.
-UNC’s Danny Garcia records two assists in first collegiate regular season match
Freshman Danny Garcia is one of Carlos Somoano’s most prized recruits as the national champion Tarheels enter 2012 with a drastically different starting lineup. Garcia showed off his tremendous ball skills and athleticism in the Heels’ opening match on Saturday, a 4-0 stomping of Gardner Webb, providing two assists and playing as if he were a seasoned senior. Garcia is a highly touted, top 20 recruit out of the Dallas area, and played in the FC Dallas Academy while in high school. Expect great things from him, and in all likelihood a pro career in the future.
–Own goal costs UVA in double OT loss to Georgetown at Maryland SoccerPlex’s ACC BIG EAST Challenge
UVA overcame an early deficit and played impressively against Georgetown in the BIG EAST Challenge hosted by the Maryland SoccerPlex on Friday night, but would ultimately lose in double overtime as a result of an own goal by the Cavaliers six minutes into the period. When UVA returns to the SoccerPlex for the ACC Tournament in November, and inevitably get involved in another close match, they will be hoping for history to not repeat itself.
-Duke held to four total shots in loss to Notre Dame
It’s not concerning that Duke traveled to South Bend, Ind. and lost a tough 1-0 match to a very solid Notre Dame squad. However, what is troubling is that the Blue Devils tallied only four shots against the Fighting Irish and were simply not a factor offensively. On the other side, Notre Dame racked up 18 shots and 11 corner kicks in comparison to Duke’s 1 corner. The sloppiness carried over to the defensive side as well, as they were whistled for 22 fouls. Look for a much tighter performance from the Blue Devils on Friday when they face Santa Clara in Durham, N.C. at the Nike Invitational.
-Virginia Tech stymied by SIUE
It wasn’t a great start for the Hokies’ 2012 campaign on Friday night. Tech allowed three first half goals and would not recover in the second half, falling 3-1 to SIUE. However, they would recover with a very impressive 1-0 upset over Richmond on Sunday afternoon. The Spiders had been riding high after pulling off an upset of their own on Friday, a 1-0 victory over No. 19 James Madison.
Photos courtesy of Wolfpack Athletics and Virginiasports.com