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Oct 25, 2012

ACC Predictions: Boston College to surpass idle Wake Forest for third, Terps to clinch No. 1 seed this weekend

By Quinn Casteel | ACC Own the Pitch

Friday

#4 North Carolina (12-2-1, 4-1-1) at NC State (9-7, 1-5)

A win for North Carolina in this match would guarantee the Tarheels at least a third place finish in the regular season, and would bring them one step closer to wrapping up the second seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament, which kicks off on Nov. 5. UNC’s defense has only allowed four goals all season, the most recent of which was a golden goal in the first overtime period against Maryland last weekend. However, the Tarheels got back on track with a 3-0 blanking of Campbell on Tuesday and will look to continue that momentum against the struggling Wolfpack.

With Nazmi Albadawi finally back in action after missing the bulk of the season with an injury, Alex Martinez will have less pressure to carry the load offensively and NC State should improve down the stretch. They are one of only a few teams in the ACC with the firepower to score on this historically good Tarheel defense.

Prediction: North Carolina 2, NC State 1

 

Virginia (8-6-1, 2-4) at Boston College (8-4-3, 3-1-2)

Boston College hasn’t dropped a conference match since losing to Maryland in its ACC opener on Sept. 7. Since then, the Eagles have used solid defense and timely offense to win three one-goal matches and also draw twice against ACC opponents. Charlie Rugg leads Boston College in goals (5) and assists (4), and would be a darkhorse for player of the year in the conference if not for the amazing numbers Patrick Mullins has put up for Maryland, as well as the fantastic defense being played by North Carolina. Look for Boston College to continue to play well, while the Cavaliers remain a middle of the pack team currently in seventh in the ACC.

Prediction: Boston College 2, Virginia 1

 

Saturday 

Clemson (5-8-3, 2-2-2) at #1 Maryland (14-0-1, 6-0-0)

Despite a sub .500 record overall, Clemson has picked it up in ACC play. Senior forward Austin Savage’s seven goals are good for fifth in the ACC, three of which came in a 5-0 thrashing of Garnder Webb on Oct. 16. Clemson will likely need to pick up points in one of their final two league matches in order to hold onto the fifth spot going into the tournament, but that simply won’t happen on the road against the Terps.

Prediction: Maryland 3, Clemson 0

 

Duke (6-7-1, 2-4-1) at Virginia Tech (6-7-3, 0-5-1)

Duke will be putting the pressure on Clemson for the fifth seed in the ACC Tournament, while Virginia Tech tries for a seventh time to earn a conference win. The Hokies have allowed more goals than any team in the conference to this point and their 1.06 goals per game on offense are second worst in the ACC. Duke’s defense has been above average, and should be just good enough to avoid the dubious distinction of being the only team within the conference to lose to Virginia Tech.

Prediction: Duke 1, Virginia Tech 1

 

South Carolina (4-10-2, 1-5-1 Conf. USA) at #13 Wake Forest (9-3-4, 3-1-3)

While the rest of the ACC teams play within the conference this weekend, Wake Forest, the only team other than Duke to have already completed seven of its eight league matches, will play its final out of conference game of the season against the Gamecocks. The Demon Deacons’ offense has been hot as of late, excluding the zero they put up against Elon on Tuesday night – before that however, seven goals in a span of two games. South Carolina hasn’t been very good this year and are in the midst of a five-match losing streak. Although Wake Forest should beat South Carolina, the result of this match will be overshadowed by how Boston College fares against Virginia, given the Demon Deacons’ slim one point lead over the Eagles in the standings.

Prediction: Wake Forest 2, South Carolina 0 

 

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