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Nov 09, 2012

ACC Semifinals Predictions: Great offense to meet great defense once again in championship match

Two teams have dominated the ACC all season long and as of today both of them are in good position to earn a trip to the ACC Championship Match which takes place Sunday at noon at the Maryland SoccerPlex. No. 2 Maryland and the defending national champion No. 3 North Carolina earned the top two seeds in the conference tournament, but were tested in the first round as each side escaped with one-goal victories.

In Friday’s semifinals, it will be Virginia and Clemson looking to steal the show and earn a surprising trip to the conference title match with a trip to the NCAA Tournament on the line. However, look for the top offense in college soccer to meet the top defense once again as the favorites prevail Friday and give us a re-match of that great double overtime match in College Park just a couple weeks ago.

No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels (15-2-1) vs. Virginia Cavaliers (9-6-3) – 5:30 p.m. at the the Maryland SoccerPlex – Cheap Online Tickets

The Tar Heels give up less than one goal in every matches they play, so odds are Virginia will have to find some other way to win this one other than trying to outscore UNC. In other words, the Cavaliers need to turn this into an ugly 0-0 or 1-1 match and try to get the game to PK’s.  North Carolina’s defense has simply been too dominant, only allowing four goals all season, and the team’s offense has been just consistent enough and opportunistic enough to keep the Tar Heels looking like one of the College Cup favorites all season long. When a team only needs one goal to win 78 percent its matches, that team is going to be contending for a championship at any level.

Prediction: North Carolina 1, Virginia 0

No. 2 Maryland Terrapins (15-1-2) vs. Clemson Tigers (6-8-5) – 8 p.m. at the Maryland SoccerPlex – Cheap Online Tickets

Maryland has scuffled slightly in recent ACC matches, having gone from an unblemished 6-0 to 6-1-1 following a draw with Clemson and a loss to Wake Forest in its final two regular season games. However, the Terps got back on track with a crucial 2-1 win over Virginia Tech in the first round of the ACC Championship. ACC Offensive Player of the Year Patrick Mullins, along with Maryland’s five other all conference selections should be more than the Tigers can handle this time around. Playing so close to home is going to be a major advantage for ACC Coach of the Year Sasho Cirovski’s bunch as well. It looks like the Terps and Tar Heels will give us all the epic Offense vs. Defense re-match that we’ve all been waiting for.

Prediction: Maryland 2, Clemson 0


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