The Virginia Tech women’s soccer team will play their final home game on Sunday against Virginia.
The Hokies need a big win to put themselves into prime position to make the ACC Tournament.
The magic number is eight.
Eight of the 11 teams in the ACC are ranked in the top 25. Coincidentally, only the top eight teams make the ACC tournament. As of today, the Hokies are the — you guessed it — eighth and final seed.
Eight is also the combined margin of victory the Cavaliers enjoyed over the Hokies last year in their two meetings.
The Hokies have had an outstanding year, going undefeated in non-conference play and climbing as high as No. 8 in the rankings. But to get back to being among the nation’s elite, they’ll need to be more successful in ACC play, and a great opportunity lies ahead on Sunday.
The Cavaliers will be wrapping up a three game road trip, and have had a full week to prepare for Tech. The Hokies will want to defend their home ground, where they’ve won six of eight games.
Sunday’s game will certainly be about revenge, as last year the Cavaliers not only defeated the Hokies in the regular season, but also spoiled their fun in the postseason.
The Hokies were amid a magical run through the NCAA Tournament that brought them to the Sweet 16, where their journey ended at the hands of a 4-0 defeat to their most bitter rival, Virginia.
The match will be emotional, especially considering the teams are likely to see each other again in postseason play later this season.
But both teams are on a very similar level this year, as the Cavs stand at 11-4-1, to the Hokies’ 11-4-1 as of Wednesday afternoon.
The matchup to watch will be the Virginia attack against the Hokies’ defense. The Cavaliers have scored in every game but one this year, and they are averaging over two goals per game.
The Hokies have a strong, veteran backline that’s capped off by star goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts. The Hokies have pitched a shutout in 10 of their 17 games this season.
The Hokies will get their first taste of Virginia star freshman Makenzy Doniak, who’s led the team in points and game-winning goals this season. But that’s not to say the Hokies don’t have some new weapons of their own.
Freshmen Ashley Meier and Jordan Coburn have stepped up and been major contributors in a Tech starting lineup dominated by upperclassmen. It’ll be interesting to watch how much of an impact these fresh faces have on the game this Sunday.
The Hokies’ players and coaches may not admit it, but Sunday’s game will be about revenge for the beatings Virginia inflicted on Tech last season. There’s no doubting the animosity between the schools, and the Hokies won’t soon forget how Virginia ended their NCAA Tournament run.
Both teams need this valuable ACC win, and tensions will be high at Thompson Field Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m.