Three DI soccer matches to watch as conference season reaches final stretch

If you happened to be watching the U.S. women’s national soccer team (USWNT) defeat South Korea last night, you may have missed a thrilling night of NCAA women’s soccer action, with highlight-worthy goals and dominant performances. It is at the point in the college season when conference standings are taking final form and the focus is shifting to postseason play. As of Oct. 17, the United Soccer Coaches Poll kept Stanford at the top spot with UCLA, South Carolina, Duke and North Carolina taking up the other top-five positions. On Thursday night, the Duke Blue Devils defeated ACC rival Boston College, 2-1, with what was arguably the nicest goal of the evening from senior Schuyler DeBree .

DeBree’s shot doesn’t need much more of an explanation, just see for yourself.

[More from Excelle Sports: USWNT tops South Korea in friendly with goals from Ertz, Morgan and Rapinoe]

And as you continue to replay DeBree’s goal over and over again, let’s also dive into the biggest three match-ups coming up this weekend.

No. 9 Penn State (10-3-2, 6-1-2 Big Ten) vs. Purdue (9-6-1, 4-4-1 Big Ten)

Friday 7:00 p.m. ET (Big Ten Networks)

Hello, Nittany Lions. Penn State has shot up to the No. 9 spot in the Coaches Poll this week after sitting at No. 13 previously. The Nittany Lions are undefeated in four games and most recently defeated Maryland 1-0 in overtime. In the Big Ten, Penn State holds a secure No. 2 spot with Ohio State ranked first with a 7-2-0 conference record. On Friday, the Nittany Lions will look to continue their winning streak as they face a fellow Big Ten opponent Purdue.

The Boilermakers will travel to Jeffrey Field/ University Park in their final regular-season road game. Last year when the two sides met, it was the Nittany Lions who earned the three-points in a 1-0 victory over the Boilermakers. For Purdue, Friday’s game will determine their postseason fate. With only two regular-season games remaining, it all comes down to Friday under the lights.

Purdue’s Maddy Williams will look to add to her scoresheet on Friday as she netted her 10th goal of the season last week. Williams became the first player in the program’s history to earn a pair of 10 goal seasons with the Boilermakers. With another goal this weekend, she could break the all-time program record in scoring.

No. 1 Stanford (14-1-0, 7-0-0 Pac-12) vs. Oregon State (4-8-3, 1-5-1 Pac-12)

Sunday 1:00 p.m. PT (Pac-12 Networks)

The Stanford Cardinal are on a 12-game unbeaten streak with their most recent win over Oregon on Thursday. The Cardinal hold the top spot in the Coaches Poll and Pac-12 and will look to extend their all-time record against Oregon State on Sunday. Against the Beavers, the Cardinal hold a 23-1-0 record with the one loss dating back to 2003. Stanford has yet to concede a goal at home and has scored 34 goals at Cagan. The Beavers will have a big test on Sunday as they visit the high-flying Cardinal. Senior forward Emma Jones leads Oregon State with two goals on the season. On the other side of the field, freshman Cardinal forward Catarina Macario leads her team with 11 goals and seven assists. Stanford still holds the top spot for their scoring offense with 3.93 goals per game.

On Thursday night, senior midfielder Andi Sullivan earned a start in the USWNT friendly against South Korea. This is the first USWNT appearance for Sullivan since suffering an ACL tear last NCAA season.

No. 5 UNC (11-2-0, 7-0-0 ACC) vs. Louisville (8-6-1, 3-4-1 ACC)

Sunday 10:00 a.m. ET (ACC Network Extra)

The UNC Tar Heels have won all six of their conference match-ups and will return home to WakeMed Soccer Park to host conference opponent Louisville on Sunday. On Thursday, the Cardinals earned one point after drawing with Wake Forest, 0-0. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels are coming off a 4-0 road win over Virginia Tech on Thursday night, led by Julie Ashley and Alea Hyatt, each earning their first career goals. The ACC conference is led by Duke with a perfect 8-0 record, however the Tar Heels are not far behind with 21 points and a 7-0 record. The Cardinals have some work to do holding 10 points and sitting in eighth place.

Louisville freshman Emina Ekic leads her team with seven goals and three assists on the season. For the Tar Heels, it is also a freshman who leads her team in scoring. Forward Alessia Russo has eight goals so far this season and has chipped in an assist. The Tar Heels have four players with five or more goals on the year. As a team they rank at No. 9 with a 2.62 scoring offense percentage.

Jump To Comments