Three ACC teams in College Cup
Published 12:00 am Friday, December 11, 2009
CARYó The site of this weekend’s NCAA College Cup is the same spot the ACC used for its conference tournament, and with three of the league’s teams back in town, it almost looks the same.
“We appreciate the ACC inviting us to their conference tournament this weekend,” joked Caleb Porter, the coach of top-seeded Akron, the only non-ACC team among the final four. “No, we’re aware that even though we’ve been ranked No. 1 in the country all year long and we have the record that we have, people are probably putting us as an underdog.”
The Zips (23-0-0) are trying to become the first team in 35 years to win the NCAA Division I men’s soccer title with a perfect record ó but they’re outsiders this weekend. They have traveled more than 500 miles to play fifth-seeded North Carolina (16-2-3), which had just a 23-mile commute, in Friday’s semifinals.
No. 2 seed Virginia (17-3-3) and No. 3 seed Wake Forest (17-3-3) square off in Friday’s first game. The semifinal winners will play in Sunday’s championship game.
The ACC has put three teams in the national semifinals for the second year in a row. Wake Forest and North Carolina joined Maryland, the eventual champion, in last season’s final four in Frisco, Texas. The year before, the last time the College Cup was here, the Demon Deacons took the title.
“Our conference is the best conference in the country, and they’ve demonstrated that over the years,” said Virginia coach George Gelnovatch, whose team won the ACC tournament here nearly four weeks ago. “Two years in a row, having three ACC teams in the final four is unbelievable.”
In the first semifinal, Wake Forest will be trying to finally break through against Virginia.
The Demon Deacons are winless against the Cavaliers in two meetings this season.