Friday night at 7:30pm, the Virginia women's soccer team (24-1-0) will face the #2 seed Bruins of UCLA in the College Cup - soccer's version of the Final Four - at WakeMed Park in Cary, N.C.
The Cavaliers reached the College Cup by defeating St. Francis (5-0), Georgetown (1-0), Wake Forest (2-0) and Michigan (2-1). All four of those matches were in the comfortable confines of Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville.
The Bruins found their way to Cary by beating San Diego State (3-0), Kentucky (3-0), Stanford (2-0) and #1 seed North Carolina (1-0). The first three of those matches were in LA, while the upset of UNC was in Chapel Hill. UCLA is the only team in the tournament to have not given up a goal, and they're the only non-#1-seed to make the College Cup.
On the other side of the bracket, you've got two teams who are very familiar with each other - Florida State and Virginia Tech. The two teams have already faced each other twice, once in the third-to-last match of the regular season and once in the finals of the ACC Championship. Florida State won both matches by scores of 2-1 and 1-0, respectively.
The Seminoles are 22-1-3 on the season. Their only loss was to Virginia in Charlottesville. The Hokies are 19-4-3. Two of their losses were the aforementioned matches against FSU, with another coming against U.Va. in Charlottesville. Virginia's lone loss on the season was to Virginia Tech in the semi-finals of the ACC Championship.
Think all these teams want another shot at each other?
But Virginia has to get past UCLA first. The Bruins are on a 19-match unbeaten streak and are 21-1-2 overall. Their only loss on the season? To the Tar Heels. Inexplicably, the Pac-12 doesn't have a women's soccer championship, even though they have 12 teams. But suffice it to say that the Bruins would have been the favorite to win that if it was held.
The Florida State/Virginia Tech match will start at 5pm, with the Virginia/UCLA match scheduled for 7:30pm, though "30 minutes after the completion of the first game" sounds more reasonable considering how tight the games between the Seminoles and Hokies have been this season. The winners will square off on Sunday at 3pm. All three contests will be televised by ESPNU.