It's a race to the finish line in NCAA women's soccer
The GIST: Four of the Power Five conferences are entering their last weekend of regular-season play, so the races for regular-season champ (and the all-important conference tourney No. 1 seeds that accompany that title) are tighter than a Traylor hand hold.
- The tourney-less Pac-12 will press on into November, with No. 11 USC and No. 5 Stanford chasing No. 2 UCLA for conference glory. In the meantime, massive weekend matches could seal conference titles…or lead to absolute pandemonium.
The Big Ten: No. 4 Penn State leads a crowded field, but they put one contender away with last night’s 2–0 dub over No. 19 Indiana. If they beat No. 21 Wisconsin on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, they’ll lock up the regular-season title and the No. 1 spot in next weekend’s conference tournament.
- However, if Penn State stumbles, they unleash chaos. A loss would allow Wisconsin to overtake them, but even a draw leaves them vulnerable to a lurking No. 14 Michigan State and No. 25 Nebraska. Not not nervous.
The ACC: There’s a similar situation in the East Coast’s conference. No. 1 Florida State expanded their narrow lead with last night’s 3–2 win over No. 18 Pitt, but they’re still within reach of No. 8 Clemson, who recorded their third straight shut-out against Lousiville last night. Clemson’s 2 p.m. ET Sunday home match against Pitt is now a do-or-die affair.
- Also in the hunt? No. 12 Notre Dame, who inched ever closer to Florida State’s 22 ACC points when their match against No. 3 UNC came to a 1–1 draw last night.
The Big 12 and SEC: Both of the southernmost leagues continue play into next week, but it would take massive chokes for the Big 12’s No. 6 Texas Tech or the SEC’s No. 9 Arkansas to lose their leads. Pending any miracles, these two are as good as wrapped.