WSOC ACC Preview
Hudson Ridley | Women’s Soccer Beat Reporter
After eight games of non-conference play, Syracuse women’s soccer is ready to take on the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Orange face 10 separate conference opponents over the next month-and-a-half.
Familiarity with opponents seems like it could do some good for SU. But over the last five years, Syracuse has struggled in ACC play. In 43 games, the Orange are 3-39-1 with two 0-10 ACC seasons in that time. Not winning in the conference obviously isn’t a recipe for success, but SU has had its share of moments against ACC foes. Let’s take a look at Syracuse’s history against each of its next 10 opponents.
Over the past few years, this has been SU’s most consistent matchup. The Orange actually lead the all time series with the Hurricanes, with six wins to Miami’s five. In 2022, the Hurricanes visited SU Soccer Stadium in a game that Syracuse dominated 3-1. The Orange have a chance to extend their series win streak tonight, September 15, in Miami.
Historically, SU hasn’t matched up well with Florida State. The Seminoles are undefeated against the Orange in five matchups dating back to 2013. Over those five games, Florida State has a combined winning margin of 10-1. The Seminoles are currently ranked fourth in the country and visit SU Soccer Stadium on September 21.
Syracuse’s matchups with Virginia Tech can be divided into two eras, before SU joined the ACC, and after. From 2001-03, the Orange hung tough with the Hokies, taking two out of the first three. Although, from 2013 onwards, Virginia Tech is undefeated against SU with a 6-0-1 record. The Hokies travel to Syracuse on September 24.
The Orange and Tigers have had a bit of a roller coaster history, especially in recent years. While Clemson is undefeated against SU dating back to 2013, the outcomes have varied. For instance, in the span of 2016-18 the Orange played to a 0-0 tie, sandwiched in between losses of 3-0 and 4-0 in the surrounding years. In 2021, Syracuse fell 8-0 in Death Valley, but last year tied the Tigers 1-1. The Orange make the trip to No. 8-ranked Clemson on September 30.
Over the years, Wake Forest has usually gotten the better of Syracuse, but often by thin margins. The Demon Deacons’ 4-0 win in 2006 would set the benchmark for the biggest margin of victory in the series, which is yet to be broken. Since joining the ACC, the Orange are 2-6-1 against Wake with their last win coming in 2019. Six of SU’s last nine matchups in the series have ended in one-score games. The Deacons take on the Orange in SU Soccer Stadium on October 5.
In nine matchups with the Orange, the Cardinals have been no joke. Louisville has cruised by Syracuse, winning eight of its last nine — only broken up by a tie in 2012. SU has only scored in two of the nine matchups, which happens to be the last time the two faced off in 2021. The Orange make the trip to Kentucky on October 8.
Syracuse and Pittsburgh have been pretty tightly contested going back to 2002. The Orange are 7-8-4 against the Panthers, but there’s been a switch in recent years. Pitt has taken the last three matchups against SU by a combined score of 8-2. With one more win over the Orange, the Panthers can take sole possession of the longest win streak in the series, besting Syracuse’s three year run from 2011-13. Pitt makes the trip east to SU Soccer Stadium on October 15.
The Wolfpack has been a fairly inconsistent conference opponent for the Orange dating back to 2013. The one thing that has been consistent in this series? Goals. Both sides have combined for an even for goals per game over seven contests. SU got the best of NC State in the first two contests, winning both by a combined margin of 5-1. Since then, it’s been all Wolfpack. The Orange have gone 0-4-1 in matchups in a stretch of games from 2017-22. SU heads to Raleigh on October 19.
The Tar Heels are a powerhouse, and when they play the Orange, they act like one. In eight games, SU has just as many losses. The 21 time national champions have a 26-4 all-time margin of victory over Syracuse, including back-to-back seven-goal performances in 2017 and 2018. The Orange travel to Chapel Hill to face the No. 2 team in the nation on October 20.
Before 2022, Virginia historically dominated Syracuse. In the first seven matchups dating back to 2006, the Cavaliers cruised to seven wins tallying 31 goals in the process and holding SU scoreless in five of those games. Last year, the Orange nearly got the better of Virginia, playing to a 2-2 tie on the road in Charlottesville. SU caps the regular season in a matchup with the Cavaliers in Syracuse on October 26.
Syracuse has a long way to go to build on its 2-5-1 start to the season. It doesn’t help that the ACC is a powerhouse in women’s soccer. The Orange need to win at least seven out of 10 games to improve on last year’s season.
For more updates on Syracuse Women’s soccer follow @Hudson_Ridley on X and threads, as well as @citrustvsports on both platforms.