For all the competiveness in the ACC, the champion has been decided early.
No. 4 North Carolina clinched at least a share of the regular-season title and the top seed in the ACC with a 3-1 win over Virginia Tech on Friday night. The Tar Heels opened the scoring with goals from Jordan Gafa and Carlos McCray. The Hokies pulled within one with a Patrick Huang goal before Robbie Lovejoy added an insurance goal three minutes from time.
North Carolina will clinch the ACC title outright with a win or tie in their last ACC matchup with Clemson on Nov. 5 or if Maryland loses or ties either of their two remaining ACC fixtures. Even if the two teams end the season tied, UNC will get the top seed in the ACC tournament thanks to their victory over Maryland on Sept. 24.
Three top 25 teams, No. 5 Connecticut, No. 8 Virginia and No. 12 California were tied Friday.
Connecticut was held to a 0-0 draw on national television by Notre Dame. Both teams had numerous chances, the best of which game in the 88th minute when Notre Dame's Jeb Brovsky's header from eight yards out sailed over the crossbar. After being outplayed for most of regulation, the Irish looked more likely to score in the overtime period but couldn't find the elusive golden goal.
Virginia survived a tough ACC road test by drawing 1-1 with Boston College on a chilly night in Massachusetts. Charlie Rugg got the Eagles on the board early with a goal in the 38th minute. The visitors equalized just before the hour mark courtesy of a Brian Ownby goal. The Eagles finished the game with a 27-16 shot advantage.
California survived San Diego State's offensive onslaught to salvage a 1-1 tie.California got off to an early lead thanks to a goal from Servando Carrasco but San Diego State equalized with nine minutes left in regulation with a goal from Falke Verwer. In the end, California was happy to settle for a draw, having been outshot by the Azteks 26-9.
After going behind early, three unanswered goals from Tyler Gibson, Charles Rodriguez and Andres Cuero gave No. 21 Charlotte a 3-1 victory over St. Louis. The 49ers improve to 5-0 in the Atlantic 10.
No. 24 Duke's woes continue with a 2-1 overtime loss to ACC cellar dweller Clemson. Riley Sumpter's fourth goal of the season came in the 97th minute with a shot from the top of the box to give the Tigers the upset.
A second-half strike from Evan Raynr gave No. 11 UCLA a 1-0 victory over Stanford. The Bruins avenge a loss suffered to Stanford last week that ruined UCLA's perfect Pac-10 record. Now UCLA sit at 5-1-0 in Pac-10 play and are in sole posession of the lead.