November 9, 1998
GREENSBORO, N.C. – With the completion of the regular season conference play on Sunday, pairings are set for the 12th annual ACC Men’s Soccer Tournament which will be held Thursday,. Friday and Sunday, November 12, 12 and 15 at W. Dennie Spry Stadium on the campus of Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, NC.
Reflecting a change from the original bracket, first round action begins Thursday with No. 4 seed UNC taking on No. 5 Maryland at 3:00 PM, followed by No. 2 Virginia facing No. 7 N.C. State at 5:30 PM. No. 6 Wake Forest will host No. 3 Duke in the nightcap at 8:00 PM. Top-seeded Clemson earned a first round bye and will play the winner of the North Carolina/Maryland match on Friday at 5:30 PM in the first semifinal. The second semifinal will feature the Virginia/N.C. State winner versus the Duke/Wake Forest winner at 8:00 PM. Sunday’s championship match will be aired live at 3:30 PM on the ACC’s regional sports network (Home Team Sports, FOX Sports South, and the Sunshine Network).
Following the strongest advance sale of tickets in the history of the ACC Men’s Soccer Tournament, less than 1,000 tickets remain for the event. Advance tickets will continue to be sold through Thursday evening at the Bridger Field House box office, located at Groves Stadium on Deacon Boulevard. All-tournament advance ticket books are priced at $24.00 for adults and $16.00 for youth and students. Daily session advance tickets are available beginning Monday morning at a cost of $8.00 for adults and $6.00 for youth and students. A limited number of walk-up tickets will be sold on game day at the Spry Stadium gates. Gate prices for daily tickets on the east side of the stadium are $12.00 for adults and $8.00 for youth and students. For more information, call (336) 758-DEAC.
Clemson, nationally-ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA and Soccer News polls a week ago, earns the top seed in the tournament after compiling a 5-1 record in conference play. The Tigers enter the ACC Tournament with an 18-1 mark, after winning their last 13 matches. Clemson defeated both of its possible semifinal opponents, blitzing the Tar Heels 5-0 on September 13 and the Terrapins 2-0 on October 31.
North Carolina, earning its highest seed since 1994 after finishing sixth or seventh in the league each of the last three years, entered the national rankings a week ago for the first time since October 7, 1996. Maryland has advanced to the tournament finals each of the past two seasons, including a 1996 victory over top-seeded Virginia to claim the tournament title. The UNC-Maryland series record in the ACC Tournament is tied at 1-1 with the Terps winning 2-1 in the 1989 first round and the Tar Heels winning 4-3 in the 1995 first round. North Carolina claimed the 1998 regular season victory with a 2-1 overtime win in College Park.
The defending champion Virginia Cavaliers own the league record for ACC Tournament titles with seven, including six of the last seven championships. Virginia and N.C. State have not met in the conference tournament since the 1990 finals when the No. 4 seeded Wolfpack defeated the No. 3 seeded Cavaliers 2-1 behind the play of tournament MVP Henry Gutierrez. During the 1998 regular season Virginia shutout N.C. State 4-0.
Duke, ranked as high as No. 5 in last week’s national polls, enter the ACC Tournament having won eight of their last nine games which includes a 3-1 win over its first round opponent Wake Forest on October 14. The Blue Devils are 2-1-1 against the Demon Deacons in the ACC Tournament, including a 3-1 victory over WFU to advance to the semifinals of the 1995 championship. In the 1989 tournament matchup, WFU had to claim its only league crown via penalty kicks as the two teams battled to a 2-2 tie.
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