Weekend Previews: October 4-6
What: Virginia (2-2, 0-1 ACC) vs. Ball State (4-1, 2-0 MAC)
Where: Scott Stadium
When: Saturday, 12 p.m.
The skinny: Ball State can score — and score a lot. The Cardinals are averaging 40.0 points per game — 26th in the nation — and even scored 27 points in their only loss of the season, a 34-27 affair against North Texas. Senior quarterback Keith Wenning leads the prolific offensive attack and is second in the nation in passing yards so far this season with 1,650.
His favorite target has been junior Willie Snead, who ranks third nationally in receiving yards with 611 and also has four touchdowns. The combo will provide a worthy challenge for Virginia’s impressive pass defense, which is eighth in the nation at just 152.8 yards per game.
The Cardinal defense has allowed at least 14 points in each of the team’s first five games, including 28 points to FCS Illinois State. The team ranks No. 86 nationally in total defense, giving up 426.2 yards per game and is particularly ineffective in stopping the run, tying for No. 101 nationally with 202.6 yards per game. Senior linebacker Kenneth Lee has been their most effective pass rusher, tallying 2.5 tackles for loss – including 2 sacks – and contributing an interception and a pass defended.
—compiled by Michael Eilbacher
What: No. 1 Virginia (11-0-0, 5-0-0 ACC) vs. Clemson (6-2-3, 3-1-1 ACC)
Where: Klöckner Stadium
When: Sunday, 2 PM
The skinny: The No. 1 Virginia women’s soccer team looks improve to 12-0 this season when it hosts ACC opponent Clemson Sunday afternoon.
The team showed perseverance last weekend, coming back from a 2-0 deficit at halftime against Duke and grinding out a tight 1-0 victory just two days later against then-No. 22 Maryland.
The Cavaliers will rely on the stellar play of sophomore forward Makenzy Doniak and junior midfielder Morgan Brian, who stand in first and second place in scoring — both on the team and in the ACC — with 23 and 22 points, respectively. Brian was just named to the US Women’s National Team for an exhibition game against Australia on Oct. 20, her third call-up to the senior squad roster.
Freshman goaltender Morgan Stearns anchors the defense, saving an average of 82 percent of shots faced and leading the Cavaliers to an 8-0 record while starting.
The Tigers are looking to build on momentum gained from their 1-1 tie against No. 3 Florida State and a 1-0 defeat of fellow ACC opponent Syracuse. They have had many tight games, with both of their losses coming by one goal. Senior midfielder Vanessa Laxgang leads Clemson with five goals and two assists on the season for a total of 12 points.
—compiled by John Jepson
What: Virginia (5-3-1, 1-2-1 ACC) at Pittsburgh (0-5-2, 0-4 ACC)
Where: Klöckner Stadium
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
The skinny: The Cavaliers return to ACC play Friday night to face struggling Pittsburgh. Yet to win a game this season, the Panthers have only scored four goals in comparison to Virginia’s 19 goals. Only sophomore goalie Dan Lynd has kept Pittsburgh competitive, saving an impressive 81.2 percent of shots from the opposition.
The Cavaliers will attempt to extend their unbeaten streak to six games after squeaking by VCU 2-1 Tuesday night in double overtime, courtesy of junior midfielder Eric Bird’s 107th minute golden goal. Bird leads Virginia with four goals on the season.
Friday night’s showdown prolongs Virginia’s busiest stretch of the season. The Cavaliers will play their seventh game in 21 days when they kick off against the Panthers.
—compiled by Chanhong Luu
What: No. 4 Virginia (12-1, 1-1 ACC) at No. 5 Syracuse (8-1, 0-1 ACC); at No. 12 Albany (9-1)
Where: Syracuse, N.Y.; Albany, N.Y.
When: Saturday, 12 p.m. (Syracuse); Sunday, 2 p.m. (Albany)
The Skinny: The No. 4 Virginia field hockey team travels to New York this weekend to take on two ranked opponents, including ACC rival No. 5 Syracuse. The Cavaliers are riding on three consecutive shutouts, ousting Radford 5-0 Tuesday.
After spending three weeks at No. 1 last year and winning last year’s Big East regular season title, Syracuse is looking to acclimate to life in the ACC.
The Orange are 3-1 when facing ranked opponents and just tallied a 3-1 victory against No. 6 Stanford. In its only conference game to date, however, Syracuse fell to No. 9 Boston College Sept. 20.
Albany will have another shot at facing a ranked opponent when the Cavaliers come to town. The Great Danes’ first experience with a ranked team ended in a 2-1 loss to Stanford — their only loss of the season.
Albany senior forward Daphne Voormolen leads the team and ranks fifth in the nation with 12 goals.
—compiled by Kristen Cauley
What: Virginia (8-6, 1-1 ACC) at Maryland (9-5, 1-1 ACC); at Pittsburgh (10-5, 2-0 ACC)
Where: College Park, Md. and Pittsburgh, Pa.
When: Friday, 7 p.m. (Maryland); Saturday, 7 p.m. (Pittsburgh)
The skinny: After splitting its first two conference matches, the Virginia volleyball team will enter a second weekend of ACC bouts this weekend. After the Cavaliers pay a visit to Maryland Friday night, the team will continue on to Pittsburgh Saturday.
Last weekend saw the Cavaliers fall 3-0 against Duke before bouncing back to beat Wake Forest 3-0. Junior Tori Janowski put up a solid performance, tallying 24 kills and 18 digs between the two matches. The win against the Demon Deacons was the team’s first road conference win since 2011.
Maryland enters the match having lost four of five, including its most recent match against Clemson. Senior Sarah Harper leads the team from the back line, averaging a conference-most 4.94 digs per set.
The Panthers swept their first two conference matches against Georgia Tech and Clemson. As a team, they lead the ACC with 1.67 service aces per set.
—compiled by Peter Nance
Men’s Cross Country
What: No. 24 Virginia in the 2013 Notre Dame XC Invitational
Where: South Bend, Ind.
When: Friday at 5 p.m.
The skinny: The No. 24 Virginia men’s cross country team will travel to South Bend where it will face its toughest competition of the year. After two early season home tune-ups, the Cavaliers will encounter a slew of potent teams — including No. 9 Princeton, which is coached by former Virginia coach Jason Vigilante.
No. 21 New Mexico, No. 22 Notre Dame and No. 26 Florida State are also expected to provide Virginia stiff competition. This meet should prove to be a litmus test for the Cavaliers before the championship season commences later this month.
—compiled by Krishna Korupolu