Most conferences will be wrapping up the regular season this week in the world of women’s soccer. This week will determine final seeding in conference tournaments as teams will have one more chance to improve their standing in their respective conferences.
Although not every conference has a season-concluding tournament, there will be some important games to beware of, as national tournament seeding is also becoming more and more prescient.
Let’s break down what to keep an eye on, conference-by-conference this week:
Battle for second-place headlines ACC play this week
In the ACC, it’ll be a battle between Florida State and Virginia for the No. 2 seed. North Carolina cruised through conference play and claimed the regular-season crown with 25 points and an undefeated 8-0-1 conference record. The 5th-ranked Seminoles (13-4-0) will host No. 9 Duke (8-1-7) and their incredible 7 draws on the year on Oct. 31. FSU-Duke will begin at 8 p.m. ET on ACC Network.
No. 1 Virginia will travel to upstate New York to face Syracuse, also on Halloween. Both the Cavaliers and Seminoles sit at 21 points, as both of these matches are crucial for their seeding heading into the ACC tournament, which begins Nov. 3.
Wisconsin, Rutgers and Michigan will be 1, 2 and 3 in the Big Ten tournament
The Big Ten is pretty much set for their tournament, with newly ranked No. 7 Wisconsin wearing the regular-season crown with 28 points, followed by No. 20 Michigan and No. 16 Rutgers both sitting in second with 25 points. Fortunately for Wisconsin, they won’t have to worry about their seeding with the Wolverines and Scarlet Knights off this week, but the Badgers will get a little bit of a tune-up game on Oct. 30 when they take on Ohio State at 3 p.m. ET. Rutgers will retain the No. 2 seed due to their 1-0 head-to-head victory over the Wolverines on Oct. 24.
Big 12 regular-season crown down to Oklahoma St. & Texas Tech
— Cowgirl Soccer (@CowgirlFC) October 29, 2019
The regular-season crown is still up for grabs in the Big 12. It’ll come down to either No. 12 Oklahoma State or No. 15 Texas Tech. The Cowgirls currently sit atop the standings with 19 points with the Red Raiders just behind them with 17 points. Oklahoma State hosts Baylor on Thursday, Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. ET on Big 12 Now and ESPN+. Texas Tech welcomes Kansas State to Lubbock, also on Halloween night at 8 p.m. ET. It will be available regionally on Fox Sports Southwest. If the two were to tie with 20 points apiece, Texas Tech would be crowned the regular-season champion because of their 1-0 head-to-head victory over the Cowgirls back in September.
Tiebreak chaos may determine SEC seeding
When it comes to the SEC and their No. 1 seed, things get a little complicated. It will be between three teams — No. 6 Arkansas, No. 8 South Carolina and Florida. The Razorbacks currently sit atop the standings with 22 points, followed by the Gamecocks with 21 and the Gators with 19. South Carolina takes on Auburn, Florida visits Georgia and Arkansas hosts Tennessee all on Halloween night with major SEC tournament implications. South Carolina-Auburn will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network+, Florida-Georgia will begin at 7 p.m. ET on SEC Network+ and Arkansas-Tennessee will also start at 7 p.m. ET on SEC Network+.
Where the SEC gets complicated is when tiebreakers come into play. South Carolina currently holds the head-to-head tiebreaker against Arkansas, as well as the tiebreaker versus the Gators due to the goal-differential between common opponents. But if Florida were to win its match against the Bulldogs, while South Carolina and Arkansas lose, the Gators’ chances of winning the regular-season SEC crown rests on their ability to score goals against UGA. Florida would have to, at the very least, win by a margin of 8 goals against Georgia as well as hoping both South Carolina and Arkansas lose — something that isn’t very likely as the top three teams in the SEC all face unranked opponents. The formula for Arkansas to land the top seed is simple, just win — something they have been doing all year with a 13-2-2 record.
Smooth sailling for Stanford in the Pac-12
66′ | This shot is real and happened.
— Washington Women’s Soccer (@UW_WSoccer) October 27, 2019
As for the Pac-12, its scenario is much less complicated. The conference of champions is one of the few conferences in women’s soccer that doesn’t have a conference tournament. No. 2 Stanford currently sits as the top team in the conference with a perfect 8-0-0 record and 24 points. In second place is a No. 21 Washington team, who just upset then-No. 7 Southern Cal. The Huskies have 18 points. They look to keep rolling when they host Colorado on Thursday and then open up November by welcoming Utah to town on the 3rd. Washington-Colorado will begin at 10 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Mountain with Washington-Utah starting at 3 p.m. ET on a University of Washington livestream.
Xavier vs. Butler clash determines the fate of the Big East
— XU Women’s Soccer (@XavierWSOC) October 28, 2019
Elsewhere in Division I women’s soccer, a battle for the top seed in the Big East tournament takes place when No. 19 Georgetown hosts St. John’s while Xavier and Butler hope to make their cases for the No. 1 spot in the conference when they play each other. Xavier currently sits atop the Big East with 18 points with the Hoyas and the Bulldogs just below them with 17 points apiece. Georgetown-St. John’s will take place at 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 31 on the Big East Digital Network. Xavier-Butler will begin at 7 p.m. on Halloween night, also on the Big East Digital Network.
War on I-4 could determine AAC seeding
The No. 1 seed in the American Athletic Conference will either be No. 10 Memphis or No. 24 South Florida. The Tigers will face Tulsa on Oct. 31, as the Bulls will travel to Orlando for a Halloween edition of the War on I-4 against archrival UCF. Both of these matches will determine the No. 1 seed in the AAC tournament, as Memphis is just barely ahead of USF in the standings. The Tigers have 22 points, while South Florida has 21. Memphis-Tulsa will begin at 8 p.m. ET on a University of Tulsa livestream. UCF-USF will start at 6 p.m. ET on UCF Twitch livestream.