ALC-I Preview: WVU, Pitt Hit Road
PITTSBURGH -- Things are getting heated up in the ALC as all teams will have officially started their season and the North will have had two divisional games. Playoff pictures are being drawn and and there is a lot on the line this weekend.
Division I - North
Pittsburgh at Liberty
The Flames welcome the newest member of the ALC and divisional foe to Lynchburg. Both teams are coming off wins. Liberty defeated South Carolina 9-8 while Pittsburgh lost to Indiana, 5-3, but then beat Miami (Ohio), 11-6. This may be a battle of the goalies as Pitt senior Michael Gonzalez saved 80 percent of the shots he saw last weekend while Liberty netminder Ryan Reynolds save 65 percent.
First to four wins it!
West Virginia at Liberty
The Mountaineers continue their gauntlet of a schedule with two Top 15 opponents this weekend. Heading to Liberty on Sunday after battling the Hokies, the mountaineers face a stiff divisional test. Both teams play Saturday, so conditioning will be a factor.
Temple at South Florida, Florida and Central Florida
The Owls open the season on the road escaping the cooler Philadelphia temperatures. Three games in three days will be a challenge for the team. Florida recently checked in at No. 9 in the New Balance MCLA Division I Coaches Poll and South Florida and Central Florida are strong programs.
The Owls are looking to make their mark on the 2022 season opening with a bang!
Division I - South
Clemson at Georgia
Kicking off the weekend with a trip to Athens, the Tigers are ready to put their unblemished record to the test. In Georgia they will need to find a way to contain offense which has hit double digits in all their games except Colorado State. Meanwhile, Clemson has been steamrolling teams on as they are pumping in around 16/goals a game. Goalies beware, balls flying at the cage.
Georgia Tech at Clemson
After a battle in Athens on Friday night the Tigers welcome the Yellow Jackets to town. These two played last year in an epic battle between two strong teams. This year, the Tigers will need to solve the Yellow Jackets defense which held Boston College to six goals. The faceoff dot may come into play as a key route to victory for the Tigers against such a stout defense.
West Virginia at Virginia Tech
The Hokies welcome the Mountaineers to Blacksburg. These two haven’t played a regular season game since the Hokies edged out the Mountaineers, 13-10 in the first game of the 2020 season. The rematch of that game should be entertaining. We will see which can win out, Mountaineer D or Hokie O. Hokies are averaging 16 goals per game while the Mountaineers are giving up just 10.5.
Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech
Both of these teams will be coming off tough battles on Saturday. Again both goalies will look to be showcased as Hunter LeClair is saving 57 percent on the season as well. The ability to deal with the second game in two days will be a test of each team’s fortitude and conditioning.
Tennessee at Auburn
The Vols get on the road to battle Auburn. Coming off some tough divisional losses the Volunteers will look to rebound against an Auburn team fresh off a win over Texas A&M. The Vols will need to contain Auburn’s balanced scoring and find a way to solve their defense which has given up double digits only twice this year.