Durham County

Which blue will rule in women’s soccer? Duke, UNC battle for ACC title Sunday

While Duke-North Carolina Battles of the Blues on the hardwood get the most attention, there’s going to be one on the pitch Sunday for an ACC title.

Duke and UNC will square off in the ACC women’s soccer championship in Charleston, South Carolina. They won their semifinal matches Friday night.

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The top-seeded Blue Devils (19-1) blanked fourth-seeded Virginia, 1-0, in Friday evening’s first semifinal match, while the Tar Heels (14-2-2) advanced with a 1-0 win over N.C. State.

Duke is ranked No. 2 nationally, while UNC is ranked No. 4.

UNC is seeking its 21st ACC championship and its first since 2009. The Tar Heels reached the finals last year but dropped a penalty kick shootout to Florida State.

UNC handed Duke its only loss of the season, a 2-1 overtime decision in the first game of the season at Cary’s WakeMed Soccer Park on Aug. 18. The game was designated a non-conference game since the teams were not scheduled to meet in ACC play this year.

Duke has won a school-record 19 games in the nearly three months since, allowing just seven goals in the process.

“They’ve had a wonderful year,” UNC coach Anson Dorrance said in a news release. “With the exception of our blemish, they’ve been perfect. We know that we’ve got our hands full. I’ve watched clips of their matches since, and they’re an excellent team. They’re very senior laden, very experienced and very talented. It will be a huge challenge for us.”

Sunday’s championship game will be televised nationally by ESPNU.

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6678, @JEJ_HSNews

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