The women were rained out last night at Syracuse. We played in a torrential downpour, and the game was delayed mid-game for over 30 minutes, last year vs Tech, so this field was apparently flooded. Simply flooded. The game will not be rescheduled since the ACC tourney starts on Sunday. A major case of mismanagement by Syracuse as last night was "supposed" to be Senior Night. And now they don't get it. And Syracuse sucked this year, so that was their last game of the season. What a downer.
Now, we weren't going to learn anything vs a bottom-table Syracuse. We were going to win 4 or 5 to nothing, so no big loss from a tactical point of view. And there is always the chance that someone important could have been injured, so this may have been a blessing.
But, because we played one fewer game, and Florida State did win their last game, FSU nipped us for 2nd seed. They have more points now, or because they have a better win percentage (I can't seem to find ACC tiebreaker rules anywhere), one more win out of one more game played is better after all, they got 2nd seed. We get 6th seeded Duke, who are the classic underseeded team, relative to ultimate potential. And we don't get Clemson. I would rather have played Clemson since we didn't face them this season. And Duke is going to play us very defensively -- most teams have this year -- but Duke is very good at it. They had 7 ties, 7!, in their 10 ACC games.
Fun fact that I've learned about soccer. Seeding REALLY matters for the ACC and NCAA tournaments. For instance, we actually get home field advantage for the first round of the ACC. It will be played at Klockner. As are the games for all the top four seeds.
It's even more pronounced in the NCAAs. The four #1 seeds get to host the first 4 games of the tournament. Not in the region for the first four. Home. At your own school.
I'm blown away, actually. Seeding really, really, matters. And Virginia is an on odds-on lock to get a #1 seeding. So this could be the year.
And as I've been pondering why we are so much better than last year, I've realized that it comes down to senior leadership. Our quartet of seniors this year -- Phoebe McClernon, Zoe Morse, Courtney Petersen, and Meg McCool -- are better than last year's seniors. Don't get me wrong. Montana Sutton, Betsy Brandon, Brianna Westrup and Hana Kerner were fine players, all of them ACC-caliber players, but Morse, Petersen and McCool have all improved their games dramatically this season. Sometimes, leadership from your upperclassmen is what matters. And we've been getting it in spades from this quartet all year.