(Image courtesy @DukeFH)

With the calendar flipping from September to October and conference play continuing to heat up, here are the seven best NCAA field hockey games to check out and watch this weekend.

Friday, September 29

No. 2 Duke vs. No. 9 Boston College

The lone top 10 matchup of the weekend takes place in Boston on Friday when the Eagles play host to the Blue Devils. Boston College (7-3) has struggled so far in the ACC, having started 0-3 in conference. BC’s most recent ACC loss came against Virginia last Friday before bouncing back with a 5-4 overtime win over non-conference opponent Pacific. Duke (7-1) is 1-1 so far in the ACC and will be looking for its first conference road win of the season. Last week, Duke defeated Old Dominion 3-0 in its lone game. After facing each other on Friday, both teams will play non-conference games on Sunday as well. While the Eagles will face New Hampshire on Sunday on the road, the Blue Devils will travel across town and face the Terriers of Boston University.

No. 6 Michigan vs. No. 15 Maryland

The first of two signature Big Ten matchups this weekend will get underway on Friday when the Wolverines face off against the Terrapins in Ann Arbor. Having moved up from No. 9 in the rankings, the Wolverines (7-2) are off to a strong start in their conference. Michigan is 3-0 and has yet to allow a goal against a Big Ten opponent so far this season. Last weekend, Michigan grabbed a pair of conference road wins by knocking off Ohio State 1-0 and upsetting No. 4 Penn State 3-0. The Maize and Blue will be looking to improve to 4-0 in the Big Ten and continue its shutout streak when Maryland (6-4) comes to town. After defeating No. 19 Iowa 2-1, the Terrapins fell 3-2 against Northwestern at home last weekend. After dropping from No. 10 in the polls, Maryland is now 2-1 in the conference. While this is Maryland’s lone game of the weekend, the Wolverines host unranked Ball State on Sunday.

No. 7 Syracuse vs. No. 12 Louisville

Another high-profile ACC matchup this weekend pits the Orange and Cardinals against each other in Louisville. Syracuse fell from No. 6 in the polls after losing 3-2 in overtime against No. 5 North Carolina at home. After starting the season 7-0, Syracuse (8-2) has lost two of its last three games and dropped to 1-2 in the ACC. The Orange will look to get back on track when it travels to Louisville to face the Cardinals on Friday. Louisville (6-4) moved up from No. 15 in the polls after picking up its first ACC win of the season by defeating Wake Forest 3-2 at home last weekend to snap a three-game losing streak. The Cardinals followed it up with a 4-1 win over No. 17 James Madison. After both teams go for their second conference win, each will have a second game on Sunday. Louisville will host unranked Central Michigan, while Syracuse will head back home and host Princeton in a big non-conference game.

No. 10 Northwestern vs. No. 19 Rutgers

The second marquee Big Ten showdown this weekend takes us to Evanston where the Wildcats will host the Scarlet Knights. Northwestern (7-4) moved up from No. 14 in this week’s rankings after defeating Maryland on the road 3-2 last Sunday. With the win, the Wildcats were able to bounce back from a tough 4-3 overtime loss at No. 4 Penn State last Friday. Standing at 2-1 in conference play, the Wildcats will welcome in Rutgers (7-3) on Friday. The Scarlet Knights moved up from No. 23 in the polls after a pair of home wins last weekend to start 2-0 in the Big Ten. Rutgers took down Indiana 2-0 before defeating No. 24 Iowa 1-0. Now, the Scarlet Knights will see if it can take their Big Ten success on the road. Both teams will be looking for their third conference win this season, as this is the lone game for both Northwestern and Rutgers this weekend.

No. 3 Virginia vs. No. 13 Wake Forest

The third and final ACC matchup this weekend features the Cavaliers and Demon Deacons going head-to-head in Winston-Salem. Virginia (9-1) moved up from No. 4 in the polls after extending its current win streak to eight games last weekend. The Cavaliers improved to 2-0 in the ACC with a 3-0 home win over Boston College before blowing out Pacific 6-0 this past Monday. The Cavaliers are one of the hottest teams in the country right now and will be looking to extend its win streak to nine games on Friday when it travels to Wake Forest for its first conference road game. The Demon Deacons (5-4) fell from No. 11 in the rankings after dropping their first conference game of the season in a 3-2 loss at Louisville last Friday to snap their three-game win streak. Wake Forest bounced back with a 4-1 win over Miami (Ohio) last Sunday. This is Virginia’s lone game this weekend, while Wake Forest will face unranked Liberty on Sunday.

Sunday, October 1

No. 7 Syracuse vs. No. 16 Princeton

On Sunday, we get a pair of non-conference games featuring teams who will be in action on Friday. After facing Louisville on Friday, the Orange will fly home to face Princeton (4-4). After losing four of their first five games, the Tigers are now on a three-game win streak and have moved up from No. 17 in the rankings. Last Saturday, Princeton opened up conference play with a 5-0 road win over Dartmouth before taking down Boston University the next day 1-0 on the road. Before traveling to Syracuse on Sunday, the Tigers will host Yale on Friday with hopes of going to 2-0 in the Ivy League and extending its winning streak to four games.

No. 2 Duke vs. No. 22 Boston University

This weekend is Boston weekend for the Dukies, who will travel to BU after facing BC this Friday. The Terriers (5-4) moved up from No. 22 in the polls after beginning conference play with a 5-1 win over Lafayette last weekend. However, despite that Patriot League win at home, it has been a rough go lately for the Terriers who have lost four of their last five games after a 4-0 start to the season. Before hosting Duke, BU will look to improve to 2-0 in conference and end its slide when it travels to Colgate on Friday.

(Article courtesy Pat Ralph via Excelle Sports.)