Conference tournaments kick off later this month

By Official Florida FC

October is the month when collegiate soccer programs seek to catapult themselves into the conversation for conference championships. Titles may not be won this month, but the opportunity to play for titles will be earned this month.

Official Florida FC will look at how the state’s collegiate programs in both Division I and Division II stack up as the fixture list congests and results may dictate seasons.


Florida State attacker Jordynn Dudley is tackled off the ball during a Sept. 7, 2023 match agains UNF. Dudley and the Seminoles won 4-0.
(Photo by Will Brown, Official Florida FC)

We start in the Atlantic Coast Conference because unbeaten Florida State stands atop the toughest conference in women’s college soccer.

The Seminoles (10-0-1) clipped Boston College 6-0 on Oct. 8 to improve to 5-0-1 in the ACC. Florida State has four regular season games left, including home matches against second-placed Notre Dame on Oct. 12 and fourth-placed Pittsburgh on Oct. 19.

Miami (3-7-3, 2-4) is ninth in the ACC. The Hurricanes have been blown out by good teams at times this year, but their fate is in their hands.

The top six teams qualify for the ACC Tournament. The Hurricanes host struggling North Carolina State on Oct. 14, travel sixth-placed Virginia Tech on Oct. 22 and host seventh-placed Wake Forest (8-2-3, 2-2-2) in their regular season finale.

Pittsburgh qualified for the 2022 ACC tournament with 17 points from 11 conference matches. Miami would need four wins from its final four conference matches to get to 18 points.


UCF (8-5, 4-3) dropped consecutive conference matches to Texas and Baylor to fall to sixth place in the Big XII. In both matches the contest was decided in the final 10 minutes.

The Knights do not appear to be in danger of missing the conference tournament, as the top 10 teams qualify. However, the end of the season fixture list features a pair of top 10 programs.

UCF hosts No. 7 Texas Tech (12-0-3, 6-0-1) on Oct. 12. The Knights travel to Cincinnati (3-6-5, 2-2-3) on Oct. 15, then close the regular season at altitude when it faces No. 7 BYU (10-1-3, 3-0-3.)


The University of Florida has shown signs of improvement under second-year head coach Samantha Bohon, but the Gators (5-4-4, 1-3-2) still have a ways to go before they challenge the top of the conference.

A scoreless draw against Georgia in Athens showed the Gators can produce results.

Bohon was pleased to earn a result against a team that has received votes in the latest United Soccer Coaches national poll.

“We showed some of our intangible values,” Bohon said after the Georgia match. “We played with heart; we played as a unit; players off the bench helped keep the intensity and level high. Our leaders stepped up. At the end of the day, earning a point on the road after a quick turnaround is always a solid result in the SEC.”


No Division I conference has more Florida programs than the four that compete the ASUN. However, as things wind down in conference play, only one is guaranteed to qualify for the eight-team conference tournament.

Florida Gulf Coast (8-4-3, 5-1-2), the 2022 tournament champion, is third in the conference behind Lipscomb (11-4-1, 7-0-1) and Central Arkansas (7-6-3, 6-1-1). Florida Gulf Coast likely threw away its chance at the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament when it tied Lipscomb 1-1 on Oct. 8.

But, in a one-bid league, the only thing that matters is the conference tournament.

Madelyn Radtke was among the true freshman who saw their first collegiate minutes in Jacksonville University’s 2023 season opener. Jacksonville University dispatched Alabama State 4-1 in its 2023 season opener at Southern Oak Stadium on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. (Photo by Will Brown, Official Florida FC)

North Florida (4-6-5, 2-3-3) occupies the eighth and final spot in the conference. The Ospreys do not have to leave Jacksonville for the rest of the regular season and will need to make it count as they host North Alabama, Central Arkansas and Jacksonville University. A win against North Alabama (7-5-4, 3-3-2) on Oct. 12 may go a long way to securing their postseason status.

Stetson (1-11-3, 1-5-2) and Jacksonville (2-10-3, 0-7-1) are propping up the conference. Stetson hasn’t conceded more than two goals in any conference contest. But, the Hatters have struggled to score all season long – with just seven goals in 15 matches. JU has struggled this year with a number of freshmen and underclassmen.


Florida International (7-3-3, 2-0-2) is halfway through its conference slate and in prime position to win its first regular season conference championship in 14 years.

The Panthers have a massive match on Oct. 12 against conference-leading New Mexico State (8-5-1, 5-0-0). FIU would still need New Mexico State to slip up again, but at least the Panthers’ schedule during the regular season run-in would be favorable as two of their final three regular season matches are against Louisiana Tech and Middle Tennessee – two opponents who have yet to win a conference game.


South Florida and Florida Atlantic were picked to finish first and third in the American Athletic Conference’s East Division. Through four games, those predictions have proven prescient.

The surprise has been East Carolina. The Pirates (8-2-3, 3-1-1) were picked to finish fourth in the East, but have victories over both Florida programs.

South Florida (6-5-1, 2-1-1) and FAU (6-4-3, 2-1-1) are in second and third in the East.

Memphis (11-1, 5-0) appears to be the best team in the conference following Wednesday’s road win over East Carolina.

The Tigers and South Florida have clawed at conference supremacy for years. USF may not be enjoying its best season in Denise Schilte-Brown’s final season; but, with the conference tournament held in Lakewood Ranch, the Bulls may have an advantage once they qualify.