Thursday's women's soccer game between No. 1 North Carolina and No. 10 Virginia has been postponed because of roster depletion among the Cavaliers caused by the coronavirus and injuries, the schools announced Wednesday.
The game between two of the most successful programs in women's soccer is the first involving ACC teams that has been postponed this season. The ACC is one of four conferences playing women's soccer in the fall, along with the Big 12, SEC and Sun Belt.
North Carolina coach Anson Dorrance said it was evident watching Virginia's win over Miami on Sunday that the Cavaliers were without several regular starters. He said Cavaliers coach Steve Swanson called Monday to say Virginia would not be able to make the trip to Chapel Hill for Thursday's game.
"All of us in the conference support each other about decisions about whether or not they feel safe enough to come," Dorrance said. "None of us are going to sit in judgment of a school's decision because obviously some of the decisions are made at the highest level. And the other thing is there's not an athletic department in the country right now that's not interested in saving money.
"So Virginia checks all kinds of positive boxes for Virginia by not coming down. They save money. It protects them, because any time you travel, I think you're at risk. So as a conference, we've all been completely supportive."
Dorrance said North Carolina has not had any coronavirus issues since returning to campus. Conference protocols for fall sports teams call for COVID-19 testing three times per week.
North Carolina is 4-0-0 this season, most recently beating Clemson at home on Thursday. Virginia is 4-1-1.
Neither team is scheduled to play again until Oct. 15, but Dorrance indicated that it is unlikely the game can be rescheduled. Neither school has an ACC game scheduled the week of Oct. 19, but North Carolina has already scheduled a nonconference game against Duke on Oct. 23. Adding a second game would necessitate playing with just one day of rest, far from unheard of in college soccer but less than ideal heading into the postseason.
"We're not going to compromise our kids," Dorrance said.