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2. WOMEN: Rapinoe and Budge power Portland into elite eight
November 20th, 2006 1:44AM



Defending NCAA Division I women's national champion Portland's long-shot bid to repeat remained alive with a 2-0 win at No. 1 seed Texas on Sunday.

Rachael Rapinoe continued her torrid postseason play with the first goal just 194 seconds into the match in Austin. Natalie Budge added an insurance goal and senior keeper Cori Alexander had nine saves to lead the Pilots, who now travel to UCLA on Friday night for a rematch of the 2005 NCAA championship game in which the Pilots earned their second title with a 4-0 win. UCLA defeated Florida, 3-2, to advance.

Rapinoe blasted a shot from 35 yards out to score her fourth goal of the NCAA Tournament -- matching her regular-season output.

"My team asked me to score early to set the tempo, so I just saw the ball, set it up and put it into the side of the net," Rapinoe said. "It's always a relief to get a goal early."

Rapinoe and Budge have had to carry the attack in the NCAA Tournament. Rapinoe was moved from the backline to the attack after her twin sister, U.S. international Megan Rapinoe, was lost for the season with a knee injury in October. Freshman star Michelle Enyeart, who leads the Pilots with 16 goals, was injured in UP's second-round match against Utah and did not play against Texas.

Alexander was sensational in the first half with six saves.

"Texas did everything but win this game," UP coach Garrett Smith said. "It was a great effort from a great top seed."

Clemson is only other unseeded team to advance to the Elite Eight. The Tigers won their third straight shootout, winning at Stanford, 4-2, on penalty kicks after their game ended in a 0-0 tie.


Third Round
Nov. 17
Notre Dame 3 (Bock 16, 34, Hanks 89) Colorado 0.
Texas A&M 2 (Pistorius 20, Jones 23) Virginia 1 (Redmond 39).
UCLA 3 (Adams 8, Cheney 51, DiMartino 66) Florida 2 (Elliott 4, Bishop 88),
Stanford 0 Clemson 0 (OT).
(Clemson wins 4-2 on penalties.)
Nov. 18
North Carolina 6 (Hawkins 14, Engen, 19, Averbuch 32, Guess 57, O'Reilly 61, Moore 77) Tennessee 2 (Christoph 85, Redberg 87).
Nov. 19
Florida State 1 (Rowland 20) Illinois 0.
Penn State 1 (Aden-Buie 52) Boston College 0.
Texas 0 Portland 2 (R.Rapinoe 4, Budge 81).

Nov. 24
No. 1 Notre Dame (23-0-1) vs. No. 2 Penn State (13-6-3)
No. 2 UCLA (20-3-0) vs. Portland (17-3-3)
No. 2 Florida State (17-3-4) vs. Clemson (11-7-5)
Nov. 25
No. 1 North Carolina (24-1-0) vs. No. 2 Texas A&M (17-5-2)

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