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MORNING BRIEFING: Olympic medal tally
by Paul Kennedy, August 22nd, 2008 8:30AM

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Welcome to College Soccer Reporter's Morning Briefing. Soccer America will kick off its daily college coverage with all the top news and notes of the day.

A day after three U.S. collegians -- USC's Amy Rodriguez, UCLA's Lauren Cheney and North Carolina's Tobin Heath -- won gold in Beijing, the women's college season kicks off. All are expected to rejoin their teams next week.

Gold-Medal Tally:
4 North Carolina
3 Stanford
2 Notre Dame
1 Florida
1 Hawaii
1 Monmouth
1 Portland
1 Rutgers
1 Santa Clara
1 UCLA
1 Virginia

CAROLINA SPECIALTY. Left-sided players are a Carolina specialty. Former Tar Heel Lori Chalupny again showed in the U.S. gold-medal effort why she may be the best left back in the international women's game. Heath, now a junior at UNC and the youngest player on the U.S. gold-medal team, showed off her bag of tricks along the left wing in three appearances at the Beijing Olympics. This fall, sophomore Meghan Klingenberg could be moved to the left side of the backline, where UNC suffered heavy graduation losses. Klingenberg was perhaps the best player on the U.S. team that qualified for the 2008 Under-20 World Cup in Chile.

Top 25 Weekend Action:
Friday
#1 USC at #24 San Diego
Saturday
#9 Penn State at #25 William & Mary
#17 Illinois at #25 Missouri

(The Preseason Soccer America Top 25.)

SEMINOLE SWEDE. International recruiting has been a big part of Florida State's success under Coach Mark Krikorian -- three straight trips to the Women's College Cup. The Seminoles' incoming class, arguably the best in the country, got stronger when Lina Rehov was a late addition from LbB FC Malmoe of the Swedish First Division, the top women's league in the world. (FSU opens Sunday against in-state rival UCF. The game was moved from Friday because of Tropical Storm Fay.)

OKOROAFO SCARE. Devastated by graduation losses -- 13 players! -- Purdue is going to struggle to match last year's performance -- school record 20 wins and first Big Ten title, won in convincing fashion. To make matters worse, Jessica Okoroafo, one of the Boilermakers' few veterans, is nursing a hamstring injury heading into Friday's opener at Kansas.

'LITTLE GENERAL' RED-SHIRTS. Ingrid Wells, the "Little General" who earned All-American honors as a freshman for Georgetown, will be sitting out the 2008 season to play for the USA in the Under-20 Women's World Cup in Chile in the late fall. Most U.S. U-20s will play for their college team in the regular season but skip the NCAA Tournament. "It's a big loss, but at a school like ours, we understand what the big picture is," Hoya coach Dave Nolan said. "It's a great honor for Ingrid and we have only encouraged her to take advantage of it.

See you on Monday!



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