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MORNING BRIEFING: UCLA gets scare in opener
by Paul Kennedy, August 27th, 2008 8AM



Freshman forward Sydney Leroux, who has represented the USA and Canada internationally, saved No. 3 UCLA in its opening game, scoring in the 82nd minute Tuesday to help the Bruins take a 2-1 victory over UC Santa Barbara.

Coming off a very busy summer as members of their respective Olympic teams, both USA gold-medalist Lauren Cheney and Canadian Kara Lang sat out Tuesday's match. Defender Erin Hardy also did not play.

Junior forward Kristina Larsen got things started for the Bruins in the 16th minute, scoring on a right-footed shot to the far post, but Cory Yoshida equalized early in the second half on a rebound off a save from Bruin goalkeeper Ashley Thompson.

PURDUE BOUNCES BACK. Defending Big Ten champion bounced back from a 3-0 loss to Kansas in its opener with a 5-1 victory over Eastern Illinois. Five different Boilermakers scored as they registered a record 39 shots. The first two goals came from freshman Kellie Phillips and Alexis Tryba -- a good sign given the Boilermakers' need to rebuilding after suffering heavy graduation losses.

NEW NIAGARA STADIUM. The Niagara women's team opened the 2008 campaign with a 1-0 loss to Buffalo on Monday in a game that marked the opening of the Niagara Field.

The attendance of 583 set a record for both the men's and women's program.
"The atmosphere tonight was the best it has ever been in my 10 years here at Niagara," said Niagara coach Peter Veltri.
The $2 million project features lights and a synthetic surface. The stands hold 1,200 fans.

BAVASI DEBUTS. San Diego's Katie Bavasi, who red-shirted as a freshman in 2007, made her collegiate debut in a 1-0 loss to No. 1 USC. She is the daughter of longtime baseball executive Bill Bavasi and granddaughter of legendary Dodgers executive Buzzy Bavasi, who died earlier this year at the age of 93.

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