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Top-ranked Carolina puts on a clinic
by Paul Kennedy, August 24th, 2009 8:30AM



WOMEN'S NEWS ... Defending champion North Carolina put the nation on notice that it will be hard to beat. The top-ranked Heels opened with a 7-2 win over UCLA, scoring three goals in the first 12 minutes.

Casey Nogueira, the 2008 Player of the Year, scored a pair of goals. Sophomore forward Courtney Jones had a goal and two assists and senior Tobin Heath, junior Ali Hawkins and sophomore reserve Emmalie Pfankuch all scored a goal and an assist.

UCLA coach Jillian Ellis: "Carolina was special tonight."

(The loss was the Bruins' second worst defeat in their 17-year history. They fell, 8-0, to Notre Dame in the 1995 NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.)

* Here's this week's Soccer America Women's Top 25, released Monday morning along with the North Carolina-UCLA summary and all the weekend Top 25 results.

* Other opening weekend notables ...

-- Of the other winners in weekend Top 25 matchups, Texas A&M looked the most impressive. The Aggies beat USC, 3-0. The game turned on an opening goal by Mary Grace Schmidt shortly before halftime. A&M went on to outshoot the Trojans, 25-10.

-- The biggest upset was Cal State Bakersfield's 2-1 win over then-No. 15 San Diego. The Roadrunners, who had gone 5-13-1 in each of the last two seasons, fell behind the visiting Toreros in the 68th minute but evened the score 30 seconds slater on Raquel Gervas' penalty kick. Two minutes after that, Kassie Massey stunned USD with a header.

-- Natalie LeClair scored once in each half and fellow freshman LeighAnne Baxter had the third goal to lead Richmond to a 3-0 victory at then-No. 25 James Madison. Spider coach Peter Albright also singled out another freshman, Emily Parisi, for praise.

-- Senior Carrie Patterson scored in the first 35 seconds of Georgia's 6-0 win over Kennesaw State to break the Bulldogs' all-time scoring record. She finished with a hat trick to bring her career tally to 36 goals.

* Some women's teams chose to open with exhibitions. South Carolina beat the touring Mexican national team, 2-0, in front of 3,000 fans at the MeSA Soccer Complex in Greenville.

Look for the Soccer America Women's Team of the Week on Tuesday in Soccer America Daily ...

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