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Carolina attack suddenly goes quiet
September 21st, 2009 8:45AM
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WOMEN'S NEWS ... The North Carolina attack that scored seemingly at will against UCLA (7-2) and Notre Dame (6-0) couldn't buy a goal on Sunday. The Tar Heels piled up 40 shots but had to settle for a 0-0 tie with unranked Auburn. The result snapped the defending national champions' 17-game winning streak and dropped them from the top spot in the Soccer America Women's Top 25 for the first time this season.

The result at the Duke Nike Classic came two days after a very sluggish performance in a 1-0 victory over LSU. To make matters worse, North Carolina star Nikki Washington was injured early in the second half of the LSU game and didn't play against Auburn.

The closest Carolina came to scoring against Auburn was in the 86th minute when Casey Nogueira hit the crossbar with a free kick. Goalie Amy Howard was superb for Auburn with 12 saves, including a diving stop on an Alyssa Rich shot in overtime.

North Carolina coach Anson Dorrance blamed the result on his players' atrocious work in the final third of the field. "'We could have taken a film of today's game and shown you every poor finishing decision that was possible," he said. One bright spot for North Carolina was the play of Canadian freshman Ranee Premji in her first extended appearance for the Tar Heels.

* AGGIES' SHOCKER. Portland, who was No. 3 in last week's rankings, had won its first seven games by a margin of 22-2, but it was upset by Texas A&M, 3-1, Friday night in front of 3,542 fans at the Aggie Soccer Stadium. Junior Whitney Hooper scored two goals for A&M, which looked great in its opening game, a 3-0 win over USC, but has since suffered losses to Purdue, California and North Carolina.

"It's nice to be winning again," said Aggies coach G Guerrieri. "We've played a very difficult schedule, but we played those difficult games to get better and they helped us win this one today. Portland is a great team."

* STANFORD ON TOP. Stanford, which beat Colorado, 4-0, and Wisconsin, 6-0, at its Nike Invitational to improve its record to 9-0-0, took over for North Carolina as the top team in the Soccer America Women's Top 25.

On Sunday, the Cardinal overwhelmed Wisconsin with its multi-pronged attack. Kelley O'Hara scored her 10th goal, Christen Press had a goal and two assists, and Teresa Noyola was in superb form with a pair of assists. Freshman Mariah Nogueira added two goals to become the sixth Stanford player to have a multi-goal game.

This weekend's results

* PERFECT STARTS:
Louisiana Tech 10-0-0
Stanford 9-0-0
Boston College 8-0-0
Maryland 8-0-0
South Carolina 8-0-0
Mississippi State 8-0-0
Chattanooga 5-0-0



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