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3. Women's giants fall before big crowds
August 28th, 2006 12:56PM
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The top three teams in the Soccer America Preseason Women's Top 25 all lost on the road on the opening weekend of the 2006 season.

Playing without five players representing the USA at the Under-20 Women's World Championship, No. 1 UCLA fell to Penn State, 3-1, Friday before Jeffrey Field women¹s record crowd of 3,208. Kristina Larsen scored for UCLA just 27 seconds into the match, but the Lions, who have star Allie Long in Russia with the U-20s, recovered thanks to goals by freshman Akilah Duggan, sophomore Sheree Gray and redshirt freshman Ashley Myers. UCLA came back to beat Maryland, 3-0, on the second day of the Penn State Invitational. The Lions were tied by Tennessee, 1-1, in their other game.

Florida State jumped three places to No. 1 by beating defending champion Portland, 2-1, on Sunday in front of 1,625 fans, the second-largest crowd in Seminole history. The Seminoles scored two goals within 10 minutes in the second half to secure the win. All-American India Trotter tied the game and Japanese sophomore Mami Yamaguchi scored the game-winner after UP went ahead on Angie Woznuk's long-range goal in the 29th minute. Both teams were missing players at the U-20 championships -- U-20 captain Stephanie Lopez for UP and Sarah Wagenfuhr for FSU. Portland had opened with a 1-1 tie at Florida.

No. 3 North Carolina dropped its season opener for the first time since 1983 as Texas A&M beat the Tar Heels, 1-0, Friday night before a NCAA regular-season record-setting crowd of 8,204 at the Aggie Soccer Stadium.  Ashlee Pistorius' overtime goal was the difference for Texas A&M, which beat UNC for the first time in nine games. The Heels were without U-20s Tobin Heath and Casey Nogueira, both freshmen, and defender Robyn Gayle, who was with the Canadian national team. They beat SMU, 3-0, two days later without star Heather O'Reilly, who started for the USA in its 4-1 victory over China Sunday in Bridgeview, Ill.

Other weekend highlights:
  • Perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend was Missouri's 5-0 demolition of ranked Illinois. Mizzou jumped out to an early lead with a header off a free kick at 2:04 and added two more scores in the first 15 minutes of the match.
  • Ranked Stanford lost twice at the Santa Clara adidas Classic, falling to Utah, 1-0, and Wake Forest, 2-1.
  • Three other unranked teams knocked off Top 25 teams: Boston University (1-0 over Boston College), Maryland (1-0 over Tennessee) and Auburn (1-0 over Texas).

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