MORNING BRIEFING: Visitors claim big road wins

Women's weekend play featured four big conference matchups involving Top 25 teams, and the visiting teams won all four games: UCLA over USC (Pac-10), North Carolina over Virginia (ACC), Florida over LSU (SEC) and Texas A&M over Colorado (Big 12). For a look at all the action ...

In a rematch of last year's Women's College Cup semifinal, No. 3 UCLA got revenge with a 2-1 win on a pair of goals by Kristen Larsen.

In the 27th minute, Christina DiMartino slipped a pass up to Larsen. The ball got through the USC defense and Larsen put away the opportunity with a shot to the far post to get UCLA up 1-0.

USC sophomore Megan Ohai equalized the game early in the second half, but Larsen's second goal on a header gave the undefeated Bruins the win.

The Coliseum crowd of 7,804 marked the largest attendance ever at a USC-UCLA women's soccer match -- beating the crowd that saw USC's 2-1 victory over UCLA in College Station, Texas, last year at the 2007 NCAA semifinal -- and obliterated the previous USC record for attendance at a soccer game.

"What a great environment for a college soccer match," said UCLA coach Jillian Ellis. "For this many people to watch a soccer game in Los Angeles says a lot for this sport. This was a great confidence boost for this team. We've got two tough games coming up so hopefully we can build on this win."

Next up for the Bruins: No. 2 Stanford and California.

Oct. 24 in Los Angeles
Goals: Ohai (Loucks, Strong) 50; Larsen (DiMartino) 27, Larsen (Wilmoth) 61.
USC -- Olsen, Strong, Haug, Holmes, Currier, Davila, Freyer, Kerridge, Sandoval, Nick, Rodriguez. Subs: Loucks, Tomer, Ohai, Finch.
UCLA -- Thompson, Barnes, Wilmoth, Hardy, Cook, DiMartino, M.Zerboni, Wright, Leroux, Cheney, Lang. Subs: Williams, Mathis, Calvert, Larsen, Sharpe.
Referee: Ali Hacock.
Att.: 7,804.

After transfer Jessica McDonald put UNC ahead with a tap-in the 51st minute, the Tar Heels pulled away with four goals in a 10-minute span midway through the second half. North Carolina, who has won 11 games in a row, has now scored 34 goals in eight ACC games, all wins.

"I I don't think anyone who saw this game was say the final score was indicative of the game," said Virginia coach Steve Swanson. "We had a stretch in the second half where we made some mistakes and good teams punish you for those errors. I thought we did a lot of things well in this game too, and there is a lot we can learn from."

The game was played before a large crowd of 1,918 fans on a rainy night with temperatures in the low 50s.
Oct. 24 in Charlottesville, Va.
Virginia 1 North Carolina 5. Goals: Lenczyk (Alwine) 81; McDonald (Jones, Averbuch) 51, Nogueira 72, Jones (Heath) 73, Jones (McDonald) 78, Pfankuch 1 (Nogueira) 80.
Virginia -- Miles, Senty, Fries, Singer, Krzysik, Rostedt, Farrelly, Flanagan, Miskel, Alwine, Lenczyk. Subs: McKeon, Miller, Stewart, Kistner, Fancher, Toulouse.
North Carolina -- Rodenbough, Engen, Givan, Eveland, Averbuch, Long, Hawkins, Heath, McDonald, Nogueira, Jones. Subs: Bartok, Smith, Ashlyn Harris, Boneparth, Wood, Briggs, Moraca, Moore, Pfankuch, Klimczak.
Referee: Tony Russo.
Att.: 1,918.

Florida improved to 10-0-0 in conference play in a battle of SEC divisional leaders. The Gators got the tying and go-ahead goals in the second half to hand the Tigers their first loss at home in 19 games.

Rachel Yepez split the Florida defense to give LSU the lead with her first goal of the season in the 34th minute.

"We had to make some changes tactically," Florida coach Becky Burleigh said, "and we did a better job in the first part of the second half of possessing the ball."

Florida tied the match less than two minutes after intermission when sophomore Nicky Kit served the ball to the far post where Ameera Abdullah scored.

The go-ahead goal started again with a Kit cross from the left side. Her cross found Tahnai Annis at the far post corner, who coolly headed the ball in from six yards for her ninth goal of the season. That goal total is the most by a Gator freshman since Abby Wambach turned in 19 in 1998.

Oct. 26 in Baton Rouge
LSU 1 Florida 2.
Goals: Yepez (Rutledge) 34; Abdullah (Kit) 47, Annis (Kit) 73.
LSU -- Isom, Bush, B.Potts, Godbolt, Lagow, Rutledge, Makasini, Clarke, C.Potts, Crawford, Jones. Subs: Carreno, Lowe, Yepez, Murphy.
Florida -- Berlingo, Hyde, Avant, Kit, Howard, Elliott, Annis, Napolitano, Ruberry, Abdullah, Kerns, Subs: Ray, Eicken, Thompson, Townsend, Chapman.
Referee: Ryan Cigich.
Att.: 1,367.

The Aggies moved into first place in the Big 12, ahead of the Buffaloes, with the comeback win. Freshman Bri Young tied the game in the 86th minute on a header from freshman Becca Herrera. Freshman Beth West headed in the game-winning goal three minutes into overtime.

"It was precarious," said Colorado coach Bill Hempen. "It was going to be tough to hang on. Texas A&M kept loading the box and were pushing forward, so I knew it would be difficult to keep them out of the goal. I had a bad feeling as the clock went down, because they just kept fighting. They did a good job and kept at it, and that's a good trait that they have."

A&M coach G Guerrieri also acknowledged the Aggies' fighting spirit.

"It was looking like a nightmare at first and then it turned into a dream come true at the end," said A&M coach G Guerrieri. "To be able to keep fighting is a real great testament to the will and the heart of this team, and for the two Colorado girls to come home and score as freshmen is even better. Now we're in first place and hoping we're able to lift a trophy in a week."

Oklahoma State, however, can clinch the first regular-season Big 12 championship in its history with a win against Oklahoma Friday in Norman.

Oct. 26 in Boulder, Colo.
Colorado 1 Texas A&M 2 (OT). Goals: Cousins (pen.) 48; Young (Herrera) 87, West (Shipley) 94.
Colorado --
Radlinski, Wenino, Lowry, Menachof, Keller, Cousins, Butler, Russell, Danneburg, Marshall, DeSaverio. Subs: Ross, Fitzpatrick, Bettenhausen, Hicks, Goodman,
Texas A&M -- Dyer, Gnatzig, Young, Peterson, Balaguer, West, Robinson, Shipley, Herrera, Tatum, Hooper. Goals: Currie, Kmezich, Armstrong, Wohlers, Mautz.
Referee: Tim Bower.
Att.: 2,013.

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