Women's Week 4: Three things we learned this weekend

Penn State used the lessons it learned from its first loss of the season a week earlier to great effect on its trip to the Bay Area, knocking off No. 1 Stanford for the first time and beating Santa Clara. North Carolina has the makings of a new superstar in sophomore Jessie Scarpa. Rutgers -- Carli Lloyd's alma mater -- is off to its best start ever with seven wins in seven games, all by shutout.

1. Nittany Lions learn their lessons.

Sometimes an early-season loss is the best thing that can happen to a team. A week after Penn State suffered its first loss of the season to West Virginia, it turned around and knocked off No. 1 Stanford, 2-0, on the road. It completed its trip to the Bay Area with a 1-0 win over Santa Clara on Sunday.

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"I am incredibly proud in how the players responded to the loss against West Virginia," head coach Erica Walsh said. "They stuck to the game plan and executed against a really good Stanford team."

The Nittany Lions were outshot 16-4, bu@PennStateWSOCt did not waste their opportunities. In the 10th minute, Megan Schafer and Frannie Crouse teamed up for a goal Crouse scored with a shot that hit the right post and bounced into the goal. Penn State added to the lead in the 66th minute when Crouse set up Brittany Basinger for her first career goal. The goals were the first Stanford allowed all season.

"I think we are a young team and we learn a lesson from each game," Walsh added. "The team was not pleased with their performance against West Virginia and they were anxious to get back on the field. There was a buzz about the group that we did not see last week."

Women's Top 25 Matchups, Week 4:

No. 1 Stanford 1 (DiBiasi  32) No. 7 BYU 0. Att.: 1,177.
No. 5 Florida 1 (Jordan 77) No. 14 Texas A&M 2 (Bates 7, Malherbe 52). Att.: 1,057.
No. 1 Stanford 0 No. 12 Penn State 2 (Crouse 10, Basinger 66). Att.: 1,436.
No. 17 Ohio State 0 No. 10 West Virginia 2 (Buchanan 77, Utley 78). Att.: 624.
No. 25 Arizona State 5 (Farquharson 38, Mader 40, 67, Moon 55, Raybe 71) No. 22 Pepperdine 0. Att.: 121.

No. 13 Texas Tech 1 (Heap 8) No. 25 Arizona State 0. Att.: 108.

2. Carolina has the makings of a superstar.

North Carolina closed out its non-conference schedule with a 3-1 win over UCLA that gives it 26 goals in eight games, five goals less than it scored in all of the 2014 season.

Seniors Summer Green and Alexa Newfield, both back from injuries, have scored five goals, as has sophomore Jessie Scarpa, who didn't have a point as a freshman, playing at left back in 2014. Moved up front, the Floridian leads the 7-0-1 Tar Heels with 14 points after scoring twice against UCLA.

“You’re seeing the construction of a superstar,” UNC coach Anson Dorrance told the Daily Tar Heel.

3. Rutgers has assembled a special group.

It's been a good year for Rutgers soccer. In July, former Scarlet Knight Carli Lloyd won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot as the USA captured the Women's World Cup title for the third time. Now, Rutgers is off to its best start the history of the program.

A 2-0 win on goals by Erica Skroski and Colby Ciarrocca gave No. 20 Rutgers a 2-0 win over UConn in a battle of unbeaten and untied teams. It improved to 7-0-0 for the first time in program history. On top of that, all seven wins have been by shutout.

“We’re proud of anything we accomplish, from what we do in training to what we do in games,” said head coach Mike O’Neill. “The fact that we made a little bit of history today is very special. They’re a very special group.”

Unbeaten and Untied:
Tulsa 8-0-0
Rutgers 7-0-0
Washington State 6-0-0
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