College Women: Soccer America Top 25 (Sept. 30)

Friday's showdown between Nos. 1 and 2 in college women's soccer has a new twist: It is Stanford, not North Carolina, that is No. 1.

The Cardinal took the top spot in Soccer America's College Women's Top 25 after dominating Tennessee and Montana -- just as it has dominated nearly ever foe before them -- to win Santa Clara's adidas Classic. Stanford has played flawless team defense this season, allowing its last seven foes a combined 11 shots on goal.

Its victims include six teams that have been ranked in the Top 25 -- defending national champion Santa Clara, Texas, Texas A&M, Florida, St. Mary's and, with Friday's 2-0 victory, Tennessee -- plus previously unbeaten Oklahoma.

The Cardinal will face North Carolina -- which dropped to No. 2 after playing Portland to a 0-0 tie and beating Oregon, the Pac-10's weakest side -- on Friday at St. Mary's tournament in Moraga, Calif.

UCLA, which ripped BYU, 6-0, and Portland, which beat Oregon State in addition to the draw with Carolina, each moved up a spot, to Nos. 3 and 4. Texas fell to fifth after a 1-1 tie with Washington in Austin and is followed by Texas A&M, Penn State, Santa Clara, West Virginia and California. The Bears fell from sixth to 10th after falling at Hartford.

Notre Dame, a Top 10 team two weeks ago, fell from 12th to 23rd after dropping Big East Conference clashes to Villanova and Georgetown. The Fighting Irish have been struggling as its defensive depth is tested by injuries. Wake Forest dropped from eighth to 13th after a 1-1 tie at North Carolina State. Virginia went from 15th to 21st after losing to Clemson.

Washington jumped from 16th to 12th, where it stood in the preseason rankings, Pepperdine climbed from 20th to 15th, and Clemson moved from 24th to 20th.

Four teams jumped into the Top 25, including No. 16 Arizona State (6-1-2) and No. 17 Florida State (6-2-2), who were included in the preseason rankings and those following the first weekend of play. The Sun Devils beat Georgia and Auburn in Athens, Ga., and the Seminoles topped visiting Florida.

Two strong defensive teams also climbed into the Top 25. Villanova (7-1-3) is No. 20 after beating Notre Dame; he Wildcats' lone defeat was 1-0 to West Virginia on Sept. 22. Princeton (7-0-0) won three games last week, including a 1-0 decision at Boston College.

Duke (was 17th), Michigan (19th), Florida (22nd) and Utah (23rd) fell from the Top 25.

9/30 Team (Record) 9/23
1 Stanford (8-0-0) 2
2 North Carolina (8-0-2) 1
3 UCLA (7-1-0) 4
4 Portland (8-2-1) 5
5 Texas (6-2-1) 3
6 Texas A&M (7-3-0) 7
7 Penn State (7-1-1) 8
8 Santa Clara (6-2-1) 10
9 West Virginia (9-1-0) 6
10 California (6-2-1) 6
11 Connecticut (8-1-1) 13
12 Washington (5-3-2) 16
13 Wake Forest (9-0-1) 8
14 Tennessee (6-3-0) 14
15 Pepperdine (8-0-2) 20
16 Arizona State (6-1-2) NR
17 Florida State (6-2-2) NR
18 USC (4-3-2) 18
19 Clemson (5-4-0) 24
20 Villanova (7-1-3) NR
21 Virginia (5-3-1) 15
22 Princeton (7-0-0) NR
23 Notre Dame (6-4-0) 12
24 Purdue (6-2-1) 21
25 Denver (6-1-2) 25

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