College Women: Soccer America's Top 25 Wrap (Week 5: Sept. 23-29)

FULL STRENGTH: Top-ranked North Carolina didn't have to do without three of its stars in its matchup with No. 5 Portland on Saturday, but the Tar Heels couldn't escape Merlo Field with a victory.

Pilots defender Lauren Orlandos and midfielder Betsy Barr were instrumental in shutting down the Carolina attack in a 0-0 draw. Portland was the more dangerous team, but Tar Heels keeper Aly Winget made three spectacular saves on the afternoon to keep things even.

U.S. U-19 stars Lindsay Tarpley and Lori Chalupny were released from April Heinrichs' national team camp and played for North Carolina. So did defender Cat Reddick, who returned to Uniondale, N.Y., after Saturday's match for Sunday's U.S.-Russia game in the U.S. Women's Cup. Reddick did not play in the Americans' 5-1 victory, and she won't be available for Friday's showdown with No. 2 Stanford in Moraga, Calif.

JUGGERNAUT: No. 2 Stanford rolls on, winning Santa Clara's adidas Classic with wins over No. 14 Tennessee and Montana. The Cardinal (8-0-0) allowed the Lady Vols just three shots in a 2-0 win on Friday. Eight players tallied in its 8-1 rout of Montana on Sunday.

Natalie Sanderson scored in both games and added three assists against the Grizzlies.

Stanford, playing primarily against Top 25 competition, has allowed just 16 shots on goal this season. Montana netted only the second goal the Cardinal has surrendered.

No. 10 Santa Clara also won both its games in the tournament, overcoming the Lady Vols on U.S. U-19 standout Leslie Osborne's OT strike.

I AGAINST I: Freshman Iris Mora scored goals for and against UCLA this week -- and she notched another in a game not involving the Bruins. The Mexican national team forward tallied in UCLA's 6-0 romp over BYU on Wednesday -- former Cougar Kim Devine tallied twice against her former teammates -- then scored for Mexico in a 2-1 victory Thursday at Long Beach State.

Mora suited up for Mexico on Saturday against the Bruins, scoring the Tricolores' goal in a 2-1 UCLA triumphs.

SOLO EFFORT: Hope Solo, one of the U.S. national team's goalkeepers, made 12 saves as Washington battled No. 3 Texas and No. 7 Texas A&M in a Lone Star State trek. The Huskies managed a 1-1 tie with the Longhorns; A pulled out a 2-1 overtime victory on Emma Smith's goal.

Texas and Texas A&M also opened their Big 12 Conference campaigns with victories over Iowa State. Oklahoma and unbeaten Oklahoma State started conference play with two victories; Nebraska and Kansas drew, 1-1, in the best matchup of opening weekend.

FALTERING IRISH: No. 12 Notre Dame's injury problems on the back line cost it in Big East Conference losses to Villanova and Georgetown. Goalkeeper Chrissy Dolan made 16 saves as 'Nova rallied for a 2-1 win on Friday. Jamie Beers-Altman lifted the Hoyas to a 4-3 triumph Sunday, scoring the gamewinner with 24 seconds to play.

The Fighting Irish were without three of their four best defensive players: center backs Vanessa Pruzinsky and Gudrun Gunnarsdottir and midfielder Ashley Dryer.

No. 11 West Virginia is 3-0-0 in the Big East's Mid-Atlantic Division after a win at Rutgers. No. 13 Connecticut handed St. John's its first loss of the season to improve to 3-0-0 in the Northeast Division, where it is one point behind Miami.

TIGER DOMINANCE: No. 24 Clemson bounced back from its Atlantic Coast Conference-opening loss at Florida State by beating Virginia, 1-0, on a Paige Ledford goal. The Tigers have won six in a row over UVa. Maryland also improved to 1-1-0 in ACC play with a 3-2 win over No. 17 Duke, which also dropped a non-conference game at Georgia and has lost three of its past four matches.

No. 8 Wake Forest (1-0-1) is on top in the ACC after being held to a 1-1 tie at North Carolina State, considered the conference's weakest side.

ROLLING ON: No. 20 Pepperdine remained unbeaten with impressive home wins over Washington State and SMU. No. 25 Denver opened Sun Belt Conference play with victories at Ark.-Little Rock and Arkansas State. North Texas, the Pioneers' primary challenger in the SBC, also started the conference campaign with two wins.

STUMBLES: No. 6 California overcame a deficit to beat Penn but was beaten by Hartford on its two-game East Coast swing. No. 18 USC couldn't solve San Diego in a scoreless tie but bounced back with a win at UC Irvine.

No. 22 Florida's losing streak reached four with defeats at Florida State and in the Gators' Southeastern Conference opener at South Carolina. And No. 23 Utah suffered its first loss, falling to visiting St. Mary's.

OFF AND RUNNING: Miami (Ohio) is off to a strong start in the Mid-American Conference, 6-0-0 following wins over defending regular-season champion Ohio U. and Buffalo. Ball State (4-1-0) is the RedHawks' nearest competition.

D2: Defending NCAA Division II champion UC San Diego was beaten Friday, 2-1, at Cal State L.A. The second-ranked Tritons are 7-1-0. Top-ranked Northern Kentucky's nine-game win streak was snapped in a 2-2 tie at SIU-Edwardsville.

How the Top 25 fared this week:

1. North Carolina (8-0-2)
9/28 at Portland (0-0), 9/29 at Oregon (3-0)

2. Stanford (8-0-0)
9/27 vs. Tennessee at Santa Clara (2-0), 9/29 vs. Montana at Santa Clara (8-1)

3. Texas (6-2-1)
9/27 vs. Washington (1-1), 9/29 vs. Iowa State (7-0)

4. UCLA (7-1-0)
9/25 vs. Brigham Young (6-0), 9/28 exhibition vs. Mexican national team (2-1)

5. Portland (8-2-1)
9/28 vs. North Carolina (0-0), 9/29 at Oregon State (2-1)

6. California (6-2-1)
9/27 at Penn (4-2), 9/29 at Hartford (1-3)

7. Texas A&M (7-3-0)
9/27 vs. Iowa State (3-1), 9/29 vs. Washington

8. Penn State (7-1-1)
9/27 vs. Indiana (3-0), 9/29 vs. Purdue (1-0)

9. Wake Forest (8-0-1)
9/25 vs. UNC Greensboro (4-2), 9/29 at North Carolina State (1-1)

10. Santa Clara (6-2-1)
9/27 vs. Montana (4-0), 9/29 vs. Tennessee (2-1 OT)

11. West Virginia (9-1-0)
9/27 vs. William & Mary (4-1), 9/29 at Rutgers (2-1)

12. Notre Dame (6-4-0)
9/27 at Villanova (1-2), 9/29 at Georgetown (3-4)

13. Connecticut (8-1-1)
9/25 at St. John's (3-0)

14. Tennessee (7-3-1)
9/27 vs. Stanford at Santa Clara (0-2), 9/29 at Santa Clara (1-2 OT)

15. Virginia (5-3-1)
9/25 vs. Temple (8-1), 9/28 vs. Clemson (0-1)

16. Washington (5-2-2)
9/27 at Texas (1-1), 9/29 at Texas A&M

17. Duke (5-5-0)
9/27 vs. Maryland (2-3), 9/29 at Georgia (0-1)

18. USC (4-3-2)
9/27 vs. San Diego (0-0), 9/29 at UC Irvine (2-1)

19. Michigan (8-2-0)
9/27 at Wisconsin (3-2), 9/29 at Minnesota (0-4)

20. Pepperdine (8-0-2)
9/27 vs. Washington State (2-0), 9/29 vs. SMU (3-2)

21. Purdue (6-2-1)
9/27 at Ohio State (0-0), 9/29 at Penn State (0-1)

22. Florida (3-6-1)
9/27 at Florida State (1-2), 9/29 at South Carolina (0-1 OT)

23. Utah (5-1-2)
9/29 vs. St. Mary's (1-2)

24. Clemson (5-4-0)
9/28 vs. Virginia (1-0)

25. Denver (6-1-2)
9/27 at Ark.-Little Rock (4-0), 9/29 at Arkansas State (2-1)

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