This past weekend featured a busy slate of college and international youth women’s soccer happenings, so let’s get right down to it with five things from the weekend you should know about:
- Cardinal falls – The defending national champion Stanford Cardinal had two long winning streaks fall on Sunday in a 1-0 loss to un-ranked West Virginia. Frances Silva’s 83rd minute goal snapped a 25-game winning streak and a 64-game regular season unbeaten streak for the top-ranked Stanford. Next up for West Virginia? No. 3 Penn State on Friday. Watch out, Nittany Lions.
- USWNT U-20’s advance, barely – The U.S. U-2o women backed their way into the quarterfinals of the World Cup after a 3-0 loss to Germany on Monday. Head coach Steve Swanson said the better team won. Germany is the defending U-20 champion. The U.S. edged out China in Group D by finishing with a better goal differential (+1 vs. China’s -3) and is the only team in the quarterfinals not to have obtained at least six points in the group stage. The U.S. plays North Korea in Friday’s semifinal (6:30 a.m. ET, ESPN3.com). North Korea rolled through the group stage with three victories and a +12 goal differential, although that figure is skewed by a 9-0 win over Argentina.
- U-20 Quarterfinals set – Host Japan won Group A and will face Group B runner-up South Korea. Group B winners Nigeria face Group A runner-up Mexico, which was the other CONCACAF team to advance. Canada failed to go through to the final eight. Group D winner Germany faces Group C runner-up Norway, with USA-North Korea rounding out the pairings. Check out all you need to know at FIFA’s tournament central.
- Great college soccer scenes – There were more upsets this past weekend (Sunday scoreboard), including UNC-Greensboro defeating No. 7 Wake Forest 1-0, but forget the scores – the scenes are what impressed. None was more spectacular than the record crowd of 5,117 fans who packed Jeffrey Field in University Park, Penn. for Penn State’s 3-2 loss to Stanford on Friday. Check out photos No. 13 and 27 in this gallery to see just how eye-catching the crowd was.
- South American failures in Japan – Both the Brazilian men and women were disappointed with their finishes at the Olympics (the men settled for silver and the women were bounced in the quarterfinals). Brazil’s 2012 failures spilled over into the U-20 Women’s World Cup, where the team managed just two goals and two points, failing to get out of the group stage. Argentina made South America look even worse, conceding 19 goals in three matches (a -18 goal differential) en route to exiting the tournament. The ugliest result was Argentina’s 9-0 loss to North Korea. Interestingly, the senior Argentine women’s squad had a -17 goal differential at the 2007 Women’s World Cup, which included an 11-0 loss to Germany.
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