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NCAA Weekly: Virginia comes back to beat UCLA

Virginia's Emily Sonnett. (Photo Copyright Steve Bruno for The Equalizer)

Virginia’s Emily Sonnett. (Photo Copyright Steve Bruno for The Equalizer)

Happy Labor Day weekend. It was a fun one in women’s college soccer. Here’s what you missed if you took a mini vacation:

The Rematch

Virginia battled back from behind to beat UCLA 2-1 in what has become one of the biggest non-conference, non in-state rivalries in women’s soccer. The teams had split their last two meetings, with Virginia taking last year’s Elite Eight match-up 2-1 and UCLA beating Virginia in penalties in the 2014 College Cup semifinals. In Friday’s affair, UCLA jumped out to a 1-0 lead off a penalty kick by Taylor Smith. Virginia was awarded a penalty kick early in the second half, which Alexis Shaffer converted to tie the game. Defender Meghan Cox then headed in the game-winner for the Cavaliers in the 57th minute.

Murielle Tiernan all-time goal scoring leader at Virginia Tech

Just five games into her junior season with the Hokies, Murielle Tiernan netted her 30th career goal against Longwood to become Virginia Tech’s all-time leading scorer. The fact that Tiernan has already accomplished this feat with huge chunk of her college career in front of her is illustrative of the Hokies’ rise on the national scene. With the better part of two seasons left in her career, it will be interesting to see where the record will stand when she leaves the program. In addition to holding the all-time scorer record, Tiernan is also currently second in total points for Virginia Tech.

Dramatic comeback for Connecticut against Harvard

Sunday’s matchup between Connecticut and Harvard had an exciting conclusion. With overtime looming, the Huskies’ Rachel Hill netted the game winner with 36 seconds remaining in regulation to give Connecticut the hard-fought victory. Harvard’s Midge Purce scored in the 69th minute but Connecticut scored twice in the final five minutes to secure the victory. Samantha McGuire tied the game in the 86th minute. Harvard’s Lizzie Durack recorded 9 saves in the match.

California wins Nike Classic

Less than two weeks after the Bears dropped a real head-scratcher to Beijing Normal University, they picked up two good results in North Carolina this week. On Friday, Cal jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on North Carolina courtesy of Arielle Shipp. The Tar Heels battled back and Mary Buckingham found the equalizer with less than three minutes remaining in regulation for the draw. On Sunday, California scored three times against Duke, who had yet to concede this season prior to the match, to win 3-1. With the win over Duke, California finished first in the Nike Classic on goal differential.

Rutgers sets new shutout record

With three weeks in the books, the Scarlet Knights remain one of just a handful of programs that have yet to concede a goal. With a 3-0 victory over Drexel, Rutgers set a new shutout streak of 540 minutes and the team is off to its best start since 1996. With two of the best defensive players in the country in senior centerback Brianne Reed and sophomore keeper Casey Murphy, Rutgers may have the pieces in place to keep the streak going. The Scarlet Knights will face the aforementioned Connecticut and Rachel Hill next weekend.

Other Games:

Illinois State 1, Wisconsin 0

Despite outshooting Illinois State 17-10, Wisconsin lost the game 1-0. Lauren Koehl scored the lone goal of the match for the Red Birds in the 21st minute. Wisconsin had now dropped 3 of their last four, after losing to both Pepperdine and UCLA last weekend.

Texas 2, UCLA 1

The Longhorns beat UCLA, 2-1 on Sunday off goals from Kelsey Shimmick and Alexa Adams.Texas goalkeeper Abby Smith made a career-high 11 saves in the contest. Lauren Kaskie scored the Bruins lone goal in the affair.

Florida State 3, Texas A&M 1

Florida State scored three unanswered goals against the Aggies to win, 3-1 on Friday night. Natalia Kuikka, Thorvaldsdottir and Megan Connolly notched goals for Florida States. Emily Banes meanwhile, recorded Texas A&M’s only goal of the match.

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