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NCAA Weekly: Blowouts and thrills in first round

The first weekend of the 2015 NCAA Division I women’ soccer tournament is in the books. There were some blowouts, some upsets and some stunning individual performances. Here’s a look at some of highlights from the first round of action:

Morgan Andrews hat trick helps USC survive early two-goal deficit

In a bit of deja vu from the first round a year ago, once again Cal State Fullerton had a two-goal lead at halftime, but failed to hold off its opponent to advance. The Titans’ dynamic duo Christina Burkenroad and Rebecca Wilson each scored in the first half. Morgan Andrews answered for the Trojans with two scores within the first 15 minutes of the second half to tie the contest at 2-2. Less than 2 minutes later, Jessica Simonian put away a rebound to give Cal State Fullerton the 3-2 advantage. Andrews wasn’t done, though, and she once again to make it 3-3 in the 67th minute. With that strike, she became the first Trojan to record a hat trick in a NCAA tournament game. The 3-3 scoreline would hold through the rest of regulation and extra time. The Trojans won the ensuing penalty shootout, 4-3. USC will face Princeton Friday in the second round.

California only seeded team to fall

Fifteen of the 16 seeded teams in the NCAA tournament advanced onto the second round. The lone seeded team to fall this weekend was California. The Golden Bears fell to Loyola Marymount, 1-0 Saturday. The Lions’ Callie Smith scored the only goal of the game in the 39th minute of the match off a corner kick taken by Jocelyn Blankenship. California out-shot the Loyola Marymount, 19-9, but were unable to convert. Saturday’s victory was the Lions’ first in the NCAA tournament in program history and they will face Minnesota in the next round.

Butler’s last-second strike not enough

Saturday’s match in Columbus was scoreless for the 85 minutes but each side found a goal inside the last five minutes to send the game to extra time. Ohio State’s Morgan Wolcott found the back of the net first. Butler answered in dramatic fashion at the 89:59 mark when Sophia Maccagnone converted a free kick to tie the game. Butler’s last-second effort would be for naught, however, as Sammy Edwards finished Nikki Walts’ cross in the 107th minute to give the Buckeyes the win. Walts also assisted Ohio State’s first score as well. The Buckeyes will meet Virginia Tech in the second round.

South Alabama soundly defeats LSU

Looking at the top of the RPI for women’s soccer, one team stands out among the usual suspects from the expected conferences: South Alabama coming in at 16 overall. The champions of the Sun Belt Conference proved Saturday that while they’re an outlier, their high RPI is certainly not a fluke. The Jaguars soundly defeated Louisiana State University, 4-0. Danielle Henley scored twice for South Alabama, while Rio Handy and Charde Hannah each added one in the contest. The Jaguars will face Florida State on Friday in the second round.

Princeton bounces Boston College

Pundits suggested that the Boston College vs. Princeton game would be one of the most intriguing matchups of the first round given the offensive talent of both teams. Offensive firepower was definitely on display Saturday and it resulted in a somewhat rare Ivy league victory over an ACC team. Princeton’s one-two punch of Tyler Lussi and Mimi Asom showed why they are one of the most threatening offensive duos in the country. Lussi and Asom each recorded a brace in the match. McKenzie Meehan, one of the most dangerous attacking threats in the ACC, recorded a goal in the match and helped set up the Eagles’ second goal. By the time midfielder Lauren Berman got Boston College’s second goal in 89th minute, however the game was already in hand; Princeton won, 4-2. The Tigers will face Virginia in the second round on Friday.

Scores across the tournament

Florida State 3, Evansville 0

South Alabama 4, LSU 0

Texas Tech 1, North Texas 0

Auburn 1, Southeastern Louisiana 0

North Carolina 3, Liberty 0

Texas A&M 2, Washington 1

Mississippi 1, Murray State 0

Clemson 3, Furman 0

Florida 1, Western Michigan 0

William & Mary 0, UCF 0* (UCF advances on PKs)

Florida Gulf Coast 2, South Florida 1

Duke 5, James Madison 0

Santa Clara 1, Long Beach 0

Arizona 2, Northern Colorado 0

BYU 1, Utah Valley 0

Stanford 2, San Jose State 0

Penn State 5, Albany 0

Boston University 2, St. John’s 1

Ohio State 2, Butler 1

Virginia Tech 4, Cincinnati 0

Loyola Marymount 1, California 0

Minnesota 5, South Dakota State 0

Northwestern 1, Washington State 0

West Virginia 4, Duquesne 0

Rutgers 1, Fairleigh Dickinson 0

Hofstra 2*, Georgetown 2 (Hofstra advances on PKs)

Notre Dame 5, Oakland 0

USC 3*, Cal State Fullerton 3 (USC advances on PKs)

Princeton 4, Boston College 2

North Carolina Wilmington 2, South Carolina 0

Virginia 7, Howard 1

UConn 5, Siena 0

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