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NCAA Wrap Up Week Three

Duke couldn't find a goal, but have an unbeaten streak against North Carolina for the first time. (Photo Courtesy Duke Athletics)

Duke have an unbeaten streak against North Carolina for the first time. (Photo Courtesy Duke Athletics)

The third week of the NCAA college season is now in the books. Weather again played a major role, forcing the cancellation of a marquee match between Florida and Florida State. Here’s a look at some of the major action and headlines you may have missed trying to keep abreast of the NWSL playoff hunt.

UNC Holds Off Duke In a Scoreless Draw

Duke hosted North Carolina Friday night in miserable weather conditions. (Thanks Hermine) Despite dominating much of the possession, the Blue Devils were unable to break the deadlock. On multiple occasions, the Blue Devils were thwarted by the woodwork and in total, the Blue Devils recorded 30 shots on the night. While the Blue Devils are surely disappointed in having to settle for a draw, Friday’s result gave Duke its first unbeaten streak against soccer’s most storied program.

North Carolina conceded possession to their in-state rivals, committing numbers back to defend. Senior Goalkeeper Lindsey Harris set a career high in saves, recording 11 in the match. Offensively, the Tar Heels managed just 6 shots in the contest and none in the first half of play.

Mid-Major George Washington Bests Arkansas

Last week Arkansas was riding high after shocking Duke 2-1. This week, it was the Razorbacks that were shocked. The Colonials of the Atlantic 10 brought down the visiting Razorbacks, 1-0.  

MacKenzie Cowley headed in the only goal of the contest in the 43rd minute off a cross from Kate Elson. Cowley already has 5 goals on the season and earned conference player of the week honors after also providing a game-winner for Colonials Thursday against UMBC. George Washington is now 5-0 on the season.

The win gave George Washington its second program win against a ranked opponent with the last coming against Virginia 20 years ago. 1996 was the first and only time the Colonials made the NCAA tournament. If their early form in 2016 is any indication, that may soon change.

South Carolina Wins 2-1 Over In-State Rivals Clemson

In another in-state rivalry match, sixth-ranked Clemson fell to South Carolina on a pair of goals from Junior Savannah McCaskill. McCaskill headed in the game’s first goal with less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half. She added another tally roughly four minutes into the second.  

Clemson struggled to generate offensive opportunities especially in the first half, managing just one shot in the first forty-five minutes. Late in the second half, Sam Stabb cut Clemson’s deficit to one with a highlight reel worthy goal. Her shot from about 28 yards out, caught the keeper by surprise and found its way into the upper corner. In the end, the Tigers couldn’t generate enough offense to challenge the Gamecocks.

UCLA Beats Penn State

In only her second collegiate game, Canadian sensation Jessie Fleming delivered an overtime winner in a 1-0 victory against Penn State. Fleming headed in a corner kick taken by MacKenzie Cerda in the 99th minute. The game-winner was Fleming’s third tally of the season.

Penn State recorded six shots in the first half, while UCLA didn’t record a shot on target until the 80th minute of play. Conversely, in the overtime, UCLA record three shots to Penn State’s zero. The loss to UCLA was the Nittany Lions’ second in a row after falling to BYU back on August 26th. Penn State got back in the win column Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Long Beach State.

Virginia’s Defense Stays Blemish Free

Through the first six games of the season, the Cavaliers scored 18 goals while allowing none. During this time,  Virginia set a new record for consecutive shutout minutes on Sunday against Pepperdine. The record 872 minutes dates back to the first round of last year’s NCAA tournament. Individual records have also been set during the first few weeks of the season as keeper Morgan Stearns set a program record for career wins at the position and consecutive shutout minutes played.

In truth, the Cavaliers’ non-conference schedule was far from strenuous for a perennial contender until they beat Pepperdine, who came in ranked 25th in the nation, on Sunday. Virginia held the visiting Waves to just two shots in the contest.
After a midweek clash against Richmond, Virginia will face a tough challenge in its last game before conference play starts. The Cavaliers will travel to Washington, D.C. to take on Georgetown.


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