Tiffany Brown (Colorado College ... Jr./F ... Sterling, VA)
Whitney Engen (North Carolina ... Sr./D ... Rolling Hills Estates, CA)
Sylvia Forbes (Purdue ... 5th-Yr. Sr./D ... Whiby, Ontario)
Danielle Foxhaven (Portland ... So./F ... Littleton, CO)
Claire Hanold (DePaul ... Fr./G ... Aurora, IL)
Jordan Hilbrands (Illinois ... Jr./F ... Bexley, OH)
Stacie Hubbard (Central Florida ... So./M ... Jacksonville, FL)
Vanessa Ibewuike (Purdue ... Fr./F ... Plano, TX)
Kelsey Kearney (UNC Greensboro ... So./G ... Durham, NC)
Raelynne Lee (St. John's ... Jr./M ... Lake Stevens, WA)
Caroline Miller (Virginia ... Fr./F ... Rockville, MD)
Courtney Parsons (San Diego ... So./G ... Santa Rosa, CA)
Carlee Payne (BYU ... Fr./M ... Pleasanton, CA)
Christen Press (Stanford ... Jr./F ... Palos Verdes Estates, CA)
Jessica Tsao (Portland ... Jr./D ... Portland, OR)
Karin Volpe (Arizona State ... Jr./F ... Brentwood, CA)
Nikki Watts (Penn State ... Sr./F ... Hungerford, England)
Andrea Willis (BYU ... 5th-Yr. Sr./D ... Riverside, CA)
Note: click on the links below (links now working) for CS360 exclusive video interviews with Tiffany Brown, Jordan Hilbrands and their respective head coaches (Geoff Bennett and Janet Rayfield):
Sept.. 3, 2009 contact: Pete LaFeur (email@example.com)
CollegeSoccer360.com Announces Primetime Performers of the Week
This past week in Division I women's college soccer featured some noteworthy performances by players from throughout the country. CollegeSoccer360.com – feeling the need to recognize more top players (in addition to the pre-existing conference and national honors) – has begun a recognition program entitled Primetime Performers of the Week.
Each week for the rest of the season, CS360 will honor players based on any/all of the following "primetime" criteria (i.e. not solely based on raw stats):
• Must have been playing for a top-25 team or against such a top-level opponent (this requirement may extend late in the regular season, based on the importance of non-top-25 games in terms of conference tournament and/or NCAA qualification).
• Involved in clutch performances, such as gamewinning goals, noteworthy comebacks, etc.
• Performing against a team rated highly nationally (or within its own conference). Bonus consideration for key performances away from home field.
• Overcoming adversity or extreme circumstances (for the team and/or individual).
For the first honorees, CS360 has selected 18 players (listed at the top of this release), to represent the number on a typical "travel" top-18 squad. The first group of Primetime Performers include eight forwards, three midfielders, four defenders and three goalkeepers. They come from 15 different teams (three each from BYU, Portland and Purdue) and six of them are California natives, plus one each from Colorado, England, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Ontario, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Washington. The 18 include two 5th-year seniors, two seniors, six juniors, four sophomores and four freshmen.
Headshots for each of the 18 players are included in the righthand sidebar and capsule tributes (with action photos) follow below.
(The initial setup/template for this page took some extra time, and still needs some design tweaks – but in future weeks, CS360 plans to announce the Primetime Performers on Tuesdays, along with the updated Composite National Rankings; as the season progresses, there also will be an archive of honorees from the previous weeks).
Note: all photos are courtesy of the various schools and their photographic staffs.
Tiffany Brown (left) had a gamewinning assist and gamewinning goal for Colorado College over the weekend.
Colorado College junior forward TIFFANY BROWN (Sterling, Va.) scored the gamewinning goal vs. #19 Washington State on Aug. 30 (2-1) and finished the weekend with three assists, including two (one on the GWG) in CC's Friday-night comeback win over Drake (3-2). Junior midfielder Meredith Simon set up the gameinner vs. WSU midway through the second half, with a driven cross from the left flank. Brown was making the far-post run and roofed a shot that grazed the bottom of the crossbar.
Earlier in the WSU game, Brown had assisted on senior midfielder Kelly LaVoie’s goal in the 33rd minute (1-1). In CC's season opener, Drake owned a 2-0 lead before Brown assisted on a goal by senior reserve Emily Beans (34'). Then, in the waning moments of regulation, Brown centered a pass from the left side and LaVoie (another senior super-sub) scored from close range for the dramatic winning goal (87:02).
Note: click on the links below for CS360 exclusive video interviews with Tiffany Brown and CC's head coach Geoff Bennett:
Brown – who is nearing 50 points for her career (47; 19G-9A) – was CC's leading scorer in each of the previous two seasons (she eanrd NSCAA all-Central Region honors in both '07 and '08). Nearly half of her career goals have been gamwinners (8), including one in 2008 vs. Conference USA champion Memphis (all three of her assists in '08 set up GWGs). Brown previously played on two state championship club teams (with SYA Elite) and is a graduate of Park View High School.
Whitney Engen (left) spearheaded a UNC defense that held UCF and UNCG to a combined total of two shots on goal and four corner kicks in the pair of shutout wins (UCF and UNCG both upset Duke, also this past weekend).
North Carolina senior center back WHITNEY ENGEN (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) – a four-year starter who spent her first two years as a high-scoring center forward – anchored UNC's three-defender unit over the weekend, as the Tar Heels posted a pair of shutouts while limiting Central Florida (a 4-0 victory) and UNC Greensboro (1-0) to a combined nine total shots, two shots on goal and four corner kicks (UNCG is the preseason favorite to win the Southern Conference while UCF placed third in the 2008 Conference USA standings). Engen also assisted on the third goal vs. UCF, as her outlet pass sprung senior midfielder Nikki Washington down the right side (Washington's cross then led to fellow senior midfielder Tobin Heath's sliding header goal).
Engen combined with the team's outside backs (senior Kristi Eveland and junior Rachel Givan) and senior 'keper Ashlyn Harris to keep the Knights and Spartans offenses at bay. UCF managed only five shots (two on goal) and one corner kick while UNCG was limited to four shots (none on frame) and three CKs.
A versatile and tenacious competitor, Engen earned All-America honors as a junior in 2008 and is considered by many to be the best center back in women's college soccer. She was UNC's third-leading scorer in both 2006 (12G-13A) and 2007 (6G-8A), with her career highlights including key plays in two games vs. Texas A&M: the game-tying goal in the '06 NCAA quarterfinals and the gamewinning, double-OT goal in the '08 quarterfinals (UNC went on to win the NCAA title both years, with Engen also assisting on Casey Nogueira's late game-winning goal vs. Notre Dame in the '06 title game).
Engen – a former standout at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School and with the Slammers Futbol Club (SFC) – has totaled 18 career goals and 25 assists in 81 career games with UNC (79 starts). The political science major has aspirations to attend law school and is a second-generation college athlete (her mother Kim Engen was a varsity tennis player at UCLA).
Sylvia Forbes (left) tied an NCAA record for quickest goal to start a game (0:04), on a booming kickoff in Purdue's 3-2 win at Texas A&M.
Purdue fifth-year senior defender SYLVIA FORBES (Whiby, Ont.) was part of two historic feats at Texas A&M on Aug. 28. The first unique moment came right after the whistle – as she booted the opening kickoff in for a goal, tying the NCAA women's soccer mark for quickest goal to start a game (0:04). Roughly two hours later, Forbes and her teammates were celebrating the second defeat of a top-10 opponent (#6) in the history of Purdue women's soccer (3-2).
When the kickoff from Forbes sailed by the outstretched hand of A&M 'keeper Kelly Dyer, it matched the record set in 2006 (when UNC midfielder Yael Averbuch similarly scored on the kickoff, vs. Yale). Forbes – a converted forward – now has totaled 10 goals in her career, with this one certainly ranking as the most noteworthy. With nearly 6,600 fans cheering them on, Texas A&M was able to take a 2-1 lead – but Forbes joined with fellow defenders Liz Secue and Remi Gibba (plus 'keeper Jenny Bradfisch, who made eight saves) in keeping Purdue in the game (the Boilers withstood 19 total shots and nine corner kicks from the Aggies).
The previous Purdue record for quickest goal was 22 seconds, set by Kim Comisar in a 2003 game vs. Eastern Michigan. The program's only other win over a top-10 opponent came in 2007 (a 1-0 win over then-#1 Portland, played in Seattle). Forbes – a product of the Oshawa Kicks club program – had several late-game scoring heroics as a sophomore: a 94th-minute GWG vs. Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament; a gamewinner in the final five minutes vs. Loyola-Chicago; and a game-tying goal with 0:14 left vs. Toledo.
Daniell Foxhaven (left) needed only five shots to score four times last week, as Portland posted shutout wins over top-25 teams California and Washington.
Portland sophomores forward DANIELLE FOXHAVEN (Littleton, Colo.) scored four of her team's six goals, spanning wins over #16 California (4-0) and #24 Washington (2-0). Foxhaven needed only five shots to rack up the four scores, which included both of the first goals/gamewinners.
Foxhaven scored in the third minute of the Friday-night game vs. Cal, after taking a pass from Michelle Enyeart. With her back to the goal, Foxhaven then spun and rocketed a shot past the 'keeper Gina Pelligrini for the early lead. Roughly 17 minutes later, Enyeart nearly scored and Foxhaven was the beneficiary with the rebound goal.
Two days later, Foxhaven again scored the first two (and only) goals – and they again were 17 minutes apart. Junior defender Jessica Tsao set up the opening goal (22') with a cross that led to Foxhaven's half-volley, a curling shot from 22 yards that tucked inside the right post. The second goal, from the top of the box, sailed into the upper left corner for the 2-0 halftime lead.
Foxhaven was a 2008 Freshman All-American in 2008, after leading the West Coast Conference with 38 points (16G-6A). A former member of the U.S. U-17, she also earned youth All-America honors while starring for Mullen High School and the elite Colorado Rush/Rush Nike teams. She helped lead the Rush to USYSA national title in 2008 and again in '09 (when she scored six goals in the final two games and earned the prestigious "Golden Boot" MVP award). Similar to several others on this list, Foxhaven is a second-generation collegiate athlete – as her father Brian Foxhaven played basketball at the University of Denver.
Claire Hanold (left) saved all nine shots she faced in a pair of games last week while also setting up the goal sequence that led to DePaul's 1-0 upset of #11 Missouri.
DePaul freshman goalkeeper CLAIRE HANOLD (Aurora, Ill.) helped her team rise to a top-25 national ranking for the first time in the program's history, following a scoreless tie last week vs. Toledo (the Mid-American Conference favorite) before posting a 1-0 victory at 11th-ranked Missouri. Hanold saved all nine shots she faced during the weekend, including four in the historic week over the Tigers.
Hanold – who already has posted three shutouts this season – made five saves in the 110-minute stalemate with Toledo, at Wish Field. Two days later, Hanold and the DePaul back line (led by Danielle Locasio) held off the Missouri attack.
Midway through the first half, Hanold actually initiated the goalscoring sequence with a booming kick that gave Morgan Celaya plenty of space to dribble down the left side. Celaya then angled a centering pass and Shannon Williams finished the chance – ultimately leading to the first win over a nationally-ranked opponent in the history of a DePaul program that has made only one appearance in the NCAA Tournament ('03).
A product of the elite Eclipse Select club program, Hanold helped the Eclipse reach the 2008 national title game while also starring for Waubonsie Valley HS.
Jordan Hilbrands (left) made the most out of her reserve duty vs. #13 Colorado, scoring twice to help give Illinois a 2-1 win.
Illinois junior forward JORDAN HILBRANDS (Bexley, Ohio) earned a spot in the all-tournament team at Denver University, after coming off the bench to score both of her team's goals in a 2-1 victory over in-state team Colorado. Hilbrands also had scored in the season opener vs. Illinois State and now has more goals this season (3) than she totaled in her first two seasons combined (2). The CU game marked the first win for Illinois over a ranked opponent since 2007.
Note: click on the links below for CS360 exclusive video interviews with Jordan Hilbrands and Illinois head coach Janet Rayfield:
Stacie Hubbard (left) scored in the 87th minute to cap Central Florida's 3-2 win over #10 Duke.
With time ticking down in Central Florida's game vs. #10 Duke, sophomore midfielder STACIE HUBBARD (Jacksonville, Fla.) picked the perfect time to score her first career goal, heading home the gamewinenr in the 87th minute for the 3-2 upset victory.
The back-and-forth game saw Duke score first before UCF senior Courtney Whidden sent home a pair of goals to put the Golden Knight in front. Duke responded with an apparent overtime-forcing goal in the 85th minute, moments before UCF earned a corner kick. Senior Becca Thomas then provided the pinpoint service and Hubbard's header skimmed off the bottom of the crossbar for the eventual gamewinner (86:36).
Hubbard – a graduate of Mandarin High School – earned Confernce USA all-freshman team honors in 2008, when her season highlights included the assist on the gamewinning goal at #19 Florida (1-0).
Vanessa Ibewuike (left) scored the game-winning goal in her home state, providing the final margin in Purdue's 3-2 win at #6 Texas A&M.
Purdue freshman forward VANESSA IBEWUIKE (Plano, Texas/Plano East HS), similar to Hubbard, had a memorable first goal on the collegiate level. The game at Texas A&M saw each team score twice in the first 18 minutes – and the game remained even on the scoreboard until late in the second half. Finally, in the 77th minute, Ibewuike received a pass from Roya Akhavain, dribbled past a defender near the top of the box and pushed her shot by the diving 'keeper Kelly Dyer for the 3-2 lead.
Ibewuike's goal – converted in front of a raucous A&M crowd of nearly 6,600 fans – gave Purdue the second win over a top-10 opponent in the program's history.
Kelsey Kearney (left) stopped 17 of the 18 shots she faced, in weekend action vs. #10 Duke and #1 UNC.
North Carolina Greensboro sophomore goalkeeper KELSEY KEARNEY (Durham, N.C.) had an impressive two-game stretch at the UNC Nike Classic, totaling 17 saves and only one goal allowed in a pair of 1-0 games vs. top Atlantic Coast Conference teams (win over #10 Duke, loss to #1 UNC).
Kearney (nine saves; 12th career shutout) and the UNCG defense kept Duke's veteran-led offense at bay, as the Blue Devils were stymied despite 22 total shots and nine corner kicks. In the earlygoing, the Spartans 'keeper knocked down a Jane Alukonis free kick just outside the penalty area (15'). Some 10 minutes later, Rebecca Allen had a similar shot from 20 yards out (in the run of play), but Kearney was there for the near-post save. A few minutes later, Chelsea Canepa nearly cashed in a corner-kick sequence – but another Kearney save preserved the 1-0 lead (30').
Duke brought even more offensive pressure in the second half, while the UNCG offense failed to manage a second-half shot until the 88th minute. Kearney saved a Canepa point-blank shot early in the second half, pushing the try wide of the post. Then, in the closing moments of the game, a Duke corner set up a strong shot from Nicole Lipp – but Kearney punched the ball away to help seal the win. It marked the highest-ranked opponent defeated by UNCG since a 2-0 win over Duke (#9) in 2000.
Two days later vs. UNC, Kearney kept the high-powered Tar Heels attack off the scoreboard until the 57th minute (when Nikki Washington sent home a tap-pass from Ali Hawkins). Kearney's eight saves in the game included several highlight-reel plays, with UNC amassing 22 total shots and 10 corner kicks. A 13th-minute corner-kick scramble gave Whitney Engen a strong chance from close range, but Kearney kicked the ball out of trouble. Two minutes later, Engen headed a Casey Nogueira corner (saved by Kearney) and Ali Hawkins followed with a lofted rebound shot – but Kearney backpedaled to make the in-traffic grab.
Midway through the second half, Emmalie Pfankuch connected with Engen's lead pass over the UNCG defense, but Kearney came off her line and make a sliding kick to boot the ball over the endline. After the ensuing corner kick, Alyssa Rich tried to slip in a redirected, backheel shot – but another strong save from Kearney kept UNC's margin at 1-0.
Kearney – a product of the Triangle Futbol Club and a Durham Academy graduate – turned in a strong rookie season ('08) that earned her first team all-Southern Conference honors. She ranked sixth nationally in 2008 save pct. (.875) and eighth in goals-against avg. (school-record 0.48; 9 GA, 11 shutouts).
Raelynne Lee (left) scored the gamewinning goal to give St. John's a 2-1 upset victory at 10th-ranked USC.
St. John's junior midfielder RAELYNNE LEE (Lake Stevens, Wash.) helped the Red Storm vault into the national top-25 rankings for the first time in the program's history, after scoring the gamewinning goal vs. a USC team ranked as high as 10th in the nation. The 2-1 game handed the Trojans a rare home loss at McAlister Field.
St. John's took a 1-0 lead into halftime, after a 38th-minute header by Vaila Barsley, but USC tied things up early in the second half (54') on a penalty-kick score. The PK was called due to a SJU hand-ball violation in the penalty area – which also forced the Red Storm to play one player down for the rest of the game.
The winning goal came with 14 minutes left in regulation and was set up by Tatiana Duggan's wide pass to C.J. Ludemann, who then flared a pass back to the center of the field. Lee was filling the middle with a well-timed run and scored past veteran 'keeper Kristin Olsen for the 2-1 margin.
Lee missed all of her sophomore season ('08) due to a preseason injury, after scoring five times in 2007. She played for one of the top club teams (Northwest Nationals) in the state of Washington and graduated from Lake Stevens HS.
Caroline Miller (left) totaled three goals and four assists in action vs. Liberty and Hofstra.
Virginia freshman midfielder CAROLINE MILLER (Rockville, Md.) made a big splash in her first action at UVa's Klöckner Stadium, totaling 10 points (3G-4A) – most by any player from a top-25 team – during the week, as the Cavaliers got back on track with dominating wins over Liberty (5-0) and NCAA Tournament hopeful Hofstra (7-0), a team picked to finish third in the Colonial Athletic Association. In the process, MIller amassed her double-digit points despite playing a total of only 77 minutes spanning the two games. She became the first Virginia player since 2005 to be named the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the week.
Miller's first game at Klöckner saw her score one goal and assist on three others. Her first goal of the season came in the 35th minute of the Liberty game, after Julia Roberts directed a free kick to the far post (Miller scored on a header). Six minutes latter, Miller took a pass from Katie Carr and flicked the ball to an onrushing Jess Rostedt (who chipped a goal over the charing 'keeper for a 3-0 lead).
Early in the second half, Miller chased down a Lindsey Miller pass and sent a far-post cross from the corner, with Lauren Alwine providing the finish. Miller completed the rare three-assist game with 26 minutes still to play, as another one of her crosses led to Kate Norbo's redirection score off an Amanda Sweart shot.
All of Miller's five points (2G-1A) vs. Hostra came in a quick flurry (spanning 1:50 of game time) and helped the Cavaliers score five goals over a 10-minute span early in the second half, producing UVa's biggest margin of victory since a 9-0 win over Richmond in 2005. Virginia dominance of one of the CAA's top teams included a 25-6 edge in total shots. Sinead Farrelly's unassisted goal (56') put Hostra in a 3-0 hole and was followed by two goals from Miller. Norbo redirected a pass from Alwine and Miller ran seamlessly onto the play, dribbling around the 'keeper Krysten Farriella and scoring into the open net. Then, 48 seconds later, Megan Lenczyk sprung Miller for a breakaway goal and she maneuvered behind the defense again in the next minute (resulting in a cross to Lenczyk for a tap-in goal and the 7-0 cushion).
Prior to joining the UVa program, Miller was a NSCAA youth All-American while playing for Walter Johnson High School and the talented McLean Freedom club team ('07 national champs). She also has played for U.S. youth national teams at the U-16, U-17 and U-20 levels.
Courtney Parsons (left) played a lead role in San Diego's 1-1 tie with UCLA, making six saves while thwarting several other chances from the potent Bruins squad.
San Diego sophomore goalkeeper COURTNEY PARSONS (Santa Rosa, Calif.) helped the Toreros earn a noteworthy result (1-1) vs. visiting UCLA, a team ranked as high as fourth in the nation and led by a veteran offensive group. Parsons stopped six of the seven shots she faced in the Friday-night UCLA game but helped USD survive even more pressure, as the Bruins finished the day with a 26-10 edge in total shots and nine dangerous corner kicks (to USD's three). Two days later, San Diego registered a 4-1 road victory at Arizona, with Parsons adding five more saves.
Payne – who made only three starts as a freshman – was a top player for the Ursuline High School program that earned a #1 national ranking in 2006 (she also played for the Santa Rosa club team and ODP Region IV).
Carlee Payne (left) turned in a pair of dramatic gamewinning goals for BYU, in tournament action at Penn State.
BYU freshman mifielder CARLEE PAYNE (Pleasanton, Calif.) headed to the Penn State Invitational stilll looking to score her first goal with the Cougars. She left that event having delivered the gamewinning scores in 1-0 games vs. #21 Connecticut (1-0) and #14 West Virginia – with both goals coming in dramatic fashion.
The BYU-UConn game was destined for overtime before Payne found the net in the 86th minute. Lauren Anderson's corner-kick service set up the goal, with Payne providing the header that ended the deadlock. Payne also helped #19 BYU dominate possession in the middle third, as UConn ended the game with no shots on goal.
Two days later, in a rare Monday-afternoon game, Payne scored unassisted in the seventh minute of overtime to upset the highly-rated Mountaineers. Payne dribbled free down the field and uncorked a shot from the edge of the penalty area, driving the ball past te hands of 'keeper Kerri Butler to suddenly end the game. Payne – who joined Lindsi Lisonbee, Jessica Ringwood and Stacy Bartholomew as freshmen who started vs. WVU – helped generate seven corner kicks while again controlling the midfield (as the Mountaineers managed only five shots on goal in nearly 100 minutes of play).
Payne (Foothill HS) is one of many top-level players who have come from the Pleasanton Rage club program, captaining that team to usysa national titles in 2007 and '09.
Christen Press (left) sparked Stanford's stunning turnaround vs. San Diego State (trailed 0-2, won 5-2) with two goals and an assist.
Stanford junior forward CHRISTEN PRESS (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) showed her All-America credentials in the face of adversity, as her 2G-1A helped the Cardinal rally from a 2-0 deficit to a 5-2 win.
Press launched the flurry of goals by heading in a rightside cross from freshman Courtney Verloo on the right (58'), helping to alter SDSU's defensive stance. In a span of six minutes, Stanford turned the two-goal deficit into a 3-2 lead and Press later dropped a back pass to Teresa Noyola for the 4-2 lead ('78). Press completed her second five-point game of the season by cashing in a Allison McCann pass to cap the scornig (84')
Led by Press and senior Kelley O'Hara, Stanford is averaging 4.3 goals and 35 shots per game. Two days before the win over SDSU, the Cardinal had won at Cal Poly (2-1) while setting a team record with 40 shots in ma game.
The speedy Press has used her diverse finishing skills to total 28 goals and 19 assists (75 points) in 49 career games with Stanford. Her All-Ameica sophomore campaign ('08) produced the second-highest season opoint total (43; 16G-11A) in the program's histroy, with her biggest goal being the 86th-minute strike that beat Portland in the '08 NCAA quarterfinals (1-0). She was Stanford's second-leading scorer (22; 8G-6A) while earning Freshman All-America honors in 2007.
A youth All-American while playing for Chadwick HS and the Slammers Futbol Club, Press earned the Golden Boot award as top scorer in the USYS national tournament and currently is in the mix for U.S U-23 National Team duty. Playing college athletics at a top academic school runs in her family, as her father Cody Press was a member of the football team at Dartmouth.
Jessica Tsao (left) led the way for Portland's defensive "wall" during shutout wins over Cal and Washington.
Portland senior defender JESSICA TSAO (Portland, Ore.) served as leader of the Pilots defense that held Pac-10 foes California (#16) and Washington (#24) to no goals, 22 combined shots (only nine on goal) and three corner kicks in a pair of wins at Merlo Field. The UP defense limited Cal to a paltry five shots (three on goal) and one corner kick, while the Huskies managed 17 shots (most of them in the second half), six shots on frame and two CKs.
Tsao also assisted on the first goal in the win over Washington (22'), providing the cross that led to Danielle Foxhaven's half-volley, curling shot from 22 yards that tucked inside the right post.
A current member of the U.S. U-23 National Team, Tsao has logged nearly 50 career games with the Pilots. As a sophomore ('07), the biology major played the second-most minutes (1,702) of any Portland player and had some timely offensive contributions - including a three-assist game vs. rival Santa Clara (4-0) and a key goal in the NCAA third-round win over James Madison (3-2). She was an all-WCC freshman team selection in 2007, helping Portland set a school record for consecutive shutouts (9) and assisted on UP's first goal vs. UCLA in the '07 NCAA quarterfinals (a 3-2, double-OT loss).
Tsao prepped at Oregon Episcopal HS and helped the FC Portland Maroons win four straight state titles ('05 regional reginalists).
Karin Volpe (left) scored two crunchtime goals in Arizona State's stunning comeback victory at Tennessee.
Arizona State junior forward KARIN VOLPE (Brentwood, Calif.) delivered the tying goal in the closing seconds of regulation and then won the game with only three minutes left in the second/final overtime, as the Sun Devils completed their rally from two goals down to win at #23 Tennessee (3-2).
Volpe - who now ranks fourth in ASU history for career gamewinning goals (7) - tied the game at Tennessee with only13 ticks left on the clock. After a failed clearance and scramble in Tennessee's defensive third, Volpe quickly snagged the ball and drove her 15th career goal into the lower-left corner of the goal.Then, in the 107th minute of play, Volpe took a pass from Bianca Doller, worked past a defender and ripped a shot inside the far-right post for the thrilling road victory. (ASU actually trailed 2-0, with the first goal of the comeback coming from Lindsey Jones in the 72nd minute).
During each of her first two season, Volpe was ASU's leader in goals (5 in '07; 9 in '08) and points (12; 20). Prior to the game at Tennessee, the nursing major's most "primetime" moment came in 2008 - when she scored early to help knock off the defending NCAA champion USC (1-0). Like many of the players listed above, Volpe (a Clayton Valley HS grad.) is a second-generation college athlete, as her fatther played baseball at St. Mary's (CA) College.
Nikki Watts (left) had a hand (actually, a foot) in the gametying and gamewinning goals vs. UConn, as Penn State pulled off the 3-2 comeback win.
Penn State senior forward NIKKI WATTS (Hungerford, England.) came off the bench to spark Penn State to victory over #21 Connecticut (3-2), in Saturday's action at Jeffrey Field. Seven minutes after checking into the game, Watts scored the tying goal (76'; 2-2) and – three minutes later – she supplied the primary assist on the eventual winning score.
Ali Schaefer, who had checked into the game with Watts, fittingly sent the pass over the UConn defense that sprung Watts down the left wing. Watts had time to control the ball and take a short dribble before sending her shot inside the far-right post for a 2-2 game. A couple minutes later, Danielle Toney looped a cross from the right wing and Watts received the ball on the other side. A quick chip from Watts found freshman Christine Nairn's head 10 yards from the goal, with Nairn's header then redirecting the ball into the far-right side of the goal (79'). PSU finished with a huge edge in total shots (30-6), plus a 13-5 margin in shots on goal.
Two days later, in a 2-1 loss to #14 West Virginia, the PSU attack was boosted by adding Watts to the right-wing rotation. Watts helped create two prime scoring chances early in the second half, but the score remained tied at that point (PSU ended up with a 14-12 shot edge).
Watts – in her second season with PSU, after trasfering from Filton College in her native England (where she also played for Bristol Academy WFC) – scored only twice in the 2008, but each was a big goal: the first came vs. #4 Florida State while the second gave PSU an overtime win at Rutgers.
Andrea Willis (left) provided key veteran leadership in BYU's pair of wins at the Penn State Invitational.
BYU fifth-year senior defender ANDREA WILLIS (Riverside, Calif.) anchored a BYU defense that posted two 1-0 victories at Penn State's tournament (vs. #21 UConn and #14 West Virginia). The Cougars allowed 26 total shots in the two games but only five of the shots were on goal (BYU also yielded only six corner kicks in the tournament).
In the Saturday-night win over UConn, Willis (along with Lindsi Lisonbee and Kelsea Kakadelas) led a defensive unit that did not allow a shot on goal in the entire game (the Huskies also had only two CKs in the game, including none until early in the second half). Two days later, BYU gave up only five shots on goal in the 97-minute overtime win over WVU.
Willis (Riverside Ply HS/Irvine Strikers club) – who missed all of her first season at BYU ('05) due to injury –o has appeared in 70 career games (69) with the Cougars, with the team's defensive core allowing only 40 goals spanning those 70 games. She earned NSCAA all-West Region honors in 2007 and then scored her lone goal of the '08 season vs. defending national champion USC (in the second round of the NCAAs).