Monday, December 04, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #181

Unseeded UCSB captures first men's championship
UC Santa Barbara defied history to beat UCLA, 2-1, in the final of the Men's College Cup Sunday and win its first NCAA Division I men's championship.

The Gauchos' victory over UCLA was their first since 1982 and only the second in 33 meetings. UCLA came into the final the favorite after its demolition of fourth seed Virginia in Saturday's semifinals, but the unseeded Gauchos struck early to throw the Bruins off balance.

Spaniard Nick Perera scored only 132 seconds into the game, slipping a low ball off the left post and in past Bruin goalkeeper Eric Reed after collecting a cross from Canadian midfielder Tyler Rosenlund in the box. Perera had given the Gauchos an early lead in their 3-1 win over No. 3 seed SMU in the second round and scored on the first shot of the game again three days later at Old Dominion.

Both Perera and Rosenlund had chances to add to the UCSB lead in the first half, but they had shots bounce off the left post. In the 61th minute, the Gauchos took a 2-0 lead when Eric Avila chipped the ball over the scrambling Reed after being set up by Perera and Bryan Byrne.

For UCLA, outplayed after a commanding performance by its young team in the semifinals, the only goal came in the in the 79th minute when Jason Leopoldo scored on an assist from Tony Beltran.

WOMEN: O'Reilly leads UNC to 18th title
U.S. international Heather O'Reilly went out as she began her college career with a national championship, leading North Carolina to its 18th NCAA women's championship Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 victory over top-ranked and previously unbeaten Notre Dame at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

The Tar Heels finished a magical season with 27 successive wins after a season-opening loss on overtime at Texas A&M, tying the school record for victories in a season. They dominated possession, holding a 20-9 edge in shots against Notre Dame, and took a 2-0 lead before high-flying Irish attack could score late in the game. UNC had to be rebuilt after losing U.S. national team starters Lindsay Tarpley and Lori Chalupny, among others, to graduation. UNC coach Anson Dorrance fielded the most first-year players in UNC history when he started seven freshmen in the second half of the final.

O'Reilly and freshman Casey Nogueira both repeated their semifinal performances with goals to lead UNC past Notre Dame for the fourth time in an NCAA championship game.

O'Reilly, Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the Tournament, put the Tar Heels on the board in the 18th minute with her 12th of the season and 59th of her career, drawing Irish goalkeeper Lauren Karas out of the goal, dribbling around her and then lofting a shot to the far post over three Notre Dame defenders from 15 yards out. The goal was the 15th NCAA Tournament goal for O'Reilly, tying Mia Hamm for second place in Carolina history. Only Christine Sinclair of Portland (25 goals) and Lindsay Tarpley of UNC (16 goals) have now scored more NCAA Tournament goals than O'Reilly.

Nogueira, making her first collegiate start, scored the second goal shortly after halftime on a header off a cross from Whitney Engen. Brittany Bock score the lone Notre Dame goal in the 81st minute. For the second straight game, Notre Dame stars Kerri Hanks and Michele Weissenhofer, 1-2 in the nation in scoring, were held without a goal.

"I think this team -- from the beginning we knew it was special," O'Reilly said of the young Tar Heels. "Everybody got a long so well, and everybody worked so hard for each other. I wouldn't rather win with another group of girls."

O'Reilly helped UNC win a national title as a freshman -- after returning from a broken leg that kept her out of the 2003 Women's World Cup -- but UNC failed to reach the final four in 2004 and 2005 for the first two times in its history.

COLLEGE CUP FINALS: Summaries
MEN'S COLLEGE CUP, Final, Dec. 3 in St. Louis
UC Santa Barbara 2 UCLA 1. Goals: Perera (Rosenlund) 3, Avila (Perera, Byrne) 61; Leopoldo (Beltran) 79.
UC Santa Barbara -- Reynish, Iro, G.Curry, Tennelle, J.Curry, Rosenlund, Frimpong, Pontius, Avila, Byrne, Perera. Subs: Walker, Nunez, Patterson, Kaveny, Proctor.
UCLA -- Reed, Rusin, Zaher, Alvarado, McClung, Stephens, Barlow, Zizzo, Leopoldo, Nakazawa, Estrada. Subs: Myers, Folk.
Referee: Erich Simmons.
Att.: 5,948.

WOMEN'S COLLEGE CUP, Final, Dec. 3 in Cary, N.C.
North Carolina 2 Notre Dame 1. Goals: O'Reilly (Nogueira) 18, Nogueira (Engen, O'Reilly) 47; Bock (Hanks) 81.
North Carolina -- Rodenbough, Gayle, Ariel Harris, Eveland, Hawkins, Averbuch, Washington, Heath, Nogueira, Engen, O'Reilly. Subs: Gilbert, Ashlyn Harris, Guess, Smith.
Notre Dame -- Karas, Lorenzen, Ford, Jones, Shaner, Cinalli, Buczkowski, Krivacek, Bock, Hanks, Weissenhofer. Subs: Clark, Rosen, Pinnick, Iarocci.
Referee: Misail Tsapos.
Att.: 8,349.

HERMANN TROPHY: Notre Dame stars sweep awards
Notre Dame stars Kerri Hanks and Joseph Lapira swept the 2006 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy as the top college players.

This marks the first time since the MAC began awarding both a men's and women's award in 1991 that players from the same school have won the award in the same year.

Hanks, the first sophomore to claim the top individual honor in women's soccer, edged UNC's Heather O'Reilly by one point in voting by Division I coaches who are NSCAA members.

Like Hanks on the women's side, Lapira led all NCAA Division I men's scorers in points to become the first player in Notre Dame men's history to win college soccer's top honor.

ALL-AMERICANS: NCAA Division I Men
NCAA Division I NSCAA/adidas All-America First Team
Pos., Name, Cl., School, Hometown
G, Nick Noble, Sr., West Virginia, Damascus, Md.
D, Andrew Boyens *, Sr., New Mexico, Dunedin, New Zealand
D, Julius James *, Jr., Connecticut, Maloney Gardens, Trinidad
D, Jay Needham, Sr., SMU, Fort Worth, Texas
D, John O'Reilly, Sr., Lehigh, Arlington, Mass.
M, Greg Dalby *, Sr., Notre Dame, Poway, Calif.
M, Maurice Edu, Jr., Maryland, Fontana, Calif.
M, Ryan Maduro, Jr., Providence, Bristol, R.I.
F, Omar Cummings, Sr., Cincinnati, Old Harbour, Jamaica
F, Charlie Davies, Jr., Boston College, Manchester, N.H.
F, Edson Elcock, Sr., Old Dominion, Brooklyn, N.Y.
F, Joseph Lapira, Jr., Notre Dame, Lake Charles, La.

ALL-AMERICANS: NCAA Division I Women
NCAA Division I NSCAA/adidas All-America First Team
Pos., Name, Cl., School, Hometown
G, Jillian Loyden, Jr., Villanova, Vineland, N.J.
D, Ali Krieger *, Sr., Penn State, Dumfries, Va.
D , Kasey Moore, So., Texas, Mission Viejo, Calif.
D, Kelly Rowland, Sr., Florida State, Wallingford, Pa.
M, Yael Averbuch, So., North Carolina, Upper Montclair, N.J.
M, Christina DiMartino, So., UCLA, Massapequa, N.Y.
M, Yolanda Odenyo, Jr., Oklahoma State, Uppsala, Sweden
F, Lauren Cheney, Fr., UCLA, Indianapolis, Ind.
F, Kerri Hanks *, So., Notre Dame, Allen, Texas
F, Heather O'Reilly, Sr., North Carolina, East Brunswick, N.J.
F, India Trotter *, Sr., Florida State, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


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