Sept. 2, 2009

By Amy Farnum
NCAA.com

NOSE FOR THE GOAL:  Northern Kentucky University kicked off the 2009 season with a resounding 8-2 victory over Concord (W.Va.) with the help of Ashley Warndorf’s school-record four goals in the contest against the Mountain Lions.

The senior striker’s tallies were a part of the Norse’s seven straight unanswered scores as they came from behind for the season-opening win.  It was the second time in her career that the native of Cincinnati, Ohio, netted four goals in a game.  The first time she accomplished the feat was also against Concord in 2005. 

Warndorf suffered a season-ending injury in the next game that year and was granted a medical redshirt.

The Norse climbed six spots to No. 14 in the most recent NSCAA Division II poll, and is hoping to continue the offensive explosion at Southern Indiana on Sept. 3 in its Great Lakes Valley Conference opener.

POSTING UP: 
C.W. Post junior Ivana Babic had a hand in five of six goals in the Pioneers’ two victories to open the season, and was rewarded with East Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors.
The native of Haninge, Sweden, netted a hat trick and notched an assist as the Pioneers opened 2009 with a 4-0 win versus Bloomsburg on Aug. 27, and then followed it up with the game-winner in an overtime battle with East Stroudsburg over the weekend.

Freshman goalie Nicole Fierro shined in her first taste of collegiate action, shutting out Bloomsburg and posting a 0.48 goals against average over the weekend to earn ECC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

The Pioneers jumped seven spots to No. 18 in the latest NSCAA Division II poll, and take on Holy Family on Sept. 2 before a Labor Day weekend break.

UP NORTH: Minnesota State, the favorite to win the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, remained the only team in the league listed in the NSCAA Division II poll at No. 15 after shutting out its first two opponents to open the season.

Offensively, junior forward Laura Leber led the way with her second career hat trick in a 6-0 victory against Ferris State, and then added another score against NSIC foe Minnesota Duluth in a 2-0 non-conference win.  
She leads the league with four goals and eight points after two games.

The Mavericks will test their national ranking when they visit a pair of Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference squads this week -- No. 3 Metro State on Sept. 4 and No. 20 Regis University on Sept. 6.

QUICK KICKS:  Defending NCAA champion and top-ranked Seattle Pacific University began its title defense with a pair of 1-0 wins to open 2009, extending the Falcons’ unbeaten to 19 games (18-0-1).  The victories also stretched SPU’s unbeaten streak at home to 32 contests (30-0-2).  The Falcons host a pair of California Collegiate Athletic Association opponents – Humboldt State and Cal State East Bay – this weekend as they attempt to keep the streaks alive … After starting the season unranked, Armstrong Atlantic State recorded two shutout victories in the AASU Pirate Soccer Shootout, and cracked the NSCAA Division II poll at No. 12 following the weekend.  It is the highest ranking for the Pirates in two years … Second-ranked West Florida began the season with a stellar defensive performance, limiting Florida Tech to just four shots and one on goal in a 4-0 victory last weekend.  Senior Shameka Gordon, last year’s NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Defensive Player, anchored the Argonauts’ defense, and was named the Gulf South Conference Defender of the Week for her efforts.  The Argos, the 2008 NCAA runner-up, will host Saint Leo and Warner Pacific in a pair of non-conference matches over the weekend.