Sept. 17, 2009

By Amy Farnum

MORE THAN JUST A WIN: Usually when people talk about the Florida-Florida State rivalry, they are referring to the battle on the gridiron, but the series between the two Sunshine State schools is heating up on the women’s soccer field, too.

The No. 5 Seminoles travel to Gainesville to meet the No. 7 Gators on Sept. 18 for a contest between Top 10 programs as the two teams tangle for not only a win, but also for State bragging rights.  FSU has won six of the last 11 games, but Florida has been triumphant in the last two and leads the series 10-6-0.  The match will be the first time both teams are ranked in the Top 10.

FSU, which nationally-ranked foes in each of its next three games, has outscored opponents 32-2 in its first seven games.  The Seminoles rank second in the nation in scoring offense with 4.57 goals per game as 12 different players have netted a score this year.

There are six NCAA College Cup appearances between Florida and FSU.  The Gators advanced to the College Cup in 1998 and 2001, winning the national title in 1998, while FSU has appeared in the College Cup in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007.  The 2003 FSU squad defeated Florida in the quarterfinals to claim the school’s first appearance.

REMEMBER THIS NAME:  She’s only played six college games, but Nebraska freshman Morgan Marlborough is already garnering some attention for her stellar play this season.

The forward from Lee’s Summit, Mo., leads the nation in four offensive categories -- goals (10), goals per game (1.667), points (24) and points per game (4.00) – after going on an offensive rampage last weekend.  
Marlborough started the week with two goals and two assists in a win over North Dakota, and followed it up by scoring a single-game school-record four goals versus Akron to earn Big 12 Offensive Player and Newcomer of the Week honors.  Marlborough already ranks sixth on the school’s freshmen lists for points and goals in a season.  

The Huskers have won three straight contests as they prepare to host first-time opponents South Dakota and Arizona State this weekend.  Nebraska is 4-0-1 when Marlborough scores a goal.

YOUNG PIONEERS: After losing nine seniors to graduation, including two-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Taryn Hemmings, Denver University had some holes to fill in its lineup this year, but the Pioneers have received outstanding efforts from some special freshmen as they have put together a 5-1-1 mark this season.
Goalkeeper Lara Campbell and forward Kaitlin Bast have been two of the most impressive first-year players thus far.  Campbell has allowed just six goals in seven games, including two shutouts, while Bast is second on the squad with six points this season.

Following wins over then-No. 13 Kansas and TCU (receiving votes in poll), the Pioneers have worked their way into the latest NSCAA Division I Top 25 at No. 21.  They will now travel to Corvallis, Ore., to put their national ranking to the test against Oregon and Oregon State this weekend.

NO DOUBT:  Stanford continued to solidify its position as one of the top teams in the nation as the third-ranked Cardinal knocked of then-No. 7 Purdue and then-No. 5 Notre Dame at the Santa Clara Classic last weekend.

Freshman Mariah Nogueira tallied her first collegiate goal on a header to net the game’s first score in a 2-0 win over the Irish in a rematch of the 2008 NCAA Semifinals. And, as a defensive midfielder Nogueira’s play helped limit the two foes to a combined 14 shots.  The native of Westminster, Calif., was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for her performance.  Stanford has given up just one goal in its last four games.

The Cardinal will host the Stanford/Nike Invitational on Sept. 18-20, and will face another nationally-ranked opponent with No. 23 Colorado coming to town.