W-League standouts on both sides as No.1 meets No. 2
Thursday, October 25, 2012
The top two teams in the nation face off in the final game of the Pac-12 regular season this Sunday night, with W-League standouts on both sides hoping to make a difference. No. 1 Stanford visits No. 2 UCLA at 9 p.m. ET on the Pac-12 Network entering the weekend with a chance to complete a perfect regular season in conference play.
Pali Blues standout Mariah Nogueira has been a key figure for the Cardinal this fall, leading the team with seven goals and sitting second with 14 points. Her teammate with the Blues Rachel Quon has also been a difference-maker, recording six assists while playing a key role in Stanford’s tight defensive unit.
UCLA, meanwhile, remains undefeated this season, with the LA Strikers Zakiya Bywaters leading the Bruins with 25 points, a total that has her tied for the Pac-12 lead. Bywaters also leads the conference with 11 goals in 16 games.
Both teams have other contests before Sunday’s showdown, with the Bruins hosting No. 21 Cal on Friday afternoon at 6 p.m. ET in another contest that can be seen on the Pac-12 Network and the Cardinal visiting Southern Cal on Friday evening.
The weekend’s action kicks off on Thursday night, as No. 8 North Carolina will try to earn a top-four seed for the ACC Tournament as the final day of conference action is highlighted on ESPN3 at 7 p.m. ET. The Tar Heels travel to face in-state rival North Carolina State needing a victory to have a chance to host a tournament quarterfinal this weekend.
The Tar Heels will be trying to bounce back from defeat to Wake Forest, which took a 2-1 victory on Saturday night as former Washington Freedom Futures Annick McBryar found the back of the net.
UNC has been led this fall by former Cary Lady Clarets forward Maria Lubrano, who has recorded seven goals and 16 points. New Jersey Wildcats standout Amber Brooks has also played a key role, sitting a point behind Lubrano with five goals and five assists, while the Vancouver Whitecaps Women’s Ranee Premji leads the side with six assists.
N.C. State is already out of contention for the ACC Tournament, sitting bottom of the conference standings, but they have had some bright moments this season thanks to Fredericksburg Impact forward Jennie Krauser. The redshirt sophomore leads the Wolfpack with 12 points, scoring five goals.
The action continues later in the night as Oregon visits Washington at 10 p.m. ET on the Pac-12 Network. The Seattle Sounders Women’s Lindsey Elston leads the Huskies into action having scored eight goals and added five assists this season. Currently projected as an NCAA Tournament team by both TopDrawerSoccer.com and AllWhiteKit.com, the Huskies will be looking to take victory to bolster their credentials.