Women’s soccer: Top three–turvy

September 07, 2022
n an early season scheduling feast, the top three Division I women’s soccer programs all face each other within eight days.
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SOURCE: TWITTER/UCLAWSOCCER
SOURCE: TWITTER/UCLAWSOCCER

The GIST: In an early season scheduling feast, the top three Division I women’s soccer programs all face each other within eight days. And just two matches in, the UCLA Bruins are already calling game, having bested both UNC and Duke — last week’s Nos. 1 and 2, respectively — to claim this week’s top spot. Eight claps for that.

The new leader: The No. 2 UNC Tar Heels and the No. 3 Duke Blue Devils challenged the unbeaten No. 1 Bruins more than any other squads this season. Case in point? Until this weekend, Bruin goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy’s (pronounced BRIS-key) touted a clean sheet. Now? Not so much. Brzykcy allowed a goal first against Duke and then again from UNC.

  • But striker Reilyn Turner (pronounced RAY-lyn) — Nike’s first-ever NIL student-athlete — came up big in both 2–1 Bruin dubs, scoring the game-winners in both matches.

The context: The Bruins enter the 2022 season with fire in their bellies after their first round NCAA tourney loss last year. But the Tar Heels are also on the redemption train: Despite being the most historically dominant program, winning 22 (!!!) of the 31 awarded Women’s College Cups, UNC also fell in last season’s first round.

  • The Blue Devils are still seeking their first-ever trophy even though they’ve played in 26 championship tourneys and kicked it as runner-up three times. Always a bridesmaid.
  • That said, the Blue Devils will first have to face the Tar Heels tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET. It’s arguably the strongest non-conference rivalry in the sport, so tune into ACCN and get a jump on your November bracket.
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