Women's soccer: Best goals from the opening night of the season
The women's soccer season kicked off Friday with a full slate of matches. Top-ranked West Virginia knocked off No. 5 Georgetown 1-0 and Penn State upset No. 8 BYU 3-1 in two of the more noteworthy games that could shake up the top 10 of the United Soccer Coaches poll.
Here are the best goals from the opening night of the season.
Michaela Abam, West Virginia
No. 1 West Virginia kicked off the season with a 1-0 victory at No. 5 Georgetown thanks to a beauty of a goal from senior forward Michaela Abam. Forward Sh'Nia Gordon sent a right-footed cross into the box and Abam was waiting by the left post, where she headed it past Georgetown keeper Ariell Schechtman. It was the 33rd goal of Abam's career, tying her for sixth all-time in program history. You can watch it below, starting at the 0:17 mark.
Jessie Scarpa, North Carolina
Duke and North Carolina battled to a 1-1 result through regulation, sending the game to overtime, where redshirt junior Jessie Scarpa headed in the game-winner off of a beautiful left-footed cross from Joanna Boyles in the fourth minute of extra time.
Gabby Seiler, Florida
In an in-state matchup between Florida and Florida Atlantic, redshirt senior midfielder Gabby Seiler gave the Gators a road victory with her penalty kick in the 96th minute. She aimed for the left side of the goal and the keeper went to the right. It was the 12th goal of her career, but just her second goal for Florida after transferring from Georgia. Seiler was named team captain at the pre-match meal.
Arlie Jones, USC
After the Trojans raised their 2016 national championship banner, they started their 2017 campaign with a 2-1 victory over UC Davis. A diving header from freshman midfielder Arlie Jones in the 49th minute proved to be the difference. Defender Samantha Bruder played a nice ball into the box and Jones was there to finish it off.
Mandy McKeegan, UC Davis
UC Davis was able to cut its deficit against USC in half thanks to a perfectly placed shot off of a direct kick by senior midfielder Mandy McKeegan. McKeegan lofted the ball over the Trojans' defensive wall and into the upper 90, where it deflected into the goal off of the post. It was McKeegan's first career goal.
Elexa Bahr, South Carolina
UCF's defense misplayed a ball in the first half and South Carolina sophomore forward Elexa Bahr capitalized on it. She netted the goal, aiming for the left side of the goal from the right side of the box, scoring the eventual game-winner.
Julia Hernandez, UCLA
UCLA had an offensive explosion in its season opener against San Diego State, scoring four goals in the second half en route to a 5-1 victory. Junior forward Julia Hernandez scored two goals in the game, including this beautifully placed header that bounced past San Diego State's keeper.
Jessie Fleming, UCLA
Sophomore midfielder Jessie Fleming finished with one goal and one assist for the Bruins, including this flying volley that found the top of the goal.
Julie Doyle, Santa Clara
Freshman forward Julie Doyle netted the game-winner – her first career goal in her first collegiate game – for Santa Clara in the 88th minute against San Jose State. She showed off her nifty footwork, evading one defender to set up a rocket of a shot off of her right foot. The play begins at the 0:23 mark.
Ellie Leek, Courtney Schell, Taylor Troutman, Auburn
This is a three-for-one. Auburn defeated South Alabama 3-0 on Friday thanks to a trio of long-range goals. The Tigers scored twice in the opening six minutes. Junior forward Taylor Troutman scored in the third minute from 25 yards out, the ball ricocheting off of the inside post. Senior midfielder Courtney Schell scored three minutes later. That goal can be seen beginning at the 0:43 mark. Senior midfielder/forward Ellie Leek scored just after halftime from 25 yards out. That goal can be viewed at the 1:14 mark.
Jill Aguilera, Arizona
Redshirt freshman forward Jill Aguilera made a run that began at midfield, burning Oklahoma's defensive lines and then she beat the Sooners' keeper one-on-one for the goal in the opening minutes of her first game back from a torn ACL.
Taylor Racioppi, Duke
Duke took an early 1-0 lead against North Carolina thanks to incredible timing and touch from junior midfielder Taylor Racioppi. Ella Stevens played a lofting cross into the box and Racioppi sent a one-timer over the head of North Carolina keeper Samantha Leshnak and into the goal.
Joanna Boyles, North Carolina
Joanna Boyles may have had the best game of any player on the pitch, scoring the equalizer and then assisting on the game-winner in overtime. After midfielder Emily Fox drew a foul outside of the penalty area, Boyles took the free kick and directed it off the underside of the crossbar, tying the game 1-1. You can watch the sequence at the 0:16 mark.
Deyna Castellanos, Florida State
Deyna Castellanos had as productive of a first game as any player, recording a hat trick for the Seminoles. Her best goal was a flying right-footed volley in the box, which can be seen at the 1:04 mark.