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Faulkner: Soccer teams finding a will away

September 18, 2013|By Barry Faulkner
(KEVIN CHANG / Daily…)

The fall semester is only a few weeks old, but already soccer players at local universities have experienced one of the great joys of collegiate life: an eventful road trip.

The men's and women's teams at both UC Irvine and Vanguard came away with impressive road victories last week and the Vanguard women, coming off an 18-2-1 campaign in 2012, are 5-0 this season without the luxury of a home game.

The Vanguard women, ranked No. 2 in the NAIA, topped then No. 8-ranked Mobile, 2-0, on Saturday at Orange Beach Sportsplex in Alabama. The day before, Coach Randy Dodge's squad defeated then-No. 17-ranked William Carey, 3-2.

William Carey is ranked No. 13 in the latest NAIA poll released Tuesday, while Mobile fell to No. 17.

The Vanguard (2-2) men upset then-No. 1-ranked Mobile, 3-0, on Saturday, also in Orange Beach. The Lions' men have also played all four of their contests on the road and will have three more away from home, before playing their first match on campus.

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The UC Irvine women ventured to Provo, Utah to knock off then-No. 6-ranked BYU, 1-0, on Saturday. It's the highest-ranked opponent the UCI women have ever defeated.

The UCI men played defending NCAA champion Indiana to a 1-1 deadlock on Sunday, more than a week after defeating then-No.16-ranked Louisville, 1-0, on the Cardinals' field.

The UCI women, coached by Scott Juniper, are 3-1 on the road this season and 3-0 outside California.

The UCI men, coached by George Kuntz, are 2-1-1 in away games this season, but more importantly, 3-0 in games decided by one goal. The Anteaters (3-1-2), ranked No. 24 by College Soccer News, as well as No. 25 by TopDrawerSoccer.com, lost 10 games by one goal a season ago, when they finished 5-14-1.

The aforementioned road success bodes well for all four local squads.

The Vanguard women, who won the Golden State Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles last season en route to the NAIA quarterfinals, have outscored opponents, 24-5, this season.

Senior forward Kayla Arenas has seven goals and two assists, after posting 11 goals and four assists last season, when the Lions outscored foes, 65-8.

Senior Jordan Davidson, a first-team NAIA All-American a year ago after transferring from a community college in Arizona, has two goals and three assists, to give her 20 goals and 13 assists as a Lion.

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