Colleges: Locals sitting on top

The UC Irvine women's soccer team topped visiting Long Beach State, 2-0, Sunday to propel the Anteaters into sole possession of first place in the Big West Conference with just two regular-season matches remaining.

The UCI women are among three local teams atop their respective conferences, as the UCI men and Vanguard men are in prime position to collect regular-season crowns.

The UCI women, who claimed the program's first conference regular-season title last season en route to the NCAA Sweet 16, have won four straight, all against conference foes and are now 11-3-2, 4-1-1 in conference.

With three points for a victory and one for a tie, their 13 points put them ahead of UC Davis and Cal State Northridge (10 points apiece), as well as Long Beach State (nine).

Coach Scott Juniper's team is at Northridge on Sunday and finishes its conference schedule at home against UC Riverside on Oct. 30.

The Anteaters are being paced by UCLA transfer Natalia Ledezma, who earned Big West Player of the Week honors on Monday. Ledezma, a sophomore forward, has eight goals and six assists.

Senior forward Lexi Kopf had eight goals and one assist, while freshman Cami Privett has five goals and three assists.

The defense is led by All-American CoCo Goodson, senior two-time first-team all-conference pick Judy Christopher, senior center defender Sarah Devine and freshman goalkeeper Jennifer Randazzo (five shutouts).

The No. 7-ranked UCI men fell, 3-1, at No. 4-ranked Creighton on Saturday night, but have a four-match win streak in conference play. They also boast a No. 6 RPI.

Coach George Kuntz's 'Eaters are 12-3, 4-1 in conference, heading into Wednesday's home date with UC Davis at 7 p.m. UCI plays host to Cal State Fullerton on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The defending conference regular-season champions have 12 points, three ahead of Northridge, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and UC Davis. UC Santa Barbara is fifth with six points.

Christian Hernandez and Miguel Ibarra both have six goals and six assists for UCI, for which Enrique Cardenas has five goals and three assists.

Senior goalkeeper Andrew Fontein has an 0.98 goals-against average and five shutouts this season, 25 in his career.

The UCI men have five conference matches left.

At Vanguard, Coach Randy Dodge's team earned an important 1-0 Golden State Athletic Conference triumph at Fresno Pacific on Saturday.

Junior Kevin Cornwall has scored in the Lions' last seven matches and leads the team with eight goals.

Senior Kyle O'Brien, who like Cornwall earned All-American honors last season, has seven goals and six assists to top the team with 20 points, one better than Cornwall.

Senior goalie Cody Adams has an 0.92 goals-against average and five shutouts to help the Lions (10-4, 4-1 in conference) post a 36-12 scoring advantage over opponents thus far.

VU is in a three-way tie for first with Concordia and Fresno Pacific. The Lions play host to fourth-place Azusa Pacific on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Twitter: @BarryFaulkner5

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