We're No. 1! (and No. 7)

First in the nation; tied for third in the Big 12 – it’s looking like that kind of year for women’s soccer.
With every major program in the country having at least two blemishes on their record, the UT Lady Longhorns have the first No. 1 ranking in the program's history this week, as they rose to the top of the Soccer America poll following a 1-1 draw at Iowa State and a 2-1 home win over Nebraska on the weekend. It seems like a different player is stepping up for the Horns each week; this time it was junior midfielder Courtney Gaines, who curled in a free kick for the tying goal at Iowa State, then scored the winner over Nebraska just 42 seconds into overtime. Next up, two big road games: archrival Texas A&M, Friday night at 7:30pm in College Station, then Baylor at 7pm Sunday in Waco.

St. Edward's women, meanwhile, rose to seventh in the country in Division II, after notching their seventh straight shutout win, 1-0 over Newman College in Wich­ita. The Hilltoppers host a pair of Heartland Conference games this weekend: Texas A&M International Friday at 4pm, and Incarnate Word Sunday at 1pm.

It's a big couple of months in Europe, with international competitions just about every mid-week, in addition to the regular league matches on weekends. Over the next two months, the top clubs will play four Champions League or UEFA Cup games, and the national teams will have four dates as well, as Euro2008 qualifying winds up Nov. 21, with most of the top teams still having some work to do. Fourteen teams will join hosts Austria and Switzerland for that quadrennial tournament, held in the even years between World Cups.
The heavy schedule starts this weekend: Euro qualifiers Saturday and Wednesday, Oct. 13 & 17. Not many of the games are being shown on TV outside of pay-per-view, but Fadó has England-Estonia, Saturday at 9am. The full schedule is below.

Euro 2008 qualifying, Saturday and Wednesday, Oct. 13 & 17.
Top two teams in each group advance to the finals next summer.

A: Portugal, on the road at Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, needs to make up ground on group leaders Poland and Finland.
B: Scotland hanging in with three of the WC final eight in the group of death. A home win over Ukraine would really put pressure on Italy and France.
C: Greece at Turkey on Wednesday – one of Europe's best rivalries. Norway hopes to pass one or the other.
D: This is the one group that looks close to over, as Germany and the Czech Republic hold a commanding lead, with just Ireland having an outside chance of overtaking one of them.
E: England can clinch a spot this week, but their Wednesday trip to play on artificial turf in Moscow is a tricky one.
F: Denmark hosts Spain on Saturday; a home win puts the Spaniards in trouble. Sweden looks safe for the other spot.
G: Holland and Romania lead the group; they meet in Bucharest on Saturday.

The full schedule:

Saturday, Oct. 13
Group A
Armenia v Serbia
Azerbaijan v Portugal
Poland v Kazakhstan
Belgium v Finland
Group B
Scotland v Ukraine
Faroe Islands v France
Italy v Georgia
Group C
Hungary v Malta
Moldova v Turkey
Greece v Bosnia-Herzegovina
Group D
Slovakia v San Marino
Cyprus v Wales
Ireland v Germany
Group E
England v Estonia
Croatia v Israel
Group F
Iceland v Latvia
Liechtenstein v Sweden
Denmark v Spain
Group G
Belarus v Luxembourg
Romania v Netherlands
Slovenia v Albania

Wednesday, Oct. 17
Group A

Kazakhstan v Portugal
Azerbaijan v Serbia
Belgium v Armenia
Group B
Ukraine v Faroe Islands
Georgia v Scotland
France v Lithuania
Group C
Malta v Moldova
Turkey v Greece
Bosnia-Herzegovina v Norway
Group D
San Marino v Wales
Ireland v Cyprus
Germany v Czech Republic
Group E
Russia v England
Macedonia v Andorra
Denmark v Latvia
Group F
Liechtenstein v Iceland
Sweden v Northern Ireland
Group G
Luxembourg v Romania
Netherlands v Slovenia
Albania v Bulgaria

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