Heading on the road for its first test of the 2015 season, the reigning national champions Florida State made it a winning start to the new campaign.
Bolstered by a freshmen-heavy starting lineup on Friday, the Seminoles secured a 3-1 win against New Mexico. FSU followed that up with a Sunday victory against Pac-12 foes USC, as Isabella Schmid's winner in the 83rd minute punctuated a strong defensive effort, as USC managed just two shots, neither of which tested goalkeeper Cassie Miller.
The rest of the top five emerged through the weekend unscathed. No. 2 Virginia picked up from where it left off last season, coasting past UNC Wilmington 8-0. Defender Meghan Cox scored a hat trick, while Makenzy Doniak scored once and added three assists.
No. 3 Stanford leaned heavily on its talented freshmen class, and were rewarded when first-year center back Alana Cook nabbed the game winner in a 2-1 defeat of Hawaii. It was redemption for the New Jersey standout after her giveaway led to the only goal conceded.
Penn State flexed its muscles in the final third, scoring six times in a pair of opening victories. The No. 4 ranked Nittany Lions received contributions from six different goal scorers, as it also incoporated a young and exciting group of new players.
Speaking of notable offensive performances, holding firm at No. 5 is North Carolina, after putting ten past Weber State and Fresno State over the weekend. Substitute Annie Kingman (2 goals, 3 assists) was one of a number of notable offensive stalwarts for the ACC school.
For the first time since 2013, UCLA found itself on the losing end of a road result. The re-loading Bruins outshot hosts Long Beach State 10-4, but failed to find the back of the net. Vania Robles bagged the winner for Beach in the 67th minute, as the Bruins fell to No. 8 in the rankings.
Also tumbling on the road was No. 7 Florida. After opening the season on Friday with a 2-0 defeat of in-state rivals UCF, the Gators traveled to Columbus for a bought with Ohio State. Nichelle Prince bagged the overtime winner for the Buckeyes.