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 season against World Cup preparations. So North Carolina will have to make do without emerging star Jessie Scarpa. Rutgers will

Although it starts in the heat and humidity and finishes alongside holiday shopping and the occasional snowstorm, the college soccer season is a sprint mixed with a demolition derby. After close to 30 games in just three and a half months, a new champion will be crowned. That is, unless Penn State becomes the first school other than North Carolina to retain that prize for a second consecutive season.So as opening games approach, here are five questions only the 2016 season can answer.1. Why could the season hinge on Papua New Guinea?The College Cup heads back to familiar turf in Cary, North Carolina, relocated there because of construction delays on a new stadium in Orlando, Florida. The national title will be settled on Dec. 4, but what happens at almost the same time on the other side of the globe will shape the season. Played biennially, the FIFA Under-20 Womens World Cup comes to a close in Papua New Guinea a day before the NCAA title game in Cary.The timing, coming so late in the year instead of in late summer, as it was two years ago in Canada, means that members of the United States team (as well as a handful of players on other international teams) will redshirt the college season rather than balance the physical and academic demands of a college season against World Cup preparations. So North Carolina will have to make do without emerging star Jessie Scarpa. Rutgers will have to follow up its College Cup run without goalkeeper Casey Murphy. And Mallory Pughs college debut will be delayed.Few teams will pay a steeper price than reigning national champion Penn State, which may find itself in the odd position of being too talented to defend its title. In addition to Raquel Rodriguez and Mallory Weber, among other departed seniors, the Nittany Lions also stand to be without Maddie Elliston, Ellie Jean, Emily Ogle and Kaleigh Riehl. Each of the five played an important role in the title and would otherwise be returning as a sophomore or junior. Thankfully for Penn State,?Rose Chandler has decided to stay and play.Penn State coach Erica Dambach has set the program up to be more than a one-hit wonder, but even with the arrival of some international reinforcements, its true title defense will wait a year.2. Is Duke the next program to claim its championship?The College Cup in recent years has become a model of democratization. Stanford won its long overdue first championship in 2011. Pac-12 rival UCLA followed two years later. Florida State finally lifted its first trophy in 2014, while Penn State managed the same a year ago. Among them, those schools compiled 23 appearances in the College Cup before ever winning a title.Call it the North Carolina corollary, a logjam of quality programs only now breaking through.Strictly by volume, Connecticut is next in line to make good after seven semifinals. While the Huskies could have their best team in quite some time (their last College Cup trip came in 2003), predicting a championship run would be bold. No, given the current landscape of college soccer, the best program without a title is a two-team race between Duke and Virginia.There is a case to be made for both -- ACC coaches voted Virginia second in the preseason conference poll, one spot behind Florida State and one spot ahead of Duke. If Duke was admittedly a surprise national finalist a season ago, upsetting Florida, Stanford and Florida State to reach the final game, it was only as a team ahead of schedule -- not as a team that came out of nowhere.The Blue Devils return 10 of 11 starters from the championship game, as well as depth beyond those assets. Christina Gibbons is a potentially world-class defensive cornerstone, but the entire back four returns in front of experienced goalkeeper E.J. Proctor. The midfield and forward lines lack someone with a proven record of scoring double-digit goals, but there is no shortage of players with the potential to do just that, including Taylor Racioppi, who played in the 2014 U-20 World Cup and was eligible again but elected to focus on school.Duke seemed poised for more after it reached the final game in 2011. That championship never materialized, but the current cast is ready to bring the trophy to the other end of Tobacco Row.Five more contenders: Florida State, North Carolina, Stanford, Virginia, West Virginia.3. Why could UCLA challenge even without Mallory Pugh?To be clear, the Bruins would rather have Pugh, the 18-year-old who earned a starting place on the U.S. Olympic team with dazzling attacking skills. UCLA coach Amanda Cromwell not only beat out the rest of college soccers upper crust to secure Pughs services but also the allure of a professional contract (at least for now), only to have to wait another year as Pugh delays her enrollment to compete in the U-20 World Cup.With Pugh slaloming through overmatched defenses, there would be no doubt that UCLA would return to the NCAA tournament after last seasons surprising postseason absenteeism.With Jessie Fleming, the Canadian version of Pugh, that should still be the case.Cromwell believes the team that endured that sobering season, which reached its nadir in a 7-0 loss to California in late October, will be better for it. A senior class that includes Annie Alvarado, Darian Jenkins and Amber Munerlyn began as followers on a national championship team (minus Munerlyn, who transferred from North Carolina) and had to learn how to lead on its own.Optimism also comes from a starting lineup in the teams exhibition opener that included Anika Rodriguez, a well-regarded redshirt freshman returning from a season lost to injury, and Julia Hernandez, a Spanish import who was a prolific scorer in the junior college ranks a season ago.But its Fleming, who Cromwell said will put on the uniform for the Bruins despite her own U-20 World Cup commitments later in the season, who ought to make Westwood excited. A member of Canadas World Cup roster at 17 years old and a starter on the most pleasant surprise of the Olympics at 18 years old, she should be a game-changing, goal-creating presence for UCLA.4. Who are five contenders for the Hermann Trophy?Kadeisha Buchanan, D, West Virginia: She was among the best defenders in college soccer from the moment she stepped on the field in Morgantown, so it is understandable if it feels as if the Canadian World Cup and Olympic veteran has been around forever. But a year after both she and Virginias Emily Sonnett made a run at becoming just the second defender to win the Hermann, Buchanan may be both physically and mentally the best player in college soccer.Megan Connolly, MF, Florida State: The Irish international led the Seminoles in assists (10) and ranked second in goals (9) as a freshman. Now shes the focal point on a team that bid farewell to a lot of attacking talent. If she gets to double digits in both categories and the Seminoles keep winning while turning over the lineup, count her among the favorites.Savannah Jordan, F, Florida: Physical, fearless and competitively edgy, Jordan enters her final season with 65 career goals, 13 more goals than any other active player. Shes chasing history at this stage. Only 10 players in Division I history scored at least 90 career goals, and there arent many names on that list that you would struggle to place. Only Christine Sinclair, Sarah Hagen and Tiffany Weimer reached that milestone playing entirely this century.Rose Lavelle, MF, Wisconsin: There are parallels between Lavelles time at Wisconsin and Morgan Brians time at Virginia, two dynamic midfielders who lifted programs to new heights. With Penn States personnel issues and Rutgers trying to reshape its stellar defense, the door is open for the Badgers in the Big Ten and beyond. They open the season No. 16. If they close it among the final four, their talisman may bring home the Hermann.Andi Sullivan, MF, Stanford: A richly experienced player in the youth national system, most recently with the U-23 team this past summer, Sullivan seems destined at some point to get a look from the senior team. If not quite there yet, she is an exceptional college midfielder. That balance isnt necessarily going to produce gaudy statistics, but if shes the best player on one of the best teams in the country, its going to attract attention.5. Three more stories to follow this season1. The best show in college soccer: BYU ended Portlands long run as the national attendance leader a season ago, topping the country in both average (3,497) and total attendance (38,466). There is no reason to expect a slide in Provo, not as long as Nadia Gomes and Ashley Hatch are on the field together. A breakthrough star as a sophomore in 2014, when she scored 18 goals in 21 games, Hatch battled injuries through much of the 2015 season. That wasnt good news for BYU, but it did give all those fans in Provo more opportunity to appreciate Gomes, a Utah product who played for Portugal as a youth international.2. Kansas States debut: And then there was one. Kansas States first season of varsity womens soccer leaves Georgia Tech as the only school in the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 or SEC that doesnt sponsor the sport. The Wildcats wont begin a Big 12 schedule until next season, easing into existence against mostly mid-major and low-major opponents. The lone major-conference opponent (unless you count the Big Easts Creighton) is at Texas on Oct. 7.3. Players on the move: Among the most intriguing moves, senior forward Emily Bruder moves to Colorado from North Carolina. A former U.S. international at youth levels, Bruder never quite found her footing between injuries and depth in Chapel Hill. She could provide much needed goal scoring in Boulder, needed all the more because Brie Hooks transferred from Colorado to Seattle University. A Seattle-area native, Hooks scored 21 goals in three Pac-12 seasons and could make a big difference for what is already a burgeoning mid-major power. Goal scoring is also a big part of the resume of LSUs Nicole Howard, who scored 40 goals for Lewis and Clark Community College last year and was the national junior college player of the year. Its almost impossible to project what that means in the context of Division I competition in the SEC, but its worth watching. Authentic Peter Kalambayi Jersey . Jeff Green scored 13 points and Kris Humphries 12 for the Celtics, who nearly blew an 18-point, second-half lead. Sullingers 20-20 was the first by a Celtics player since Kevin Garnetts first game in Boston in 2007. Garnett was dealt -- along with Paul Pierce -- to Brooklyn during the off-season. Texans Jerseys Online . -- Five former Kansas City Chiefs players who were on the team between 1987 and 1993 filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming the team hid and even lied about the risks of head injuries during that time period when there was no collective bargaining agreement in place in the NFL. . Manuel was offered a position the day he was fired. He accepted earlier this week and the team made the announcement Friday. Cheap Texans Jerseys . All of the scoring came in the final 20:04. Lucic scored on a power play at 15:46 of the third period, when he tipped a shot over Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen for a 3-1 lead. Texans Jerseys China .ca looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable.Check out the highlights from round three of EuroLeague basketball – the top 10 plays, and the MVP’s best bits. Reigning champions CSKA Moscow beat Anadolu Efes Istanbul 87-93 after pulling into the lead with less than four minutes remaining.Nobody did more for CSKA Moscow than Nando De Colo and you can watch his individual highlights in the video below. Nando De Colo became the MVP Elsewhere, Real Madrid were beaten 91-87 by fellow Spaniards Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz while Fenerbahce joined CSKA Moscow at the top of the standings by keeping their unbeaten record intact.Fenerbahce defeated Zalgiris Kaunas 82-68 to move to 3-0 for the season, matching CSKA Moscow, and have now won their last 23 home matches in the EuroLeague. Highlights of Real Madrids win over Milano in round four of Euro League Basketball Watch the top 10 plays of round three at the top of this page and here are a few individual match highlights from round 3 & 4...Crvena Zvezda 76-65 FC Barcelona Highlights of Crvena Zvezdas win over Barcelona in round three of Euro League Basketball Maccabi Tel Aviv 98-92 Galatasaray Istanbul Highlights of Maccabi Tel Avivs win over in round three of Euro League Basketball Baskonia 90-95 Olympiakos Highlights of Olympiakos win over Baskonia in round four of Euro League Basketball CSKA Moscow 98-80 Unics Kazan Highlights of CSKA Moscows win over Unics Kazan in round four of Euro League Basketball You can watch Premier League and EFL Cup football, plus Englands tour of Bangladesh and the Mexican Grand Prix on Sky Sports.dddddddddddd Upgrade now and enjoy six months at half price! 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