10.25.2007

Lopez's post-World Cup goal: NCAA title for Portland

Lopez's post-World Cup goal: NCAA title for Portland (by Andy Gardiner, USA TODAY)

Stephanie Lopez's whirlwind year hasn't ended yet, but it has returned her to a place where she can catch her breath and begin to sort out the experiences of the last 12 months.

Lopez is back at her familiar spot on defense for the seventh-ranked University of Portland women's soccer team, transforming a very good club into one with a shot at the national championship.

She returns after competing on this year's U.S. World Cup team that finished third in China in September. She was the national team's youngest member and its first player of Hispanic origin.

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