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Lopez's unusual background aids college, U.S. teams

Growing up in a home that took in more than 50 foster children taught Portland's Stephanie Lopez how to be the consummate team player, writes Graham Hays.

Updated: October 11, 2006, 5:20 PM ET
By Graham Hays | ESPN.com

RICHMOND, Va. -- University of Portland junior Stephanie Lopez learned early in life that family is not something passive that happens to you; it's a state of mind that is most fulfilling when you actively give it to others.

So perhaps it's no surprise that one of the best young defenders in the nation has spent the past two months giving all that she can of herself to three different elite teams.

Lopez, 20, missed the start of Portland's college season while serving as captain of the ...

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