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Eleventh Heaven

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USC women's soccer will enter the 2016 season ranked No. 11 in the NSCAA preseason poll.

The Women of Troy finished their 2015 campaign ranked No. 11 by the NSCAA thanks to a 14-6-2 record and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16, where they fell to then-No. 1 Virginia.


The Trojans, in their third year under head coach Keidane McAlpine, are returning their top scorer in senior Morgan Andrews, as well as senior defender Kayla Mills, who won Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2015.

Andrews, Mills and the rest of the squad will face seven other teams ranked in the NSCAA preseason poll in 2016: Santa Clara (21), Auburn (12), Loyola Marymount (25), North Carolina (9), Arizona (20), Stanford (5) and California (18).

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State of Troy: August 2016

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Each month, we interview USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann to get his take on the hot topics around Heritage Hall.

Swann on his first month as USC athletic director...

DSC_7084.jpgI think the first month has gone extremely well. I would recommend to anyone who is taking a job at a university to start the job in June or July. It gives you a chance to learn the campus, acclimate and educate yourself before the fall session begins. I continue to learn from the folks who have been here for a number of years about the athletic department. There is a lot to learn from everybody. Athletics is probably the most diverse group on campus with student-athletes from all over the country and the world in our 21 sports, which are all different. Being around them, if you cannot learn, you have a problem.

Swann on initial meetings with all the head coaches...

The message that I gave at the press conference when I first took the job is the same message that I gave to them. It is about the student-athletes graduating. The number two priority, because they are students first and athletes second, is pushing them to win. I do not think we will get their best unless they are seeking to be the best. Having a winning attitude, practicing and preparing to win, that's a great foundation for the future. We have won a lot of national championships in our storied history, but I want every sport that has never won a national championship to experience that feeling.

Swann on his first football season as athletic director...

It would be disingenuous as a high school, college and professional football player to say that I am not looking forward to the start of camp, which begins this week, and the opening of football season.  The first game that I ever watched as a USC student was against Alabama in 1970. The first game I ever played in was against Alabama in 1971 in the Coliseum. I cannot think of a more fitting opponent for my first game as an athletic director. I want to invite everyone to join us at our annual kickoff event, Salute to Troy, on August 19, to come meet the team and the coaches. And while we are all focused on the opener against Alabama in Texas, we have a loaded schedule this season and I am thrilled by the opportunities it presents. We need our fans to pack the Coliseum for every home game.

Click here for ticket information!

Swann on the Olympic Games...

USC has such a tremendous Olympic tradition. This year, we have 43 Olympians, which is more than any other school. As a fan, the Olympics always get me excited because the athletes get a chance to show that they are the best in the world at something. As a former long jumper and pole vaulter, I will be following the track and field events closely. At USC, I was a great admirer of Bob Seagren, an Olympic gold medalist in the pole vault, and Randy Williams, a gold medalist in the long jump who I like to remind people I beat in high school! I always keep my eye on swimming because Tom McBreen was my college roommate, and he won a bronze medal in 1972. I also covered weight lifting at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles for ABC Sports, so I will check in on the weight lifters too.

Click here to follow #USC2RIO!

Swann on what else he is watching this fall...

I look forward to integrating all the sports outside of football into our collective focus. We have a heavy schedule all year round. I am looking to engage with all the sports that are here, starting with women's volleyball, women's soccer, men's water polo and cross country in the fall. I want them all to do well, and I want them to know that they will all get great support here at USC. It is important for me as the athletic director to be present and show them that we are enthusiastic about everything that we do.

17 Again

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football-ranking-17.jpgUSC comes in at No. 17 in the first USA Today Coaches Poll of the new year. The Trojans are one of five Pac-12 teams ranked in the preseason Top 25.

Click here for the complete poll.

Throughout the offseason, USC's 2016 schedule has been ranked the toughest in the country and the Coaches Poll confirmed that notion. The Trojans will play six top 25 teams and three in the top 10, including No. 1 Alabama. Every road opponent received Top 25 votes.

Meet Aubrey Kragen

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Trojan Family, please meet Aubrey Kragen. The USC alum was recently hired to contribute to our social media team, including writing for the RipsIt Blog.

Hi there, my name is Aubrey Kragen and I am the new assistant director of social media for your USC Trojans.

905978_10206624040460484_189331260666115950_o.jpgI'm originally from San Diego and grew up going to Chargers, Padres and San Diego State basketball games.

But I didn't realize I wanted to work in sports until attending Lane Kiffin's 2013 signing day press conference as a sophomore at USC. I had just started writing for the Daily Trojan and jumped at the chance to cover the presser, only to realize afterward that my bosses only sent me to transcribe the whole thing so another reporter could use the quotes. Still, it was then that I realized how exciting it was to be around Trojan athletics.

I worked my way up to the sports editor position at the Daily Trojan, and I also worked as a student assistant in USC's sports information department. In addition, I held internships at Fox Sports 1, NFL Network and ESPN.

Upon graduation in May of 2015, I took a job at NFL Network, where I researched statistics and storylines for the 2015 NFL season -- always keeping an eye on my favorite Trojan players.

Now, I find myself back on the campus where I found so many of my passions and my closest friends. I can't wait to get started on this new adventure, and I hope to bring you all an inside look at your favorite teams and the players you love. But only if you promise to laugh at some of my bad jokes.

#FightOn and #BeatTheTide

Fall Camp Begins

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All summer long, the Trojans worked in the dark, so they'll be ready to shine under the lights.


Move-In Day

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The Trojans are checked in and ready for USC Fall Camp 2016 to begin!


#USC2RIO: Allyson Felix

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The countdown is on to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and once again, USC will be represented by a roster of Trojans that would match most countries. Time to unveil your USC Olympians...

Name: Allyson Felix

Country: United States of America

Events: Women's Track 400m and 4x400m Relay


Once again, Allyson Felix will be a prominent face of the Olympic Games, representing her nation and her alma mater proudly.

Due to an ankle injury suffered in preparation for the U.S. Olympic Trials, Felix fell short of her stated goal to win the 200m-400m double, but she gutted out the 400m race to qualify for Rio 2016. She missed making the 200m field by .01 seconds. As one has come to expect, Felix handled the adversity with grace and class.

"This whole year, that had been what I was working for, so for it to end here is disappointing," said Felix. "Then when I look back, and I see everything that happened, I still think it's quite amazing."

Felix has the perspective of one of the greatest Olympians of all time. Headed to her fourth Olympics, she has already collected four gold medals and two silvers, tying her with a select group for the largest gold medal and total medal haul ever by a Trojan. If she can medal at Rio 2016 in either the 400m or the 4x400m relay, she will stand alone as the most decorated USC Olympian in history.

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USC for USA

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USC's 2016 Olympians hail from 20 different countries, including the Bahamas (Tynia Gaither), Bermuda (Rebecca Heyliger), Colombia (Robert Farah), Norway (Amalie Iuel) and Trinidad and Tobago (Dylan Carter) for the first time.

Click here to follow #USC2RIO!

However, no country is represented more than our very own USA. Of the 43 Trojans in Rio, 16 will play for the Red, White and Blue.

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#USC2RIO: Katarzyna Wilk

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The countdown is on to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and once again, USC will be represented by a roster of Trojans that would match most countries. Time to unveil your USC Olympians...

Name: Katarzyna (Kasia) Wilk

Country: Poland

Events: Women's Swimming 100m Free


Kasia Wilk is readying for her third Olympic Games after finishing 27th in the 100m freestyle in London. She will swim the same event in Rio.

In 2008 and 2012, she also swam on the 800m free relay team for her country. She medaled for Poland at the 2011 European Short Course Championships, earning bronze in the 200m medley relay.

At USC, the Olympic veteran won an NCAA title with her teammates in the 400y freestyle relay. She finished her Trojan career as an 12-time All-American.

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Big Man Doing Little Things

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At 6-foot-9 and 345 pounds, USC OT Zach Banner is the biggest man in college football. So naturally, we had him do the tiniest activities for your enjoyment.