Stepping Stone

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USC women's lacrosse took its first loss of the season on Saturday, ending the Women of Troy's historic campaign in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals at Syracuse. The Trojans clawed back from a three-goal deficit to tie the game and send it into overtime in the Carrier Dome, where the Orange delivered the sudden-death blow to win 12-11.

Click here for the recap.

The Women of Troy finish the year 20-1, setting nearly every program and conference record along the way. In her final game, senior Amanda Johansen led the team with four goals and six points. Junior attackers Cynthia Del Core and Michaela Michael combined to add five goals, while junior Kylie Drexel delivered a team-high three assists.


Fight On Camps

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Photo Gallery: Baseball Senior Salute

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USC baseball closed the home schedule by dropping two of three to Oregon State this weekend. The Trojans opened the series with a 3-1 loss, but responded by clubbing the Beavers, 10-1, on Saturday.

Click here for the recaps.

Sunday's rubber match went to OSU, 4-1, but USC was able to honor its seniors before their final home game. The "group helped turn our storied program around."

USC is now 25-27 overall, 13-13 in the Pac-12, with four more games to go. The Trojans will travel to Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday and then finish the season with a three-game weekend trip to Arizona State.

Here are the Senior Day photos by John McGillen:

Tennis Season's Over

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While USC women's tennis was knocked out in the second round, the men advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in Tulsa before dropping a dramatic dual to Georgia. The Trojans and Bulldogs are two of the sport's superpowers, and they engaged in a classic match with Georgia ultimately prevailing, 4-3.

"I think with matches like that you have this overwhelming sense of being a part of something that is bigger than you. It's such a great rivalry between UGA and us," said USC head coach Peter Smith. "To play that quality of a match for three and half hours, you really feel like it's an honor and a privilege to be a part of it. It hurts to lose, but it was just a great match."

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While USC men's tennis spent most of the season in the national Top 10, the 2016 campaign is almost a rebuilding year by the national championship standards of the program. The Trojans have plenty of help on the way as Smith and his staff reeled in the No. 2 recruiting class in the country, and USC loses only one senior, Max de Vroome (pictured).

On Sunday, nine USC baseball seniors will play beneath the afternoon sun at Dedeaux Field for the final time. Four years after starting their Trojan careers, a lot has changed within the most successful program in college baseball history, and the positive growth is due in large part to this class of talented players who ushered in the start of a new era of USC baseball.

Just two days before the start of the 2013 season, previously-titled associate head coach Dan Hubbs was named the team's head coach, faced with leading a USC program that had settled into mediocrity. It was time to rebuild, and Hubbs would begin that process with the 24th-best recruiting class in the country. The Trojans posted a 20-36 record in Hubbs' first season, but the head coach and his resilient group of freshmen were confident things were headed in the right direction. Four years later, the departing class, which includes Turner Clouse, Kyle Davis, Brooks Kriske, Marc Huberman, David Oppenheim, AJ Ramirez, Timmy Robinson, Reggie Southall and Brent Wheatley, has won 112 total games over three seasons together. Last season, the class led USC to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. 

It will be a special weekend for the core group of players that trusted their head coach, invested in each other and saw the rebuilding process through. In the midst of a season in which the Trojans have hovered around .500, the group stands as a reminder that while success in college baseball comes in waves, one committed unit of players can turn things around in a flash.

USC hosts Oregon State, which is just one game back from the Trojans in the Pac-12 standings, for a decisive series beginning Friday at 7 p.m. PT. Saturday's game will begin at 1 p.m. PT and Sunday's will start at Noon. All three games will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. Be sure to follow @USC_Baseball for in-game updates, photos from Senior Day and more!


Bring on the Bulldogs

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The No. 10-seeded USC men's tennis team is one win away from its 10th straight trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals, and is aiming to buck the seeding and secure a berth with a win over No. 7 Georgia on Friday. Led by lone senior Max de Vroome, the 17-6 Trojans will take on the Bulldogs in the NCAA Round of 16 at 2 p.m. PT in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

USC secured an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament this year after losing in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals. Two members of the current roster, de Vroome and junior Nick Crystal, experienced the thrill of winning a national championship in 2014, and the duo is eager to lead the Trojans on a postseason run. De Vroome, ranked No. 23 in the nation, is finishing his Trojan career on a strong note posting 28 singles wins this season, and will appear in the NCAA Singles Tournament next week along with Crystal. 

For live updates from the Trojans' match on Friday, be sure to follow @USCMensTennis


Building from the Backstop

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bench-martinez.jpgUSC junior catcher Jeremy Martinez has been named a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, marking the second consecutive year that a Trojan has been so honored. Martinez took over catching responsibilities from Garrett Stubbs, who won the Johnny Bench Award last season.

Like Stubbs, Martinez has been an anchor and leader of his team, orchestrating the game from behind the plate and keying the offense from the middle of the lineup. He has started 47 games behind the dish, throwing out 22 would-be base stealers in 52 attempts, and he is second on the team in hitting (.376 batting average) and RBI (37). Martinez has prodigious power with five home runs and a .554 slugging percentage, but remarkably, he is the 16th toughest hitter in the nation to strike out.

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Jeff Clement, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft, is the only other USC catcher to reach this stage, and he also won the award. Finalists will be announced June 6.

Par for the Course

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In what's become somewhat of a regular phenomenon, the USC men's golf team is on it's way back to the NCAA Championships final for the 10th straight time. Sophomores Jonah Texeira and Sean Crocker, as well as freshman Justin Suh, all recorded 1-over 73s to lead the Trojans in a superb final round to a third place finish in the NCAA Albuquerque Regional on Wednesday. 

Despite the less than ideal weather conditions on USC's final day, including unusually high winds, the team pulled together to post the day's second-best final round at a combined 31-over 895 (291-311-293). Crocker anchored the Trojans' all weekend, tying his season-best effort with a second-place finish at 1-over 217. Suh tied for 17th at 10-over 226, recording a 73 in the final round to match his performance from day one. The sophomore Texeira matched Suh's 73 on Wednesday, finishing the weekend 22nd at 11-over 227. 

"Coach Goulding and I are so proud of our players," USC head coach Chris Zambri said. "In conditions that were so unlike what we play and practice in daily, our guys came through in a big way. It was trying to say the least and they had great attitudes all week. We are so pumped to get to Eugene and try to win a national championship."

In 2015, the Trojans reached the NCAA Championships match play final before falling to LSU in what was a best-ever postseason finish for the program. This season, they're looking to raise the bar just one peg higher and return to USC with a championship trophy. 

USC is one of 30 teams from six regionals to advance to the NCAA Championships set for May 27-June 1 at the Eugene (Ore.) C.C. Be sure to follow @USCMensGolf for a closer look at the Trojans' pursuit of a national championship! 
Continuing the trend in USC women's lacrosse's year of firsts, Michaela Michael and Courtney Tarleton were named the program's first-ever First Team IWLCA All-Americans on Wednesday. The pair forms somewhat of an offensive and defensive yin and yang on the field, complimenting each others' efforts on either half, and helping to lead their team to a perfect 20-0 record and berth in the 2016 NCAA quarterfinals this season. USC senior midfielder Amanda Johansen also joined the duo, receiving third team honors.

Tarleton, the 2016 MPSF Player of the Year, is a four-year All-MPSF performer and four-year team captain. She leads the MPSF and ranks seventh in the NCAA for caused turnovers (2.50 ctpg) and will forever be cemented in USC lacrosse history as one of the program's first All-Americans.

Sharing Tarleton's spotlight in history is Michael, the 2015 MPSF Player of the Year, who is second in the nation for total points and fifth in total goals. The team's scoring leader by a wide margin, the junior attacker was a third team All-American last season. 

All eyes will be on both USC captains on Saturday at 12 p.m. PT when the Trojans take on Syracuse at the Carrier Dome live on ESPN3. Be sure to follow @USCTrojansLAX for in-game updates, photos and more!


Best in the Field

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On Wednesday, USC junior All-American Amalie Iuel received the well-deserved honor of 2016 Pac-12 Women's Field Athlete of the Year. The versatile track star won her second Pac-12 heptathlon title this season, scoring the second-most points ever by a Trojan in the Multi-Events Championships and moving from third to second on USC's all-time heptathlon list. 

Entering NCAA competition, Iuel is looking to record another successful offseason following her 2015 campaign which included a seventh-place finish in the 400m IH at the NCAA Championships and a second-place finish in the 4x400m relay. This season, Iuel shined in several events for the Trojans, posting a personal record 6-0.50 in the high jump, 56.37 in the 400m IH and 23.41 in the 200m among top personal marks in other heptathlon events.

She sustained an elbow injury in the Pac-12 Championships last weekend but she will now turn her focus to recovery and preparation for competition in the high jump, 400m IH and 4x400m relay in the NCAA Championships. She ranks tied for eighth in the country in the high jump and 11th in the 400m IH. The junior qualified for six events at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds.