Transfer of Energy

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Tomorrow, USC women's soccer will go for its 10th consecutive win, a school-record-setting feat. At 9-2, the program is off to its best start in nearly a decade, thanks in part to third-year head coach Keidane McAlpine.

When McAlpine arrived at USC after two years at the helm of Washington State, he made clear his goal of bringing a national championship back to Troy. But in soccer, student-athletes typically commit to colleges around their sophomore year of high school, so McAlpine inherited a few years' worth of players that he didn't recruit. If McAlpine wanted to implement his strategy and make an immediate positive impact, he would have to think outside the box.

USC_soccer_air_force_mcgillen_3466.jpg"In those gap years, to be able to fill the void quicker, if you have an opportunity to go get the one piece who has some experience, it'll allow your team to continue to grow," said McAlpine.

So, the coaching staff scoured the country to find recently freed talent who could transfer to USC and contribute as soon as they arrived. Standout goalkeeper Caroline Stanley was on her way out, and McAlpine knew just the replacement.

"I had the fortune of playing against Sammy Jo [Prudhomme] when she was at Oregon State, so I knew her talent," the head coach said. "I knew that as Caroline was going out, we were going to need an experienced goalkeeper to do what we wanted to do in terms of changing the program."

Now in her second year as USC's starting keeper, Prudhomme helped the team set the school record in shutout games and shutout minutes. She's No. 1 in the Pac-12 in saves per game (4.18) and second in save percentage (.885).

Prudhomme is one of many transfers on USC's roster that have led the team to its highest ranking (No. 7) since 2008. Alex Anthony (pictured) and Morgan Andrews, who are tied for the second-most goals on the team this year, are both imports, from Maryland and Notre Dame, respectively.

USC_Womens_soccer_pepperdine_mcgillen_082816_DSC_4523.JPGAnthony graduated from Maryland in three years, and chose to transfer to USC over Florida, Stanford and Cal due in part to USC's Master's of Public Policy program, in which she's specializing in homeland security. She believes her prior experience has helped her, but acknowledged that transitioning to a new coaching staff was difficult at first.

"I've had certain styles ingrained in my head, like, 'This is what you do in this situation, this is what you don't do.' It's not necessarily bad, it's just re-learning a different way," she said. "And I wouldn't say that either way is right or wrong, it just depends on what system you're playing and the players around you."

Though Anthony is one of the new kids on the block, having arrived on campus on July 1, she had help learning the ropes. She moved in with Amanda Rooney, who transferred to USC from North Carolina last year, and started against them in USC's upset win last month (an experience she called "sweet"). Rooney joked that she took Anthony under her wing, and both of them laughed when they realized they couldn't remember which members of the team were transfers --- a testament to how well the squad has integrated them.

"All this new stuff is being sent down from the coaches, so everyone's kind of new and on the same page, which allows everybody to gel together," Rooney said. "Everyone's just learning new stuff at the same time."

Indeed, when USC's previous head coach, Ali Khosroshahin, was let go, every woman on the team was forced to adapt to McAlpine's style, so the whole team understands what it's like for a transfer to come in and learn a new system. McAlpine seconded Rooney's assessment of the team's relationship.

"Joining a new team is difficult, but I'll give the team here credit. They've opened the door and allowed those players some space to have some success," he said.

USC_Womens_soccer_UNC_mcgillen_2016_LR_USC_Womens_soccer_UNC_mcgillen_2016_DSC_6605.JPGMcAlpine expedited that process by forming committees within the team to encourage his players to take ownership of the team's direction. Each committee has a different focus, from academics, to personal branding, social media, health and wellness, and more. Anthony, for example, is on the academic committee, while Rooney (pictured) is on the social media committee. McAlpine asserted that these committees force his players reach out to the USC community, including academic advisors, sports psychologists and nutritionists.

McAlpine sees this community as crucial to helping the team achieve its lofty goals.

His first goal upon taking the job was to get the team to the NCAA Tournament, which they did in his first season, losing a penalty kick shootout to Pepperdine in the first round. Next, it was about making a run in the tournament, which they did the following year, advancing to the third round. Now, with the transfers McAlpine "hand-picked with a purpose" and with his first class of freshman recruits, McAlpine is focused on the next step forward: a national championship.

"We're going to have our peaks and valleys," he said. "Right now, we're on the upswing, but we know that there's probably something coming down the road that we're going to half to deal with. Whether it equates to a loss or not, we're trying to make sure that we keep walking on this journey."

The journey continues tomorrow at 4 p.m. against No. 1 Stanford on McAlister Field.

Meet Jordan Iosefa

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USC_Football_Stanford_mcgillen_2016_DSC_1598.JPGName: Jordan Iosefa

Position: ILB

Class: Freshman

Size: 6-foot-2, 215 lbs.

Age: 18

High School: St. Louis (Honolulu, HI)

Game: Iosefa was not as highly touted as many of USC's recruits, but the young linebacker made an immediate impression on teammates and coaches. He is a high-energy, physical player who has earned a role on special teams and as a situational linebacker.

Prep Career: Iosefa started his career at Waipahu High, but transferred to St. Louis School in Honolulu and was forced to sit out the entire 2014 season. In 2015 as a senior linebacker, he earned Prep Star All-West Region and USA Today All-Hawaii second-team honors by making 34 tackles.

Clay Helton on Jordan Iosefa: "I did not think Jordan would be this far along this fast. And he's in a great situation, he's learning from Mike Hutchings ... really talented."

Fun Fact: Iosefa is the youngest player on USC's roster, born on September 20, 1998.

Here is Jordan Iosefa on adjusting to LA life, who he looks up to on the team, and more...

Kickin' It With Keidane - Week 7

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USC women's soccer is one of the hottest teams in the nation right now, currently riding a nine-game win streak. The Trojans' consistent performances have seen them inch their way up to No. 7 in the national rankings, their highest mark since the 2008 season.

In the newest episode of Kickin' It With Keidane, the head coach praises his top scorer, Katie Johnson, and his "ultra-competitive" center-back, Mandy Freeman. Watch McAlpine assess his team, preview the Trojans' upcoming match against No. 1 Stanford, and more, here:

Colorado Tuesday: Notes

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The Trojans are back on the practice field preparing for another ranked opponent.
  • Here is this week's injury report per head coach Clay Helton: OT Zach Banner (ankle - pulled mid-practice), LB Jabari Ruffin (concussion protocol), DB Ykili Ross (shoulder sprain), CB Jonathan Lockett (shoulder sprain but participated), RB Dominic Davis (returned from knee hyperextension), RB Aca'Cedric Ware (nursing a hand injury), TE Taylor McNamara (lower back strain).
  • CHEVRON_JD.jpgWR Deontay Burnett was treated to an icy bath for his birthday thanks to JuJu Smith-Schuster and Adoree' Jackson who chased the sophomore around with an ice bucket before dousing him after practice.
  • Helton and offensive coordinator Tee Martin have changed their game plan to utilize QB Sam Darnold's skill-set, but the head coach does not consider USC a "spread offense" team because the Trojans typically use a tight end in their base sets. Whether USC is a spread team or not, the mobile quarterback is forcing opponents to defend the Trojans differently. Helton explained that having a second live runner in the backfield has forced defenses to stack the box even when USC is spread out.
  • RB Justin Davis has also benefited with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games since Darnold took over. Helton called the senior a "complete back" who also contributes as a pass-catcher and blocker. The always humble Davis is happy to contribute any way he can, but he has been in a groove lately as the lead back. "The more touches on a ball you get, the more comfortable you get," he explained. "You're more in tune with the game. It's kind of like an NBA shooter."
  • Like any smart running back, Davis credited his offensive line for opening up holes. "They've just been working their butts off all week and stuff's starting to click," said Davis about the offensive line's recent success. "We always have room for improvement. We can't stop there, because we've still got some very hard teams ahead of us."
  • Center Nico Falah credited his offensive line coach Neil Callaway for bringing this unit together. "Give it up to Coach Callaway," said Falah. "He drilled us really hard this past week against ASU, and this Colorado week's going to be tough too, because they're a really good defensive front. Coach Callaway's doing his best to get us ready for their schemes, their defensive line games and everything."
  • Helton profusely complimented Colorado's veteran team under head coach Mike MacIntyre. He called the Buffaloes' offense "extremely balanced" which is apparent in the stats. Colorado is third in the Pac-12 in rushing and passing. While the Buffaloes have not announced a quarterback for the game, both Sefo Liufau and Steven Montez have played well and they are similar enough that USC only needs one defensive game plan, according to Helton.
  • Defensively, Colorado runs a 3-4 with 10 returning starters, and the front seven is stout. The Buffaloes are the top rated defense in the Pac-12 through five games. Helton has challenged special teams coach John Baxter to be the difference-maker against Colorado, which struggled in the third phase of the game against Michigan.
  • Here is Helton with the complete breakdown of Colorado:

Sights and Sounds: USC vs. ASU

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Before turning your attention to Colorado, enjoy one last look back at a picture-perfect victory over Arizona State at the Coliseum.

Grand Expectations

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Sitting on 999 wins as a program, USC women's volleyball has two chances to get to a grand this week.

The No. 22 Trojans (10-5, 2-2 Pac-12) set up at home against Arizona State (7-9, 0-4) tomorrow and Arizona (10-6, 2-2) on Friday. Both matches are at 7 p.m. at the Galen Center. USC enters the week fresh off two road wins over Colorado and Utah, after dropping their first two conference matches.

USC has been hot against these two teams recently, boasting an 8-2 record in the last 10 matches over ASU and 9-1 in the last 10 against the Wildcats.

Click here to purchase tickets to what could be USC's 1,000th win!


Magnificent Seven

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USC women's soccer will sport a shiny new No. 7 national ranking, its best since 2008, heading into Thursday's showdown with No. 1 Stanford at McAlister Field (4 p.m. kick). The Women of Troy have earned their spot by winning nine straight matches, tying the program-record for consecutive victories.

Tickets can be purchased at the gate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students are in FREE with USC ID.


Women of Troy Apparel

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The Women of Troy collection is available now at the USC Bookstore and


Trojans Live: Colorado Preview

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Coming off a winning week, Monday night's Trojans Live had a much more celebratory atmosphere.

USC head coach Clay Helton praised his team's performance against Arizona State and looked ahead to a showdown with No. 21 Colorado at the Coliseum on Saturday.

Click here to watch Helton on Trojans Live.

USC women's soccer head coach Keidane McAlpine broke down the Women of Troy's nine-match winning streak and the huge game against No. 1 Stanford on Thursday at McAlister Field (4 p.m. kick).

Click here to watch McAlpine on Trojans Live.

Finally, fresh off a hat trick of touchdown catches, junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster lit up the show with his always affable personality.

2016 #USCtotheNFL Week 4

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Week in and week out, USC's representatives in the NFL are some of the most talked about players in the game. Everson Griffen captains a Minnesota defense that's helped the team stay undefeated, and he and Jets DE Leonard Williams are among a handful of players tied for third in the league in sacks (4.0). They and many other Trojans in the NFL had notable performances in Week 4.

kessler-nfl (1).jpgBest of the Best

In his second career start, Browns QB Cody Kessler threw his first NFL TD on a 9-yard pass to Terrelle Pryor. Kessler went 28-of-40 for 223 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in Cleveland's 31-20 loss to Su'a Cravens and the Redskins. Kessler has filled in admirably for the injured QBs ahead of him on the depth chart this season.

Best of the Rest

Josh Shaw, CB, Bengals - 5 tackles (3 solo)

Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars - 4 receptions, 28 yards

Su'a Cravens, S/LB, Redskins - 3 tackles (2 solo), including 1 TFL

Leonard Williams, DE, Jets - 2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL

Robert Woods, WR, Bills - 7 receptions, team-high 89 yards

Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB, Bills - 2 tackles, including 1 TFL

Javorius "Buck" Allen - 3 carries, 13 yards (first game of the season)

Malcolm Smith, LB, Raiders - 6 tackles (all solo)

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals - 23/36, 288 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

T.J. McDonald, S, Rams - 1 tackle, 1 INT, 2 passes defensed

Devon Kennard, LB, Giants - 4 total tackles, including 1 TFL

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