Sept. 8, 1997
USC Athletics Week in Review / Preview
Sport Record Conf. Record Nat'l Rank Last Week Women's Cross Country -- -- -- fourth at Jammin' Invitational Football 0-1 0-0 23rd (AP) lost to Florida State, 14-7 Women's Soccer 3-1 0-0 -- def. Pepperdine, 2-0 def. UC Santa Barbara, 3-1 Women's Volleyball 5-0 0-0 10th (AVCA) def. Villanova, 3-0 def. Colorado, 3-2 Men's Water Polo 0-0 0-0 2nd (AWPCA) none
Women's Cross Country
Sophomore Kristie Johnston was USC's top finisher at the Jammin' Invitational Cross Country Meet in Brea on Saturday, placing sixth in a time of 18:02. As a team, USC placed fifth overall, fourth among universities. Sophomore Grazyna Penc was 11th in 18:17 and junior Tina Kefalas was 28th in 19:20.
Despite being a heavy underdog and breaking in a new quarterback, USC nearly upset No. 5 Florida State, falling 14-7 after allowing a fourth-quarter touchdown in the season opener at the Coliseum. Sophomore QB John Fox was 18-of-32 for 129 yards and ran for USC's only score in the second quarter. Florida State went on a nine-play, 97-yard drive early in the fourth quarter to score the game-winning touchdown. Sophomore linebacker Chris Claiborne had eight tackles, including two sacks.
Junior midfielder Courtney Barham had a big weekend in leading USC to two wins. She scored a goal and an assist as the Women of Troy shut out Pepperdine, 2-0, on the road on Friday. She assisted on sophomore forward Kaylee Whitfield's goal in the 55th minute and scored her own in the 76th minute. Junior goalkeeper Karin Puccinelli earned the shutout and made three saves.
Barham then scored USC's first two goals of a 3-1 win over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday (Sept. 7) at the Coliseum in the home opener. Whitfield scored the third goal. Senior goalkeeper Laura Badagliacco got the win, making four saves.
"We need to keep working on finishing our opportunities and finishing teams off," USC Coach Jim Millinder said. "We just weren't firing on all cylinders against UC Santa Barbara. We lost to Fresno State and San Diego State last year so I don't have to remind the players how important this week's games are."
USC opened its home season with a pair of matches against Villanova and Colorado. Both were wins but the similarities ended there. The Women of Troy dominated Villanova, 15-8, 15-2, 15-2, at the North Gym on Friday. Junior outside hitter Jennifer Kessy had a match-high 14 kills.
On Sunday, No. 22 Colorado took USC to five games in a grueling affair that the Women of Troy won, 13-15, 15-12, 8-15, 15-5, 15-13. Junior middle blocker Jasmina Marinkovic had a season-high 22 kills and three others had at least 11.
"We beat Colorado because we were fit and physical and because we played with a lot of heart," USC Coach Lisa Love said. "We had some trouble getting into a good offensive rhythm all afternoon. But what we didn't do well in some areas, we did well in others. The longer the match got, the better we got."
Athletes of the Week
Courtney Barham, Women's Soccer
Kristie Johnston, Women's Cross Country
Jennifer Kessy, Women's Volleyball