Trojans Drop Overtime Heartbreaker to No. 5 Wildcats|
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Feb. 7, 2015
LOS ANGELES - The USC women's lacrosse team (0-1) had No. 5 Northwestern (1-0) on the ropes with a big 7-0 lead to open the 2015 season, and led the game for all but the final 37 seconds of regulation before the Wildcats completed the gutty comeback for a 12-11 overtime victory at the LA Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, Feb. 7. The Women of Troy pitched a shutout for the first 26:31 of the game; the third-longest length of time that USC has held an opponent scoreless in a game.
Junior attacker Caroline de Lyra had the hot hand for the Trojans during that opening stretch run. She had two of the seven goals and finished with four and an assist for five points. USC was six-for-six on shots before it registered the day's first miss. Junior midfielder Amanda Johansen tallied two goals and picked up six draw controls and a ground ball.
In the center circle, sophomore Michaela Michael came away with a game-high seven draw controls to go with a pair of assists. Junior defender Courtney Tarleton had two caused turnovers with a ground ball and a draw control. On defense, senior Elizabeth Eddy racked up three ground balls and three caused turnovers. Sophomore Nina Kelty had once of each. Freshman goalie Gussie Johns took the loss, but came up with six saves, five ground balls, and a caused turnover.
In all, seven different Trojans scored goals including de Lyra and Johansen. Kaila Sommi, Kylie Drexel, Cynthia Del Core, Caroline Cordrey, and Shannon Nugent each found the back of the Northwestern goal. Drexel added a pair of assists while Del Core had the other.
For Northwestern, Kara Mupo took 10 shots and scored five, including two from the eight-meter arc. Freshman Selena Lasota finished with four goals, including the game winner, and a pair of assists to go with two draw controls. Shelby Fredericks scored two goals and Christina Esposito came off the bench to score one. Lauren Murray had four draw controls for the `Cats and Bridget Bianco came up with three saves for the win.
USC wasted no time announcing its arrival and punched the Wildcats in the mouth with a quick strike at 28:19 of the first half when Sommi scored on a free-position shot. Nugent scored off the assist from Del Core before Cordrey followed suit on an eight-meter attempt to give the Trojans a 3-0 lead just over 10 minutes into the game. De Lyra took a pass from freshman midfielder Lydia Sutton to score and then Johansen and de Lyra went back-to-back on free-position shots to put USC up, 6-0, on just six shots. Drexel got the assist when she found a cutting Del Core for the goal and a 7-0 lead with 7:06 before halftime.
Mupo and Lasota stemmed the tide for the Wildcats and scored consecutive goals at 3:29 and 2:39 to cut USC's lead to five. With just 35 seconds until halftime, Fredericks pulled Northwestern within four and gave the `Cats a fighting chance heading into the break facing a 7-3 deficit.
The Trojans came out strong in the second half and got goals from Drexel and de Lyra to hold a 9-3 lead at the 25:23 mark, but Lasota scored on a free-position attempt and then went to goal unassisted to bring her team within four at 9-5. Mupo put one past Johns to trim the lead to three, 9-6, at 17:15. USC got one more goal from de Lyra, before Esposito and Mupo scored back-to-back goals to pull within two goals at 10-8.
Johansen had USC's final goal with 9:35 left in the game and boosted the Trojans to an 11-8 lead. Turnovers hurt USC down the stretch as Northwestern fought its way to a one-goal deficit at 2:05 when Fredericks scored on a free-position attempt. On the next Wildcat possession, Mupo scored unassisted to tie the score at 11 with just 35 seconds left on the clock. The Trojans couldn't score before time expired and the teams went to overtime. NU's Lasota scored just 53 seconds into overtime to put the Wildcats up, 12-11, and despite USC's success in the draw circle, Northwestern was able to regain possession and ran the clock out for the victory.
The Trojans have nearly two weeks off before their next games, but will head to the East Coast for matchups with No. 18 Stony Brook (Feb. 20) and Marist (Feb. 22). For more information on the USC women's lacrosse team, please visit USCTrojans.com. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow the team on Instagram and Twitter @USCTrojansLax.