USC Lacrosse Breaks Seal on New Era in Women's Athletics
Feb. 9, 2013
LOS ANGELES - In a history-making moment, the USC women's lacrosse team broke the seal on a new era in Trojan athletics on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the venerable Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Women of Troy and top-ranked two-time defending NCAA champion Northwestern faced off in the first-ever lacrosse game to take place in the Coliseum since it was built in 1923.
In front of a crowd of 2,890 spectators, the Trojans took the field for their first competition since Athletic Director Pat Haden announced that lacrosse would become USC's 21st intercollegiate sport on Nov. 18, 2010.
"It was really exciting to get this first game," said head coach Lindsey Munday. "You can never replicate that. These 26 players will go down in history. We did some nice things, today, but we have a lot to work on. I'm happy we competed. At the end of the day, we improved in the second half."
Up against a tough challenge, USC (0-1) fought hard against the seasoned Wildcats (2-0) but finished on the short end of an 18-5 result. Four different Trojans scored led by freshman midfielder Amanda Johansen who had two goals on three shots in the game. Johansen also collected two of USC's three draw controls.
"It was definitely the coolest day in my life," said Johansen. "We're so thankful for what USC has done for us. It's special when you walk around campus and people cheer for us. It's great to be able to show California what lacrosse is all about."
Three more freshmen contributed goals for the Trojans including midfielder Haleigh Dalmass, midfielder Paige Bonomi, and attacker Caroline de Lyra who faced her older sister Alexa de Lyra in her first collegiate game. Alexa is a senior attacker for the Wildcats. Freshman defender Courtney Tarleton led the Trojans with four ground balls.
The veteran Wildcats out-shot the Trojans, 47-9, in the game, but heady play by USC freshman goalie Liz Shaeffer made things tough for NU. Shaeffer posted an incredible 18 saves (10 in the first half and eight more in the second) to come through with a .500 save percentage.
USC held Northwestern scoreless for nearly four minutes before the Wildcats got on the board with a free-position goal from Taylor Thornton. Thornton finished with two goals on the day. Six minutes into the game, the Trojans took the program's first shot. Freshman attacker Caroline Cordrey etched her name into the record books as her shot from the left side of the goal went wide.
Though the Wildcats were a woman down, Ali Cassera found the back of the net for a short-handed goal that put NU up, 3-0. The Cats went up by four goals when Erin Fitzgerald scored unassisted.
With 17:44 remaining in the first half, de Lyra flipped a pass from behind the NU goal to a cutting Johansen who put one past the Wildcat goalie to notch USC's first-ever goal. Northwestern was unrelenting as it went up by eight goals, 9-1, on a free-position shot put in by Kaleigh Craig. With a little over two minutes left in the half, Johansen found Bonomi open for a shot to give the Trojans a second point. Northwestern scored once more to head into the break with a commanding 11-2 lead in the game.
Northwestern scored the first goal of the second half, but Johansen claimed the first USC draw control of the game at 27:10 remaining. Just eight seconds later, Johansen was celebrating her second goal as she carried the ball all the way to the eight-meter fan and blasted a shot into the net.
De Lyra collected her second assist of the night when she dropped a pass off for Dalmass whose goal made the score 14-4. Northwestern continued to press and went up, 18-4, before de Lyra got her own shot at the net and made good on an unassisted goal to close the books on an 18-5 final.
The Trojans won't have much time to rest as they prepare to face No. 14 Massachusetts (0-1) in a 1 p.m. PT game on Sunday (Feb. 10) at McAlister Field. Live scoring and streaming video links for the game will be available at www.USCTrojans.com.