Trojans Stun Stanford to Snap Three-Game Skid
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April 20, 2014
LOS ANGELES - Under the broad shoulders of the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the USC women's lacrosse team stunned 13th-ranked conference rival Stanford in an 11-10 victory on Easter Sunday, April 20, to snap a three-game losing streak and finish with a 6-3 record in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games. The win, which was broadcast to a live national audience on the Pac-12 Networks, is the Trojans' first-ever victory over a ranked opponent.
The Women of Troy celebrated Ceilidh Meagher and their first-ever senior graduating class in pre-game ceremonies. Meagher started her final home game and collected a caused turnover and ground ball.
After drawing even in the first half with nine shots apiece, the Cardinal came out firing and out-shot the Trojans, 18-7, in the second half but USC goalie Liz Shaeffer turned away eight shots including six in the second half to preserve the win.
As they have much of the season, the Trojans leaned on their freshman class. Attacker Annie Ruland shared game-high honors with three goals on her four shots. Midfielder Alex Moore also scored a hat trick with three goals and an assist. Two of Moore's goals came on eight-meter shots. Fellow frosh midfielder Michaela Michael scored a pair of goals and had a caused turnover.
Sophomore attacker Caroline de Lyra scored a pair of goals while sophomore midfielder Amanda Johansen had two assists to go with a goal and a game-high four draw controls. Defensively, Shaeffer led all players with four ground balls. Sophomore defender Courtney Tarleton had three caused turnovers and two ground balls.
For Stanford, three players scored two goals apiece including Rachel Ozer, Alex Poplawski, and Lucy Dikeou. Ozer also had one of three Cardinal assists. Mackenzie Tesei had three draw controls and scored a goal while Kyle Fraser came off the bench to score a goal, dish out an assist, pick up a ground ball, and cause a turnover. The Cardinal's losing goalie of record was Lyndsey Munoz who played 35 minutes and gave up eight goals.
Freshman Gabby McMahon set the Trojans off as she controlled the first draw of the game. USC's set offense got Johansen the open shot she needed and she buried it in the back of the Stanford net for a 1-0 lead at 28:12. Shaeffer broke up a Cardinal pass to start the Trojans on the break before Moore got to the line for a free-position shot and a goal for a 2-0 lead at 24:53. Stanford answered with an eight-meter goal by Ozer to get on the board at 17:37.
A USC clear took the Trojans to the offensive end of the field where de Lyra scored to get USC a 3-1 lead at 15:16 left in the first half. Stanford countered with a goal by Tesei to cut the lead to one at 3-2 before de Lyra scored again on another USC clear to put the Trojans up, 4-2, at 11:45. Johansen's draw control put USC on offense on the next possession but it was a Stanford foul and yellow card on Hannah Farr that gave Moore the eight-meter attempt. Instead of shooting, Moore dropped a pass in to Ruland who scored for a 5-2 lead.
It took just 17 seconds for Stanford to reply as Poplawski went down the field to score and pull the Cardinal within two at 5-3. Stanford claimed the next draw, but Shaeffer leapt to break up a pass and grabbed the ground ball to send the Trojans in the other direction. Michael dodged her way to goal and scored to put USC up by three goals, 6-3, at 5:32.
Stanford took advantage of a man-up opportunity to score with just 2:15 left in the first half and then put a goal past Shaffer from the eight-meter arc to get within one, 6-5, with 57 seconds left to halftime. Moore grabbed the next draw and set USC up on offense. A foul put Moore at the line with one second left on the clock, but her shot and goal were waved off by the referees and the Trojans headed to the break with a one-goal lead.
Stanford came out with a different mindset and carried the momentum of its two straight goals to complete a 4-0 run with goals by Poplawski and Ozer to get a 7-6 lead just two minutes into the second half. A second yellow card on Farr disqualified her from the game at 26:16. Up a player on offense, McMahon found Ruland on the left side of the net for the shot and goal to bring the Trojans back into a tie at seven-all with 25:53 left on the clock.
The Trojans grabbed the next draw and raced down the field to go up by one goal at 25:02 when Michael scored again. Shaffer saved a pair of free-position shots to keep the Trojans up for the next eight minutes before Dikeou scored on an assist by Ozer at 17:53 to bring the Cardinal an eight-all tie. The Trojans needed just 40 seconds to go up again as Moore scored her second free-position goal at 17:13 for a 9-8 USC lead.
The goals came fast as Stanford answered just 45 seconds later to equalize the score at nine-all as Dikeou's draw control turned into a Dikeou goal at 16:27 left in the game. Despite winning the next draw, the Trojans couldn't score as the Cardinal cleared the ball and went down the field. Shaeffer stopped another free-position shot but Fraser came up with a goal at 13:53 remaining to give the Cardinal a 10-9 lead.
Johansen came up with the next draw and went to work. The Trojans stalled on offense but came out of a timeout with a plan. Johansen hit an open Ruland for the assist and pulled USC even at 10-all. Freshman Kate Pederson came in and grabbed her second draw control of the game to put the Trojans on offense. Johansen ran the same play and hit an open Moore for the shot and goal to put USC up, 11-10, with 11:18 left to play.
Stanford had its chances but a stout Trojan defense and a pair of big saves from Shaffer including a huge save with 59 seconds left in the game preserved USC's one-goal lead and gave the Women of Troy the upset victory.
USC heads to Chicago and will face No. 5 Northwestern (9-5) in the first-ever lacrosse game to be played at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. The Trojans and Wildcats will draw at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, April 26, with the game set to be broadcast by Big Ten Network. USC then wraps up the regular season with a game at Marquette on Sunday, April 27, at 1 p.m. CT on Valley Fields in Milwaukee, Wis. For more information, please visit USCTrojans.com.