Trojans Face No. 7 Boston College at McAlister Field
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March 5, 2014
LOS ANGELES - The Women of Troy will play the second of six straight home games to open the season when USC hosts No. 7 Boston College (4-1) at McAlister Field on Thursday, March 6, at 3 p.m. PT. The Trojans dropped their season opener to Marist, 12-10, on Cromwell Field at Loker Track Stadium after the game was moved due to inclement field and weather conditions.
USC faced four ranked opponents in its inaugural season and struggled against each of them. A win over the Eagles would be the Trojans' first over a ranked team. USC will have two days between matches before LIU Brooklyn comes to visit for a Sunday matinee (1 p.m. PT) on March 9. The Trojans defeated the Blackbirds, 23-8, in Brooklyn, N.Y., last season.
The Trojans exceeded expectations in their first year as a member of the MPSF. Picked to finish seventh, USC completed year one with a 5-3 mark in league games to claim the fourth and final spot in the federation's postseason tournament.
Though everyone is a year older, the Women of Troy are still a squad dominated by youth. The Trojans welcomed 13 recruits to campus in the fall; a class touted as the 10th-ranked group by InsideLacrosse.
USC brings back a solid core of experience led by 2013 MPSF Rookie of the Year Amanda Johansen who set new single game (13) and single season (100) conference records for draw controls as a freshman. Johansen's strength in the midfield is matched in the backfield by sophomore defender Courtney Tarleton who joined with Johansen for All-MPSF first team honors. Tarleton was among the league's leaders for caused turnovers (32) and ground balls (40) as a freshman. On the attack, second-team All-MPSF attacker Caroline de Lyra returns for the Trojans after leading the team in points (93) on 51 goals and 42 assists.
In the goal, USC looks to sophomore goaltender Liz Shaeffer who put up 133 saves as a freshman (.393) and grabbed 24 ground balls. The Trojans will likely look for immediate contributions from its freshman class including attacker Kylie Drexel, midfielders Alex Moore, Michael Michael, and Danielle Doherty, as well as defender Nina Kelty.
LAST TIME OUT: Despite facing a last-minute venue change and inclement weather conditions, the Trojans came out of the gates firing and scored the first two goals against Marist. The Red Foxes had fight in them as they came back to tie the score, five-all, at halftime. USC had a balanced attack with four players scoring two goals apiece, and out-shot Marist, 28-22, but the Foxes were able to stave off the Trojans for a 12-10 win. USC also had more ground balls, 16-13, and fewer turnovers, but was outdone in the draw circle as Marist shined with a 15-8 advantage. Trojans fought to within two goals at 11-9 before one more goal by the Foxes put the game out of reach in the waning minutes of regulation.
SCOUTING BOSTON COLLEGE: Seventh-ranked Boston College (4-1) is coming off an impressive 15-3 road victory over Connecticut and dropped its only game to No. 2 Syracuse by a two-goal margin, 11-9, on Feb. 26. The Eagles earned a 15-10 win over an 11th-ranked Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., to open the season (Feb. 15) and also dominated New Hampshire, 17-8. Junior attacker Covie Stanwick leads the team with 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists). Junior midfielder Mikaela Rix tops all Eagles with 17 goals but is effective all over the field with nine ground balls (second on the team) and 13 draw controls (tied for first on the team). Senior defender Claire Blohm leads the team with 10 ground balls and has also nabbed eight draw controls. She paces the Eagles with five caused turnovers this season. Sophomore midfielder Sarah Manelly has scored 11 goals to go with six ground balls, five draw controls, and four caused turnovers. In goal, junior Emily Mata has produced 20 saves (.339 save percentage) to go with eight ground balls and holds a 10.04 goals-against average. This is the first meeting between USC and Boston College. Eagles head coach Acacia Walker matched a program record as she guided BC to 12 wins in her first year (2013). She was an assistant coach at Northwestern (2005-08) during USC head coach Lindsey Munday's junior and senior seasons as a player and served alongside Munday as co-assistant coaches in 2007-08.
KEEP TRACK OF THE TROJANS: Fans of USC women's lacrosse can follow the Trojans on Twitter. For a behind-the-scenes look at the program, scores, and news updates, follow @USCTrojansLax. All of USC's home games at McAlister Field will be webcast on USCTrojans.com via the Pac-12 Networks web portal.
IN CONTROL: Sophomore midfielder Amanda Johansen set a new MPSF single-game record with her 13 draw controls in a 19-1 win over Fresno State on April 20, 2013. She was just two shy of tying the NCAA mark of 15 held by Allie Emala of Virginia Tech (March 14, 2009). Johansen has reached double-digit draw controls in a single game twice. She had 10 against Presbyterian (Feb. 15). She later set a new single-season mark with 100 at the close of 2013.
WELL GROUNDED: Sophomore defender Courtney Tarleton was a first-team All-MPSF selection as a freshman when she ranked second in the league for ground balls (40, 2.22 gbpg) and caused turnovers (32, 1.78 ctpg). Tarleton was also nationally ranked at 21st for caused turnovers.
ROCKIN' ROOKIES: USC's freshman class was rated the 10th-best class by Inside Lacrosse. From coast to coast, the incoming Women of Troy represent four different states. The Trojans welcome four freshmen, each, from New Jersey and California, three from New York, and a pair from Georgia. Among USC's recruits is the nation's 24th-rated prospect: midfielder Alex Moore (Millstone Township, N.J./Allentown HS). The Trojans also landed three players who were named to the Inside Lacrosse watch list including midfielder Michaela Michael (Hillsborough, Calif./Menlo School), midfielder Shannon Nugent (Medford, N.J./Shawnee HS), and attacker Annie Ruland (Milton, Ga./Milton HS). USC's incoming class includes state champions, all-time record holders, team captains, all-league, all-conference, all-state selections, and most stunningly 24 US Lacrosse First Team All-America selections.
STARS AND STRIPES: Head coach Lindsey Munday and assistant coach Devon Wills were each members of the U.S. women's national team that won a record seventh world title at the 2013 FIL World Cup in Oshawa, Ontario. Both players were members of the 2009 squad that also won the cup. Munday served as the team captain in 2013.
DOUBLE AGENT: Senior midfield Elizabeth Eddy is also a four-time letterwinner on USC's women's soccer team. The Trojans' leading scorer in 2013, she was selected on Jan. 17 by Sky Blue FC in the 2014 National Women's Soccer League draft as the 33rd overall pick. Eddy had six goals in her senior season and finished her soccer career with 16 goals and nine assists. She started 69 games out of her 76 appearances and scored three game-winning goals. She stands at No. 10 all-time in career goals scored, and earned All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention, 2010 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team, and 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Week. Eddy's father Park Eddy played water polo for USC and was a member of the U.S. national team. She is also the great granddaughter of Arnold Eddy, a head administrator for USC athletics in the 1930's and 40's.
ANCHORS AWEIGH: Sophomore midfielder Jacky Hennegan aspires to become an engineer in the U.S. Navy and is currently an active member of USC's NROTC program.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Sophomore goalie Liz Shaeffer has her eyes set on one day becoming an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She is currently majoring in sociology and is also an avid fan of television crime dramas.
TONGUE TWISTER PARTY: Senior midfield Ceilidh Meagher's name might strike fear (or confusion) into most people's hearts when it comes to pronouncing it. It's really not as difficult as it looks, though. Ceilidh is Gaelic for "party" and is pronounced "kay-lee". Her last name is one syllable, pronounced "marr".
LEGGY MY EGGY: Sophomore midfield Alexandra Plastaras acquired a unique nickname when she was a baby. Born to a father with Greek roots, and a Korean mother, she was affectionately called Eggy by her mother. Eggy (sometimes spelled "eggi") means "baby" in Korean.
TWIN KEYS: The USC roster has a pair of twins on it, but you would never be able to tell by looking. Glade and Shannon Nugent were born together on Dec. 21, 1994, in Philadelphia, Pa., to Charles and Connie Nugent. The two Women of Troy are fraternal twins. The pair of freshmen from Shawnee HS (Medford, N.J.) are pieces of USC's top 10 recruiting class of 2013.
LAXIN' FOR CHANGE: Assistant coach Hilary Bowen is the Women's Program Representative for an organization called Fields of Growth International that aims to harness the passion of the lacrosse community into positive social impact through global leadership development, service, and by growing the game. In the summer of 2012, Bowen joined the organization in Uganda for a special summer mission. Visit her blog Laxin4Change.blogspot.com to learn more about her, and the organization's mission.
BEACH BUMS: The USC coaching staff has truly soaked up all that is Southern California life. Strap on your rollerblades or hop on your bike and you might just run into them on The Strand (a bike path that runs along LA's trio of South Bay beach cities). Head coach Lindsey Munday lives in Manhattan Beach, assistant coach Devon Wills is just down the street in Hermosa Beach, while assistant coach Hilary Bowen and director of operations Regan Bosch are just a stone's throw away in Redondo Beach.