USC Returns to East Coast for Bouts with Bryant and Brown
March 18, 2013
LOS ANGELES - The USC women's lacrosse team (5-5, 2-1 MPSF) will make a return to the East Coast for a pair of games, this week. The Women of Troy face Bryant (2-3) in a Tuesday evening tilt in Smithfield, R.I., before a Friday-night battle against Brown (5-1) in Providence, R.I.
The last time the Trojans ventured east, they split games in the program's first-ever road trip. Overall, USC is 2-2 in road games with wins against UC Davis and LIU Brooklyn and losses to Princeton and 18th-ranked Stanford.
USC can build on a strong 12-9 win over Marquette and start another winning streak with a steady cross-country performance, this week. The Trojans will look to freshman attack Caroline de Lyra who leads the team in goals (33), assists (28), and points (61), this season. She is third in the nation in point per game (6.10 ppg) and ranks ninth in assists per contest (2.80 apg). De Lyra's 3.30 goals per game are also 16th in the country.
Besides de Lyra, the Trojans have three other players who have scored more than 20 goals, this season. Freshman midfield Amanda Johansen is second on the team with 32 points (25 goals, 7 assists) and leads the conference in draw controls (5.80 dcpg, eighth in the nation). Freshman midfield Paige Bonomi scored six goals in USC's win over Marquette and has 24, this season, which freshman attack Caroline Cordrey has 21 goals to her name.
On the defensive side of the field, freshman Courtney Tarleton leads the Trojans with 29 ground balls (2.90 gbpg, 2nd in MPSF), and 20 caused turnovers (2.00 ctpg, 3rd in MPSF), this season. Freshman defense Kelsey Dreyer is second on the team with 12 draw controls and ties for second on the squad with 18 ground balls. Freshman goalie Liz Shaeffer also has 18 ground balls, and has a .426 save percentage in the cage (86 saves, 12.09 gaa).
SCOUTING REPORT - BRYANT: The Bulldogs (2-3) seek to square their season record and win two games in a row for the first time, this year, when the Trojans visit Rhode Island. Bryant defeated Stetson, 13-6, last week, thanks to a strong first half in which the Bulldogs created a 7-0 lead. The Bulldogs' other win was a 15-12 victory against Siena on Feb. 19. Junior midfielders Lisa Vendel and Kimberley Sniffen lead their squad in points with 13 and 12, respectively. Sniffen has recorded 11 goals, this season, while Vendel leads the team with 11 draw controls and eight caused turnovers. Junior attack Haley Bloom has dished out four assists to lead the Bulldogs while junior goalie Brianna Watt has played all but seven minutes, this season, to hold a 10.87 goals-against average (10th in the nation) and a 46-percent save percentage. Watt leads the squad with 11 ground balls with Sniffen just a shade back with 10 ground balls.
SCOUTING REPORT - BROWN: The Bears (5-1) carry a two-game win streak into the week and dropped their only decision to a common opponent with USC: Princeton. Brown lost, 18-11, to the Tigers, on March 9, but has since recorded a 13-4 win over Holy Cross and a 16-7 win over Quinnipiac. Brown ranks third in the nation in draw controls with 15.17 per game. Junior attack Grace Healy is 11th in the country in draw controls with 4.67 per game. Sophomore goalie Kellie Roddy ranks 12th in the nation in goals per game at 8.02. Junior attack Bre Hudgins leads the team in goals (17), assists (6), and points (23). She has also collected 23 draw controls to rank just a shade behind Healy. Defensively, sophomore Abby Bunting holds team-high honors with 13 ground balls and is one of six players with four caused turnovers, this season.
WEEKEND RECAP: After their return from four consecutive road games, the Trojans won one and lost one on McAlister Field. A defensive affair with Temple left the score tied at four-all at halftime, but the Owls swooped in to claim to score eight goals in the second half and complete a 12-7 win. Freshman midfield Amanda Johansen scored three goals to lead the Trojan offense, but Temple out-shot USC, 25-15, and 15-7 in the second half to cap its victory. It didn't take long for the Trojans to bounce back as they took out fellow first-year program Marquette in a 12-9 win. It was the first time that USC won a game in which it trailed at halftime. Freshman midfield Paige Bonomi scored a career-best six goals and freshman attack Caroline de Lyra dished out six assists to buoy USC to victory. Johansen showed off her incredible skill set as she logged a goal, and an assist, and registered career-best numbers with four ground balls and three caused turnovers. Freshman defense Courtney Tarleton had three ground balls and caused five turnovers to help preserve the Trojan win.
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.
ROCKIN' ROOKIES: A pair of USC freshmen brought home Rookie of the Week honors, for the week of Feb. 25. Freshman attack Caroline de Lyra was named the WomensLax.com Rookie of the Week on the heels of an incredible nine-point performance against Saint Mary's College as she led the Trojans to their first-ever MPSF win. De Lyra recorded three goals and posted an astonishing six assists to help USC to a 17-8 win. Freshman midfield Amanda Johansen was just as instrumental as de Lyra in USC's win over the Gaels and was named the MPSF Rookie of the Week for her efforts. Johansen had three goals and an assist for four points and picked up a pair of ground balls. Most notably, Johansen was unstoppable in the center circle as she claimed nine draw controls. Both awards were the first-ever in USC program history. Johansen received MPSF Rookie of the Week honors for a second time for the week of March 4-10 after she nabbed six points with a game-high five goals and an assist in a 12-7 win over UC Davis.
STARS AND STRIPES: Head coach Lindsey Munday and assistant coach Devon Wills are each current members of the U.S. women's national team that is set to compete in Oshawa, Ontario, for the 2013 FIL World Cup. Both players were members of the 2009 squad that won the World Cup. This time, Munday will also assume duties as the team captain when Team USA defends its world title.
STRONG START: The Trojans opened the program's first season against a tall order as they faced a pair of perennially ranked teams including top-ranked two-time defending NCAA champion Northwestern. NU went 21-2 in 2012 as it captured its seventh national crown in eight years. USC had just one night's rest before it hosted a 14th-ranked Massachusetts squad that was 19-2 overall in 2012. The Trojans fell, 18-5, against the Wildcats, and fought hard but were turned away, 18-9, by the Minutewomen.
CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS: USC's game against Oregon on Thursday, April 4, will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks. The Trojans and the Ducks are set to draw at center circle of Pape Field at 4:30 p.m. PT.
EAST MEETS WEST: USC's first-ever varsity lacrosse squad features 15 players that hail from the East Coast. Seven come from New York, six call New Jersey home, and two are from Connecticut and Virginia. The Trojans have six players from California, a pair from Washington, and one, each, from Oregon and Colorado. The only player from a Midwest state is Caitlin Campion who hails from Western Springs in Illinois.
WORK IT OUT: Freshman attack Katie Austin is the daughter of legendary fitness guru Denise Austin. The elder Austin is a well-known fitness instructor, author, columnist, and a former member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Katie's aunt is former U.S. Open tennis champion Tracy Austin.
DOUBLE AGENT: Junior midfield Elizabeth Eddy is also a three-time letterwinner on USC's women's soccer team. Eddy was second on the team in scoring as a freshman with five goals. She once scored three in a single game against Cal on Oct. 10, 2010. The soccer forward led the Trojans with four goals in 2011 and was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention. 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 who was a head administrator in the USC athletic department in the 1930's and 40's.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Freshman 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: Junior 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: Freshman 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.
SISTER SLEDGE: Freshman attack Caroline de Lyra got the rare opportunity to face her older sister Alexa in her first-ever collegiate lacrosse game. The elder de Lyra is a senior midfielder for Northwestern. Both sisters wear No. 25 on their backs and each guarded the other during the contest on Feb. 9. Caroline got on the board with an assist and a goal against the Wildcats.
SEVENTH HEAVEN: In a preseason poll of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's (MPSF) head coaches, the Women of Troy were selected to finish in seventh place in their inaugural season. USC received 24 points in the poll to finish ahead of Fresno State and Saint Mary's College. For the fourth straight season, the coaches selected Stanford to win the league title.
TOURNAMENT TIME: The Trojans will compete in the West Coast's premiere league for collegiate women's lacrosse, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The conference's top four regular-season finishers will converge upon Eugene, Ore., where Pape Field plays host to the 2013 MPSF Tournament hosted by the University of Oregon, May 3-5. Last year, the Ducks finished with a 7-0 mark and upended seven-time defending conference champ Stanford in the title match to earn the league's automatic berth into the NCAA championships.
FIELD OF DREAMS: To accommodate the national growth of the sport, the NCAA expanded the lacrosse tournament field from 16 teams to 26 teams in time for the 2013 championship. Now, all 13 conference champions will receive automatic bids while 13 more teams will earn at-large selections. The top eight teams will be seeded in the bracket and will host first- and second-round games. The top six seeded teams receive byes into the second round and serve as hosts for a neutral-site first-round game. The first-round winners then play at the top six seeded teams. Teams seeded seventh and eighth will also host, but will have to play a first-round game. The national quarterfinals are set for on-campus sites May 18 or 19, with the four winners advancing to the finals May 24-26.
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.