Trojans Hit Bay Area For MPSF Battles with Gaels and Bears
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April 2, 2014
LOS ANGELES - The Women of Troy (5-4, 3-0 MPSF) look to extend on a pair of consecutive wins and keep an unblemished conference record as they head to Northern California for games at Saint Mary's College (0-7, 0-5) and California (2-6, 1-2) this weekend. The Trojans and the Gaels will draw at 4 p.m. PT on Friday, April 4, in Moraga, Calif., before USC and Cal take the field on Sunday, April 6, at 1 p.m.
The Trojans are in the midst of playing five straight road games since opening the year with seven out of eight at home. USC is 1-1 on the road with a 16-6 win at Fresno State (March 28) and a 14-6 loss at ninth-ranked Massachusetts (March 22). Last year, the Women of Troy produced a 3-1 record in conference road games with wins at UC Davis, Oregon, and San Diego State.
A win in USC's next game would help the Trojans match a season and program-long winning streak of three. The Women of Troy also won three straight between March 9-17 this season with victories against LIU Brooklyn, UC Davis, and Columbia.
The Trojans have been solid at possessing the ball this season and rank second in the league with just 12.44 turnovers per game. USC also commits the fewest fouls of any team in the MPSF (18.89 fpg). The team has out-shot opponents in five games (225 to 173 overall) and produced four wins in those five contests.
Sophomore Caroline de Lyra leads the team with 22 points on 12 goals and 10 assists. A trio of freshmen follows de Lyra as Alex Moore holds team-high honors with 16 goals (18 points). Michaela Michael has 13 goals (17 points) and is second on the team with 20 draw controls while Annie Ruland has 12 goals (14 points). The Trojans have been without sophomore Caroline Cordrey for the last four contests due to an injury. Cordrey was last year's second-leading goal scorer with 43 goals.
In the center circle, sophomore Amanda Johansen leads the team with 27 draw controls and has also picked up 14 ground balls to rank second on the squad. Johansen has scored nine goals and has three assists this season. Sophomore goalie Liz Shaeffer leads the league with 2.89 ground balls per game and has 26 to top all Trojans. She has won five games and holds a 10.00 goals-against average.
Sophomore defender Courtney Tarleton leads the team with 11 caused turnovers and has 13 ground balls while freshman Nina Kelty has 11 ground balls to go with four caused turnovers. Senior Elizabeth Eddy has 10 ground balls on the season.
TRACK 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.
SCOUTING REPORT: SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE (0-7, 0-5 MPSF) has not won a game since April 17, 2013, when the Gaels defeated Fresno State, 15-11, in Moraga, Calif. SMC averages 7.29 goals per game (9th in the MPSF) and has scored five or fewer goals in each of its last three games. The Gaels lead the league in caused turnovers with 12.00 ctpg and have a pair of players that have each caused five in single-game performances: Molly Kuptz and Megan Zummo. Kuptz also holds leads the team with 15 ground balls and had nine in a single game against Marist. Allie DeBruhl is the Gaels' leading scorer with 15 goals while Jaclyn Biggers has 12. In the center circle, Rachel Minarovich has 40 draw controls and recently moved into the MPSF's top-five all-time with over 160 in her career.
SCOUTING REPORT: CALIFORNIA (2-6, 1-2 MPSF) has dropped four games in a row since it beat Siena, 16-6, on March 12. The Golden Bears fell, 19-11, to No. 18 Towson and scored seven goals or fewer in three road games last week. Cal is second in the league with 13.38 draw controls per contest. Bella Huther ranks third in the MPSF with 2.62 goals per game and leads the Bears with 21 goals this season. Gaby Christman leads the league with 2.12 caused turnovers per outing (17 this season) and is the Bears' leader with 29 draw controls and 16 ground balls. Christman also gets it done on the offensive end with 17 goals this season. Paige Gasparino and Amelia Burke each have 14 goals for Cal.
LAST TIME OUT: The Trojans faced a San Diego State squad in a midweek bout at McAlister Field and came away with a 13-9 victory. The Aztecs were previously undefeated in MPSF games but couldn't overcome a big performance by Caroline de Lyra who had four goals and two assists, to go with two ground balls on the day. USC out-shot SDSU, 29-14, including a 16-4 first-half edge, and picked up 24 ground balls to the Aztecs' 15. Two days later, the Trojans hit the road for their first league contest away from home and knocked off Fresno State, 16-6. USC built an 11-0 lead before the Bulldogs got on the board in the final 90 seconds of the first half. 10 different Trojans scored in a balanced offensive attack with six players scoring two goals each. Freshmen Drew Jackson (6) and Kate Pederson (5) broke out to nab 11 of USC's draw controls.
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 in her career. 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 leads the Trojans with 11 caused turnovers this season and is third on the squad with 13 ground balls. She 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 in 2013.
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.