Trojans Close Home Schedule With Buffs and Pioneers|
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April 8, 2015
LOS ANGELES - With five games left on the regular-season schedule, the USC women's lacrosse team (8-3, 4-0 MPSF) looks to build some momentum as it pushes towards the MPSF tournament. The Women of Troy play the last two home games on their schedule this weekend and will host Colorado (6-4, 1-2) at McAlister Field on Friday, April 10, at 3 p.m. PT. The Trojans then take on defending league champion Denver (7-3, 2-1) at noon on Sunday, April 12, in a game that will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks with Mike Wolf and Kara Lentz on the call. USC will honor its senior class before the Denver game.
The Trojans are off to their best start in a short three-year history and recently logged a program-best seven-game winning streak. Despite having to play four of its last six games on the road, USC has the benefit of home field for a pair of pivotal games against the Buffaloes and Pioneers.
The Women of Troy can rewrite some history with victories this weekend. USC is 0-4 in games against Colorado and Denver. In 2013, the Trojans fell twice to the Pioneers: once at home, and once in Eugene, Ore., in the quarterfinals of the MPSF tournament. A trip to the Rocky Mountains yielded heartbreaking results in 2014 as the first-year Buffaloes won on a last-second shot in overtime to seal a 12-11 victory. Two days later, the Pioneers stalled to kill the clock on an 8-7 win. Prior to the trip, USC was 5-0 in MPSF games and endured a three-game losing streak before closing the conference season with a stunning win over Stanford.
In three MPSF home games, USC has outscored its opponents, 55-18, and holds a 54-24 edge in the center circle. The Trojans have defeated Fresno State (17-6), California (18-5), and Saint Mary's College (20-7) in league contests at McAlister Field. The Women of Troy have controlled the tempo against league foes to the tune of a 30.0 to 12.8 shots per game differential.
The Trojans' offense is led by junior attacker Caroline de Lyra, who has 45 points (23g, 22a). De Lyra ranks first in points (4.09 ppg) in the MPSF and is second for assists (2.00 apg). Sophomore attacker Michaela Michael is the MPSF draw control leader with 69 (6.27 dcpg) and has 30 goals and six assists this season. Junior midfielder Amanda Johansen was named MPSF Offensive Player of the Week and has 27 goals with six assists and 35 draw controls. Attacker Kylie Drexel has produced 25 points (14g, 11a) in a breakout sophomore season. Defensively, junior Courtney Tarleton leads a stingy Trojan backline with 12 caused turnovers and has 15 ground balls. Freshman goalie Gussie Johns tops all Trojans with 28 ground balls and has produced 44 saves (.352) with a 8.02 goals-against average that leads the MPSF and ranks 15th in the country.
TRACK THE TROJANS: Fans of USC women's lacrosse can follow the Trojans on Twitter and Instagram. For a behind-the-scenes look at the program, scores, and news updates, follow @USCTrojansLax. All of USC's non-televised home games at McAlister Field will be webcast on the USCTrojans.com Pac-12 Networks portal.
SCOUTING REPORT: COLORADO (6-4, 1-2 MPSF) has won four of its last six contests and is led by Johnna Fusco who is the MPSF goal-scoring leader (3.10 gpg). Fusco is also second on the team with 27 draw controls. Darby Kiernan has logged 30 points (24g, 6a) this season and has 24 draw controls with a team-high 19 ground balls. Kiernan ranks sixth in the league with 2.40 goals per game. Paige Soenksen ranks second in the MPSF in saves (8.60 spg) and save percentage (.486). Soenksen owns the only shutout in the MPSF this season: a 19-0 win over Presbyterian on March 2. The Buffaloes defeated USC, 12-11, in overtime in the teams' first meeting on April 11, 2014.
SCOUTING REPORT: DENVER (7-3, 2-1 MPSF) has won five of its last six games. The lone loss was a 14-7 decision to Stanford. The Pioneers are the league's defending regular-season and tournament champions. Denver relies heavily on senior goalie Hannah Hook who leads the league in ground balls (3.10 gbpg), saves (8.70 spg), and save percentage (.492). Jill Remenapp leads the Pioneers with 32 points (14g, 18a) and is one of seven players on the team with 15 or more ground balls. Kiki Boone has 23 draw controls and 19 points (16g, 3a). Denver leads USC, 3-0, in the all-time series with a pair of wins in 2013 and a narrow 8-7 victory in 2014.
LAST TIME OUT: The Trojans bounced back from a loss on the road to win, 13-11, at Oregon. The victory was significant as it was the Ducks who ended USC's season in 2014 with a 7-6 decision in the MPSF tournament quarterfinals. The Women of Troy got four goals each from attackers Michaela Michael and Cynthia Del Core. Amanda Johansen had three assists and scored a goal to go with five draw controls. In the goal, Gussie Johns turned away seven shots for saves and picked up a pair of ground balls. The Trojans improved to 4-0 in conference games.
MPSF WEEKLY HONORS: The MPSF has honored Trojans for five weekly awards this season. As the offensive player of the week, junior midfielder Amanda Johansen received her first weekly honor (April 6) since she was named MPSF Rookie of the Week three times in 2013. Junior attacker Caroline de Lyra and senior defender Elizabeth Eddy received offensive and defensive player of the week honors on Feb. 9. Sophomore attacker Kylie Drexel was named for the offensive award and was joined by freshman goalie Gussie Johns who took home Rookie of the Week honors on March 16.