USC Taps The Rockies For Games at Colorado and Denver
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April 9, 2014
LOS ANGELES - The Women of Troy (7-4, 5-0 MPSF) will take a four-game winning streak to the Rocky Mountains and put it to the test against first-year program Colorado (6-6, 3-2) and conference leader Denver (11-1, 5-0). The Trojans will face the Buffaloes at Kittredge Field in Boulder, Colo., on Friday, April 11, at 4 p.m. MT and then take on the Pioneers at Peter Barton Stadium on Sunday, April 13, at noon MT. Peter Barton Stadium will also play host to the MPSF conference tournament May 1-4.
The two games in the mountains will wrap a five-game road stretch of USC’s schedule. The Trojans are 6-1 in road contests with a 2-0 mark in the MPSF. Last weekend, USC knocked off California, 20-15, in Berkeley, Calif., to claim its first win over a league opponent that it hadn’t yet beaten. The Trojans enter a treacherous portion of their schedule with the powerhouse Pioneers on the docket followed by a still-undefeated Oregon squad at home and then an Easter Sunday league finale against perennial power Stanford.
USC’s game against the Buffaloes will be a Northwestern reunion of sorts. First-year CU head coach Ann Elliott was a teammate of USC head coach Lindsey Munday at NU from 2004-06 when the Wildcats won back-to-back titles (05-06). Elliott and Munday later served as assistant coaches at Northwestern. Two seniors on the 2009 squad that was coached by the pair were current USC assistant Hilary Bowen and CU assistant Hannah Nielson. Colorado’s other assistant coach Colleen Magarity was a sophomore at NU in 2009. In all, five out of six coaches on the sidelines will be former NU players and coaches.
The Trojans lead the MPSF with 13.82 draw controls per game with sophomore Amanda Johansen (35) and freshman Michaela Michael (30) claiming the lion’s share of those draws. Freshman Kate Pederson has 16 draw controls of her own, which has helped the Trojans to a 301-204 advantage in shots against opponents. USC ranks third in the conference for shots (27.36 spg), shots on goal (21.82 sogpg), and in shot percentage at .485. The Trojans are also third with 12.00 turnovers per game and commit the fewest fouls in the MPSF at 10th (18.64 fpg).
Sophomore Caroline de Lyra leads the team with 31 points on 18 goals and 13 assists. A trio of freshmen follows de Lyra as Alex Moore holds team-high honors with 20 goals (24 points). Michael has 17 goals (22 points) and Annie Ruland has 16 goals (20 points). USC has been without sophomore Caroline Cordrey for the last six contests due to an injury. Cordrey was last year’s second-leading goal scorer with 43 goals. Sophomore goalie Liz Shaeffer leads the league with 2.82 ground balls per game and has 31 to top all Trojans. Sophomore defender Courtney Tarleton leads the team with 11 caused turnovers and has 13 ground balls. Johansen has 15 ground balls while freshman Nina Kelty has 13.
SCOUTING COLORADO (6-6, 3-2 MPSF) is in its first year as a program. The Buffaloes are led by former Northwestern standout Ann Elliott with a pair of former Wildcats as assistants: Colleen Magarity and Hannah Nielsen. Colorado defeated Saint Mary’s College at home and picked up conference road wins at Fresno State and UC Davis. It dropped a 15-4 decision to Denver early in the season and is coming off a 13-5 road loss to Stanford. The Buffs are led by Johnna Fusco who has 38 points (26 goals, 12 assists) and Cali Castagnola who has 37 points (30 goals, 7 assists). Fusco also has 31 draw controls and 25 ground balls. Marie Moore has 41 draw controls and leads the way with 28 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers this season.
SCOUTING DENVER (11-1, 5-0 MPSF) is undefeated at home with a 6-0 record and has won nine straight games. The Pioneers were last defeated on March 1 by Louisville during a road trip to Kentucky. DU took out Stanford, 13-12, on April 4, and beat UC Davis, 9-6, on April 6, in their last two games. The Pioneers have won several close games despite their stellar record: three wins by a single goal, one win by two goals, and three wins by three goals. Jill Remenapp leads the team with 51 points as the master distributor with 36 assists. Meredith Harris tops all players with 38 goals while Rachel McKinnon has 30. Defensively, the Pioneers are led by goalie Hannah Hook who has 88 saves this 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.
LAST TIME OUT: The Trojans went to the Bay Area and returned home with a pair of victories to reach a program-best four-game winning steak. USC beat Saint Mary’s College, 18-4, to open the weekend. The Trojans out-shot the Gaels, 43-9, and held a 12-1 lead at halftime. Caroline de Lyra had two goals and three assists while Michaela Michael had two goals and led the team with three draw controls. 11 different Trojans scored against Saint Mary’s and seven players had at least two goals. USC used its momentum to run out to a 9-2 lead over California but needed to fight off the Bears who took a 12-11 lead in the second half to finish a 20-15 win. USC out-shot the Bears, 33-22, and out-drew them, 26-13. Michael had seven draw controls to go with two goals and an assist. Amanda Johansen picked up six draw controls and scored three goals against the Bears. De Lyra scored four goals to lead the team.
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 and now has 135 draw controls in her career.
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.