Trojans Close Home Schedule With Oregon and Stanford
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April 16, 2014
Game #15 | USC Senior Day
LOS ANGELES - It’s crunch time for the Women of Troy (7-6, 5-2 MPSF) who need to win one of two final home games to secure a spot in the MPSF tournament. The USC lacrosse team hosts Oregon (8-5, 4-1) at McAlister Field on Friday, April 18, at 4 p.m. PT and will complete regular-season home and league schedules with a contest against defending league champ Stanford (11-2, 5-1) at the LA Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, April 20, at 1 p.m. PT. Sunday’s game is also USC’s Senior Day. The Trojans will honor Ceilidh Meagher in pre-game ceremonies. The Trojan-Cardinal showdown will be carried live to a national audience by the Pac-12 Networks with Jason Knapp and Kara Lentz on the broadcast.
The Women of Troy opened their inaugural season in the Coliseum as hosts to then-defending NCAA champion Northwestern. The Trojans lost, 18-5, in the historic first-ever lacrosse game to be played in the venerable building. USC and Northwestern will make history again as the teams play the first-ever lacrosse game in Wrigley Field in Chicago on April 26.
The Trojans can guarantee themselves the fifth seed in the MPSF tournament with a win this weekend. USC was picked to finish third in a preseason poll of the league’s coaches. In 2013, in their inaugural season, the Women of Troy were selected to finish in seventh place but shocked prognosticators with a fourth-place finish on the final day of the regular season to claim a spot in the MPSF tournament.
USC hit a rough patch on its most recent set of road games. The Trojans had their four-game winning streak snapped in a last-second 12-11 loss to Colorado in Boulder, Colo., then couldn’t overcome the stall put in place by a 20th-ranked Denver as they fell, 8-7, on a snowy Denver Sunday. Despite the losses, USC is still in place to contend for a share of the regular-season title but will need help from other teams in the league.
Sophomore Caroline de Lyra leads the Trojans with 34 points this season on 21 goals and 13 assists. A trio of freshmen provide much of USCs firepower led by midfielder Alex Moore who has 25 goals and six assists. Annie Ruland has 19 goals and five assists while midfielder Michaela Michael has 20 goals and five assists. Michael is also second on the team with 35 draw controls. Sophomore midfielder Amanda Johansen tops all players with 40 draw controls and has contributed 16 goals this season to go with 17 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers.
Defensively, sophomore netminder Liz Shaeffer leads the team with 34 ground balls. In the field, sophomore Courtney Tarleton has 16 ground balls and a team-high 13 caused turnovers. Freshman defender Nina Kelty has 15 ground balls to go with eight caused turnovers. Senior Elizabeth Eddy also has 15 ground balls to go with four caused turnovers.
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.
SENIOR DAY: USC will hold its first-ever Senior Day Ceremonies when it faces conference rival Stanford in the LA Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, April 20. In just its second year as a varsity program, the Trojans will graduate one senior: Ceilidh Meagher. As a junior, Meagher appeared in started 11 and appeared in 17 of USC’s 18 games. She had two goals and an assist to go with eight ground balls, nine draw controls and five caused turnovers. This season, Meagher has appeared in five games and picked up an assist, three draw controls, and caused a turnover.
SCOUTING REPORT: OREGON (8-5, 4-1 MPSF) has won four of its last five games and lost only to a 12th-ranked Stanford team, 15-7, on April 11. The Ducks lead the league with 14.08 goals per game and have four players with 23 goals or more this season. Nikki Puszcz leads the team with 31 goals and 19 caused turnovers, and is second with 28 draw controls, and second with 22 ground balls. Oregon also leads the MPSF in ground balls (17.85 gbpg) thanks in part to goaltender Caroline Federighi who has 25. Federighi also tops all MPSF netminders with a 7.84 goals-against average. Carly O’Connell leads the way with 60 draw controls (4.62 dcpg, 2nd MPSF) and has 24 goals and 29 assists for 53 points. Shannon Propst leads the league with 60 points (4.62 ppg) on 24 goals and 36 assists.
SCOUTING REPORT: STANFORD (11-2, 5-1 MPSF) has won three straight conference games and last lost to MPSF leader Denver on April 4, 13-12. The Cardinal’s only other loss was a 16-15 overtime decision to Vanderbilt, but Stanford has also won a pair of one-goal games in overtime periods. The Cardinal is the defending MPSF tournament champion after taking out the Pioneers last season. Stanford ranks near the top in nearly every statistical category among MPSF teams. Hannah Farr has scored four game-winning goals and leads the Cardinal with 23 this season. Megan Lerner leads Stanford with 28 ground balls (2.33 gbpg, 3rd MPSF) and 17 caused turnovers. Goalie Lyndsey Munoz has 27 ground balls.
LAST TIME OUT: The Trojans had a four-game winning streak snapped in a visit to the Rocky Mountains. In a heartbreaking overtime finish, USC dropped a 12-11 decision to Colorado in Boulder, Colo. Alex Moore had three goals and an assist, Liz Shaeffer produced 14 saves, and Nina Kelty picked up a career-high four ground balls, but the Trojans couldn’t escape the Buffalo stampede as the first-year program fought their way to a big conference victory. In a low-scoring defensive affair, USC and Denver went into the half tied at four, but the Trojans took a 6-5 lead halfway through the second half before the Pioneers ripped off a big 3-0 run to claim an 8-6 advantage. The Trojans scored once more with under five minutes to play, but Denver implanted an effective stall to secure an 8-7 win in Mile High City amidst falling snow and rain. Moore and Michaela Michael each scored two while Amanda Johansen had three draw controls and caused three turnovers, but it wasn’t enough as the Pioneers won their 11th straight game.
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 140 draw controls in her career.
WELL GROUNDED: Sophomore defender Courtney Tarleton leads the Trojans with 13 caused turnovers this season and is second on the squad with 16 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.