USC Heads North to Face Aggies and Cardinal|
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April 16, 2015
LOS ANGELES - The USC women's lacrosse team (10-3, 6-0 MPSF) must complete its regular-season with three straight road games and begins this weekend in Northern California for matchups with UC Davis (3-10, 2-3) and No. 15 Stanford (9-2, 5-0). The Women of Troy secured a spot in the MPSF tournament with their last win, and set a new program record with the team's 10th victory of the season, but new challenges await as the Trojans close the regular season.
USC will face the Aggies in a 4 p.m. PT game on Friday (April 17) at Aggie Stadium in Davis, Calif. The game will be streamed live on AggieTV (YouTube.com/asucd). Despite its spot in the standings, UC Davis showed that it can score in bunches with a five-goal outburst to win an overtime game against California last week. The Trojans then head to the South Bay for a head-to-head with the Cardinal at Cagan Stadium on Sunday (April 19) at 3 p.m. The USC-Stanford game will be carried live on the Pac-12 Networks with Jason Knapp and Kara Lentz on the call. With all teams jockeying for playoff seeding position, the Trojans will have more than just the game on the line when they meet on The Farm.
The Trojans carry a three-game winning streak into the weekend and are off to their best start in league games in three seasons. USC has defeated UC Davis in each of the teams' first two meetings. The Women of Troy lost to Stanford in their inaugural season, but shocked a 13th-ranked Cardinal squad in an 11-10 win on April 20, 2014, at the LA Memorial Coliseum.
In six MPSF games, USC has outscored its opponents, 96-42, and holds a dominant 93-56 edge in the center circle. The Trojans have benefited from a stingy defense that has disrupted opponents in the transition game to the tune of a 40-of-72 clearance rate (.556). In fact, USC is credited with having caused 67 of its MPSF opponents' 89 turnovers.
The Trojans' offense is led by junior attacker Caroline de Lyra, who has 54 points (27g, 27a). De Lyra ranks first in points (4.15 ppg) in the MPSF and is second for assists (2.08 apg). Sophomore attacker Michaela Michael is the MPSF draw control leader with 80 (6.15 dcpg) and has 39 goals and eight assists this season. Michael leads the league with 3.00 goals per game. Junior midfielder Amanda Johansen has 31 goals with eight assists and 41 draw controls. Attacker Kylie Drexel has produced 28 points (17g, 11a) in a breakout sophomore season. Defensively, junior Courtney Tarleton leads the Trojan back line with 14 caused turnovers and has 18 ground balls. Freshman goalie Gussie Johns tops all Trojans with 33 ground balls and has produced 51 saves (.354) with a 7.69 goals-against average that leads the MPSF and ranks 13th in the country.
SCOUTING UC DAVIS (3-10, 2-3 MPSF): was 1-9 before the Aggies won two of their last three games. UC Davis claimed road victories over Fresno State (11-6) and California (13-8) before dropping a 10-7 decision to Oregon at home. Elizabeth Landry leads the Aggies with 45 points (36g, 9a) and ranks third in the MPSF in goals (2.77 gpg). Landry shoots 6.38 shots per game to lead the league and is second in draw controls with 4.92 dcpg. Kai Murphy (.449) is third in the MPSF for save percentage while Allie Lehner is third in caused turnovers (1.38 ctpg) and fifth for ground balls (2.23 gbpg). Melissa Kellan has 34 points for the Aggies (26g, 8a).
SCOUTING STANFORD (9-2, 5-0 MPSF): suffered its two losses in non-conference matchups with Cornell and Penn State. The Cardinal sandwiched those two losses with four-game winning streaks and enter the weekend coming off two wins over Oregon and Saint Mary's. Stanford leads the league in points (22.45 ppg), goals (15.64 gpg), assists (6.82 apg), and draw controls (15.82 dcpg). 10 Cardinal players have scored at least 10 goals this season led by Lucy Dikeou (23g, 8a, 31p). Allie Dacar has 18 ground balls and a .345 save percentage (10.53 gaa). Hannah Farr is second on the team with 27 points (18g, 9a).
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. The Women of Troy appear on three Pac-12 Networks live broadcasts this spring. USC's non-televised home games at McAlister Field were webcast on the USCTrojans.com Pac-12 Networks portal.
LAST TIME OUT: The Trojans used a 5-0 scoring run to close out a 12-9 win over Colorado and then made waves by upending conference champion Denver in a 16-4 rout. USC got a career-high six goals from Michaela Michael in its win over the Buffaloes and then saw four players record hat tricks (Michael, Amanda Johansen, Caroline Cordrey, and Kylie Drexel) in the victory over the Pioneers. The Trojans caused 19 of Colorado's 21 turnovers and picked up a season-high 25 ground balls. After a 5-4 edge in draw controls in their first half with Denver, the Women of Troy broke out to win the center circle, 11-2, in the second half and finish with a dominant 16-6 performance. The two notched a 6-0 MPSF record for the Trojans; a program best. USC also logged its 10th win of the season overall, which is also a school record.
MPSF WEEKLY HONORS: The MPSF has honored Trojans for six weekly awards this season. As USC's second consecutive offensive player of the week, sophomore Michaela Michael received her first weekly honor (April 13) since she was named Rookie of the Week once in 2014. Junior midfielder Amanda Johansen (April 6) also earned the award for offense, while 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.