Trojans Face SDSU with MPSF Tournament Berth on the Line
April 23, 2013
Follow @USCTrojansLax on Twitter
LOS ANGELES - It all comes down to this. This is for all the marbles. Winner takes all. Loser goes home. The USC women’s lacrosse team will face San Diego State in its season finale with a berth in the MPSF tournament on the line, this Saturday (April 27). A win will give the Women of Troy sole possession of fourth place in the conference standings and secure the final spot in the four-team league tourney where the champion receives an automatic bid into the NCAA championships.
Scheduled for a 7 p.m. start, the Trojan-Aztec clash will take place under the lights in USC’s second night game of the year. The Trojans’ only other night game was a 6 p.m. start against UC Davis (March 6). USC won the road contest, 12-7, over the Aggies. If the Women of Troy are to make a run at a postseason appearance, they will need to win back-to-back games for the first time since a three-game winning streak that lasted from Feb. 15 to March 1.
USC has four players who have scored at least 34 goals, this season, led by freshman attack Caroline de Lyra who has 48 to go with 40 assists and leads the team with 88 points. Freshman midfield Amanda Johansen secured an MPSF record 13 draw controls against Fresno State and holds team-high honors with 93, this season. Johansen ranks second for points (49) with 35 goals and 14 assists.
Freshman attack Paige Bonomi has scored 36 times while freshman attack Caroline Cordrey has 34. On defense, freshman Courtney Tarleton leads all players with 37 ground balls and 29 caused turnovers. Nine players have at least 10 ground balls on the year including freshman midfield Haleigh Dalmass who has 15 to go with 13 caused turnovers. Dalmass has also scored 12 goals for the Trojans.
In the cage, freshman goalie Liz Shaeffer holds a .410 save percentage and gave up just one goal in USC’s 19-1 win over the Bulldogs, last weekend.
SCOUTING SAN DIEGO STATE: The Aztecs (8-7, 3-4 MPSF) have lost their last three games—all league matchups—heading into their season finale. Prior to this skid, San Diego State had lost just one MPSF game: a 13-9 decision to Denver. SDSU has dropped five of its last seven contests and fell, 23-16, to Stanford last weekend. SDSU ranks among the nation’s elite in a pair of statistical categories. The Aztecs are sixth in the country in draw controls (14.87 dcpg) and rank ninth in goals per game (14.47 gpg). Sophomore attack Michael Jarvis leads the team with 35 assists and 57 points. Her 2.33 assists per game rank 16th in the country and makes her fourth in the MPSF. The main beneficiary of Jarvis’ passes is fellow sophomore attack Bailey Ewing who leads the team with 44 goals, this season. Ewing’s 2.93 goals per game ranks fourth in the MPSF and is 25th in the nation. She is also one of eight players with at least 10 draw controls on the year. Freshman midfield Felice Artuso leads the team with 46 draw controls (3.07 dcpg). Sophomore defender Madison Wallace has 21 ground balls to lead all Aztecs, but junior midfield Christina Ricciardulli has 20 and leads her squad with 10 caused turnovers. SDSU’s last line of defense is senior goalie Sammy Slattery whose .423 save percentage is third in the MPSF. Besides their shared conference foes, the Trojans and the Aztecs also have three non-league opponents in common, this season. Both teams played LIU Brooklyn, Marquette, and Temple. SDSU won all three games while the Trojans won two and lost to Temple. USC sophomore defense Kaitlyn Couture and San Diego State sophomore attack Lauren Maack are former high school teammates at Coronado HS in Coronado, Calif. The head-to-head matchup will be a homecoming for Couture who will play in front of friends and family in the San Diego area.
WEEKEND RECAP: Behind a career day from freshman midfield Amanda Johansen, the Women of Troy earned a lopsided 19-1 victory over Fresno State to keep their postseason hopes alive. Johansen secured an MPSF record 13 draw controls (two short of tying the NCAA record), scored two goals, and had a career-best three assists against the Bulldogs. Fellow frosh attack Caroline de Lyra led all players with six points as she scored two goals and had four assists. Sophomore attack Olivie Gerton came off the bench to lead her team with four goals in the game. Normally behind the restraining line, freshman defense Kelsey Dreyer scored her first two career goals while junior midfield Elizabeth Eddy scored her first.
KEEP TRACK OF 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.
IN CONTROL: Freshman midfield Amanda Johansen set a new MPSF record with her 13 draw controls in a 19-1 win over Fresno State on April 20. She was just two shy of tying the NCAA mark of 15 held by Allie Emala of Virginia Tech (March 14, 2009). It was the second time that Johansen has secured double-digit draw controls in a single game. She had 10 against Presbyterian on Feb. 15, and also grabbed nine against Saint Mary’s College on Feb. 24.
HOMECOMING DATE: Sophomore midfield/defense Kaitlyn Couture will have a chance to play in front of friends and family when the Trojans head to San Diego to face San Diego State on Saturday, April 27. Couture prepped at Coronado High School and played with SDSU sophomore attack Lauren Maack. The two also played together for Lax Dawgs Lacrosse Club.
WORKIN’ OVERTIME: The Trojans played the program’s first-ever overtime game on March 22 at Brown; a 9-8 loss to the Bears. Freshman midfield Amanda Johansen scored the game-tying goal with just 45 seconds left in regulation time.
ROCKIN’ ROOKIES: A pair of USC freshmen brought home Rookie of the Week honors, for the week of Feb. 25. Freshman attack Caroline de Lyra was named the WomensLax.com Rookie of the Week on the heels of an incredible nine-point performance against Saint Mary’s College as she led the Trojans to their first-ever MPSF win. De Lyra recorded three goals and posted an astonishing six assists to help USC to a 17-8 win. Freshman midfield Amanda Johansen was just as instrumental as de Lyra in USC’s win over the Gaels and was named the MPSF Rookie of the Week for her efforts. Johansen had three goals and an assist for four points and picked up a pair of ground balls. Most notably, Johansen was unstoppable in the center circle as she claimed nine draw controls. Both awards were the first-ever in USC program history. Johansen received MPSF Rookie of the Week honors for a second time for the week of March 4-10 after she nabbed six points with a game-high five goals and an assist in a 12-7 win over UC Davis.
STARS AND STRIPES: Head coach Lindsey Munday and assistant coach Devon Wills are each current members of the U.S. women’s national team that is set to compete in Oshawa, Ontario, for the 2013 FIL World Cup. Both players were members of the 2009 squad that won the World Cup. This time, Munday will also assume duties as the team captain when Team USA defends its world title.
STRONG START: The Trojans opened the program’s first season against a tall order as they faced a pair of perennially ranked teams including top-ranked two-time defending NCAA champion Northwestern. NU went 21-2 in 2012 as it captured its seventh national crown in eight years. USC had just one night’s rest before it hosted a 14th-ranked Massachusetts squad that was 19-2 overall in 2012. The Trojans fell, 18-5, against the Wildcats, and fought hard but were turned away, 18-9, by the Minutewomen.
EAST MEETS WEST: USC’s first-ever varsity lacrosse squad features 15 players that hail from the East Coast. Seven come from New York, six call New Jersey home, and two are from Connecticut and Virginia. The Trojans have six players from California, a pair from Washington, and one, each, from Oregon and Colorado. The only player from a Midwest state is Caitlin Campion who hails from Western Springs in Illinois.
WORK IT OUT: Freshman attack Katie Austin is the daughter of legendary fitness guru Denise Austin. The elder Austin is a well-known fitness instructor, author, columnist, and a former member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Katie’s aunt is former U.S. Open tennis champion Tracy Austin.
DOUBLE AGENT: Junior midfield Elizabeth Eddy is also a three-time letterwinner on USC’s women’s soccer team. Eddy was second on the team in scoring as a freshman with five goals. She once scored three in a single game against Cal on Oct. 10, 2010. The soccer forward led the Trojans with four goals in 2011 and was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention. 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 who was a head administrator in the USC athletic department in the 1930’s and 40’s.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Freshman 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: Junior 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: Freshman 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.
SISTER SLEDGE: Freshman attack Caroline de Lyra got the rare opportunity to face her older sister Alexa in her first-ever collegiate lacrosse game. The elder de Lyra is a senior midfielder for Northwestern. Both sisters wear No. 25 on their backs and each guarded the other during the contest on Feb. 9. Caroline got on the board with an assist and a goal against the Wildcats.
SEVENTH HEAVEN: In a preseason poll of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s (MPSF) head coaches, the Women of Troy were selected to finish in seventh place in their inaugural season. USC received 24 points in the poll to finish ahead of Fresno State and Saint Mary’s College. For the fourth straight season, the coaches selected Stanford to win the league title.
FIELD OF DREAMS: To accommodate the national growth of the sport, the NCAA expanded the lacrosse tournament field from 16 teams to 26 teams in time for the 2013 championship. Now, all 13 conference champions will receive automatic bids while 13 more teams will earn at-large selections. The top eight teams will be seeded in the bracket and will host first- and second-round games. The top six seeded teams receive byes into the second round and serve as hosts for a neutral-site first-round game. The first-round winners then play at the top six seeded teams. Teams seeded seventh and eighth will also host, but will have to play a first-round game. The national quarterfinals are set for on-campus sites May 18 or 19, with the four winners advancing to the finals May 24-26.
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.