Trojan Lacrosse Heads to Mile-High City for MPSF Semifinal|
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April 28, 2015
Game #17 · MPSF TOURNAMENT SEMIFINAL
Denver Series History: Denver leads, 3-1
Oregon Series History: Tied, 2-2
LOS ANGELES - The USC women's lacrosse team (12-4, 8-1 MPSF) will play in its third straight MPSF Tournament this weekend (May 1-3) at Peter Barton Stadium in Denver. The Women of Troy finished the regular season in second place to earn a coveted quarterfinal bye and will play their first match on Friday (May 1) at 7 p.m. MT (6 p.m. PT). As the second seed, the Trojans face the winner of the Denver-Oregon quarterfinal. The third-seeded host Pioneers (12-4, 7-2) will play the sixth-seeded Ducks (10-7, 4-5) at 4 p.m. MT on Thursday (April 30).
USC set new program records this season with the most wins in a season (12), most conference victories (8), highest league finish (second), and longest winning streak (7), but has another hurdle to overcome in Denver. Despite a strong regular season in 2014, the Trojans dropped a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to Oregon in the quarterfinals of the MPSF tournament. Before the quarterfinal round was instituted, USC fell to Denver in the semifinals of the 2013 league tourney. A win for the Women of Troy would put the program in its first-ever conference tournament final.
The Women of Troy have earned wins against four of the five teams in the MPSF Tournament this season. The only team USC did not beat in conference games this year is top-seeded Stanford, which took a 12-6 win over the Trojans on April 19. USC defeated Denver (16-4), fourth-seeded Colorado (12-9), fifth-seeded San Diego State (16-4), and Oregon (13-11). The Trojans' victories over SDSU and Oregon were each claimed on the road.
The Trojans' offense is powered by junior attacker Caroline de Lyra, who has 60 points (32g, 28a). De Lyra ranks first in points in the MPSF (3.75 ppg) and is third in assists (1.75 apg). Sophomore attacker Michaela Michael is second in the conference for points (3.56 ppg) and leads the league in goals (2.88 gpg) and draw controls (6.06 dcpg, 6th in the NCAA). Junior midfielder Amanda Johansen has 47 points (37g, 10a) and is seventh in the MPSF for goals (2.31 gpg) and eighth in points (2.94 ppg). Attacker Kylie Drexel has had a breakout sophomore season with 36 points (21g, 15a). Sophomore attackers Caroline Cordrey and Cynthia Del Core have each scored 21 goals apiece to give the Trojans six players across the 20-goal mark this year.
On defense, junior Courtney Tarleton anchors the Trojan back line with 17 caused turnovers and 25 ground balls. Tarleton has also grabbed 12 draw controls this season. Freshman goalie Gussie Johns tops all Trojans with 38 ground balls (2.38 gbpg, 3rd in the MPSF) and has produced 74 saves (.396) with a 7.58 goals-against average that leads the MPSF and ranks 13th in the country. Senior defender Elizabeth Eddy has 10 caused turnovers, 16 ground balls, and 10 draw controls, while sophomore Nine Kelty has eight caused turnovers and 10 ground balls this season. USC has caused 143 of its opponent's 231 turnovers and holds its opposition to a .660 clearance rate (136 of 206).
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 appeared 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 secured second place in the MPSF with a 16-4 road victory over San Diego State in their regular-season finale. USC used three separate 4-0 runs to put the Aztecs away and were led by attackers Caroline de Lyra and Cynthia Del Core whom each had four-goal games. After a slight 6-5 edge in first-half draw controls, the Trojans turned it on in the second half to win the center circle, 8-3, led by a game-high nine draw controls by Michaela Michael. Amanda Johansen scored a hat trick and picked up four ground balls while Gabby McMahon had four ground balls as well. In goal, Gussie Johns played 54 minutes and surrendered just four goals on 18 SDSU shots.
MPSF WEEKLY HONORS: The MPSF 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.