Trojans Hit It Big In Home Opener|
Aug. 24, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC women's soccer team put forth an explosive effort in its 2012 home opener, as six different Trojan newcomers combined forces in a scoring onslaught that produced a 4-1 win over visiting Saint Mary's on Friday afternoon at McAlister Field. It was the highest scoring home opener for the Women of Troy since 2007, the year of USC's run to the national championship that began with a 5-1 win over Weber State. With today's win over the Gaels, USC is off to a 2-0 start to 2012, while Saint Mary's goes to 1-2 overall.
The Trojans lined up for the start with eight newcomers on the pitch. Goalkeeper Caroline Stanley made her Trojan debut, making five saves in 69 minutes of action before giving way to Faith Sugerman for the final 21 minutes. By that time, USC's offense had piled up four goals and held a solid 4-1 lead, thanks to the efforts of a crew of new Trojans.
The attack started early. In the 10th minute of play, the Trojans were deep in Saint Mary's territory. Freshman Marlee Carrillo launched a huge throw-in from the left sideline. Sophomore transfer Alex Quincey was there for a strong header on goal, though the shot was stopped by Gael goalkeeper Kate Brenot. Freshman Erin Owen was right there for the ricochet, however, driving it home for her first career goal as a Trojan and a 1-0 USC lead.
Just moments after subbing in, another USC freshman made her mark on the score sheet. Junior Jordan Marada -- who had transferred to USC from Saint Mary's this season -- slid a smooth pass up to a streaking Megan Borman. With a one-timer, Borman made the most of her chance with a blast that nailed the crossbar and slammed down to cross the goalline before the Gaels keeper could pull it out. With that, USC was enjoying a 2-0 lead in the 24th minute. That advantage would carry through to halftime.
The Gaels would switch out goalkeepers at the half, bringing in Khayla Jones to guard the net. But it would be USC's keeper Stanley who made the first big save of the second half with a close-range stop on a dangerous header opportunity for the Gaels. The foul count, meanwhile, was weighing heavily against the Trojans, as Saint Mary's set up for another free kick in Trojan territory. In the 53rd minute of play, Katy Roby sailed the free into the box, where Celina Minissian got to it for a head that cut through the USC defense to get the Gaels on the board and cut it to a one-goal game.
It took just under 10 minutes for the Trojans to respond. A loose ball in the box was cleaned up swiftly by Borman, who notched a two-goal game for herself on her back-to-back scores to take USC to a 3-1 advantage in the 63rd. Less than a minute later, the Women of Troy whipped up another booming strike. Again, Marada was up to the task on the delivery. She sent in a cross, and freshman Whitney Pitalo timed her attack perfectly with a driving header that ripped through for her first career goal as a Trojan. Now up 4-1 on the Gaels with 26 minutes to go, the Trojans were able to settle in and silence Saint Mary's the rest of the way.
Now 2-0 to start the season, USC matches its 2008 start, which also happens to be the last time the Trojans won both their season and home openers.
USC will next face Minnesota as Trojan soccer takes a national stage as the first USC team to compete live on the new Pac-12 Networks. The nationally televised contest is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday (Aug. 26) at McAlister Field. If you can't make it out to McAlister, you can WATCH THE PAC-12 NETWORK BROADCAST, or WATCH THE LIVE STREAM ONLINE.
USC 4, Saint Mary's 1
SHOTS: USC 26, SMC 8
CORNER KICKS: USC 7, SMC 3
FOULS: USC 14, SMC 7