Samantha Johnson Strikes Winner For USC In OT Victory Over Washington
Sept. 21, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC women's soccer team got the best of both worlds today in its Pac-12 opener at McAlister Field. Not only did the Women of Troy receive more offensive heroics from senior Samantha Johnson, who slotted the winner in the 100th minute of play, the USC defense secured its first shutout of the year in the 1-0 win over visiting Washington today. The victory give USC a 1-0 start to conference play and improves its overall mark to 4-4-1. Washington opens up 0-1 and is now 7-2-1 overall in taking just its second loss of the year.
A flurry of USC looks on goal in the waning minutes of regulation came to naught as the teams rolled into overtime after 90 minutes of scoreless play, which was largely controlled by Trojan feet. Washington got an early chance in OT when Lindsay Elston zipped in a dangerous cross, but USC freshman defender Erin Owen was there for the saving clear, and the Trojan offense took the reins from there. Elizabeth Eddy fed a ball in for Katie Johnson with the look at a winner, but the Huskies had a defender step in the way for the save on the line. The Washington back line would squelch a Jordan Marada power shot minutes later to keep the slate clean, but USC would not be deterred. With time ticking down, a long Marlee Carrillo throw-in sent the ball into the box. Washington efforts to clear went awry, and Eddy got a foot on it for the push to get the ball within range of Samantha Johnson. The senior jumped on the opportunity and delivered a blast to the back of the net for the winner just 11 seconds away from the end of the first OT to put the win on the Trojans' record. It was Johnson's second late-game winner this season. The senior scored with 15 seconds left in regulation at San Diego last weekend for the win there, and now has the latest heroics in the books with her OT winner in the 100th minute of action. With four goals scored this year, Johnson now has a career total of 14.
Aside from a lapse on the attack during the second half, USC seemed to have the upper hand throughout the match. Washington forced some impressive saves out of USC goalkeeper Caroline Stanley, but it was the Trojans who dominated the shot count on the day. After outshooting the Huskies 8-5 in the first half, USC regrouped after a slow start to the second to fire off nine more shots to four by Washington before the close of regulation. The USC defense held court and stymied a number of Washington attacks to feed the ball back up to the USC strikers. A Washington handball just outside the box late in regulation put the ball in dangerous territory, but the shot generated off the chance soared high. USC would continue to press, getting powerful looks from Marada and Johnson and a near-miss off a nice set-up from Jamie Fink before the whistle blew on regulation after 90 minutes of scoreless play to bring up overtime.
USC will return to action next week with its first Pac-12 road trip of the year, skipping town for its first match outside the state on a trip to Arizona. The Trojans will visit Arizona State first for a 2 p.m. clash with the Sun Devils in Tempe on Friday (Sept. 28). Then it's over to Tucson to take on Arizona in a 1:30 p.m. match on Sunday (Sept. 30).
USC 1, Washington 0 (1OT)
SAVES: Caroline Stanley (USC) 4, Kari Davidson (WASH) 7, Team (WASH) 3.
SHOTS: USC 24, WASH 9
CORNER KICKS: USC 10, WASH 3
FOULS: USC 12, WASH 13