Second Half Comeback Not Enough as No. 15 USC Drops First Game of Season to No. 12 Pepperdine, 2-1|
Sept. 21, 2014
LOS ANGELES - Despite fighting back to tie the game early in the second half, the No. 15 USC women's soccer team fell 2-1 as No. 12 Pepperdine netted the go-ahead goal in the 66th minute and the Women of Troy could not find the equalizer on Sunday afternoon at McAlister Field.
The loss was the first for the Women of Troy (6-1-2) on the season, and broke their eight-game unbeaten streak. That streak sets a new program record for a team being undefeated to start the season.
On the match, head coach Keidane McAlpine said, "I thought we played a great second half against a really good Pepperdine team. We still need to work on playing the first half with that same kind of intensity to really have the impact that we want in conference play."
The Waves (8-1-1) got on the board first in the 16th minute of the match, taking advantage of a rebound on a corner kick opportunity that found its way to Meagan Harbison who hammered the ball home on one touch.
The Women of Troy fought back, getting some strong scoring opportunities, but the Waves outshot the Women of Troy 9-4 in the half, and had four corner kicks to USC's two. Goalkeeper Caroline Stanley was busy in the first half, making all three of her saves in the game in that half.
In the second half, the Women of Troy came out with a new, renewed energy and dominated from the opening whistle. In the 48th minute Waves' goalkeeper Hannah Seabert made a goal-saving play, tipping a free kick from Megan Borman over the cross bar.
However, in the 52nd minute, the Women of Troy finally got on the board, as Erin Owen collected her first goal of the year as the cross came from the right side from Sydney Sladek, and Katie Johnson touched it at the top of the six yard box over to Owen who found the back of the net to tie the game up 1-1.
The Women of Troy continued to fight for that go-ahead goal, but in the 66th minute, the Waves' dangerous striker Lynn Williams was able to get enough of a deflection on a cross, leaving Taylor Alvarado with an open net back post for the go-ahead goal. USC outshot the Waves 15-4 in the second half, and collected five corner kick opportunities to the Waves' zero.
Goalkeeper Hannah Seabert made some key saves, including five in the second half (eight overall), to preserve the win for the Waves.
The Women of Troy will regroup and open Pac-12 play on Friday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. PT at Arizona. The game will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.