Early Goal, Late Loss For Trojans
Sept. 25, 2011
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- USC set a new school record with the fastest goal scored in program history, but it wasn't enough for the Trojan women's soccer team to hold on against visiting Washington State in the teams' Pac-12 opener. Samantha Johnson struck for the Women of Troy on an assist from Haley Boysen just 14 seconds into the game, only to see the Cougars stabilize in the second half and hand the Trojans' their fifth home loss of the year with a late WSU goal. The 2-1 loss puts the Trojans on a four-match losing skid, taking them to 3-7-0 overall and an 0-1 start to conference play. Washington State goes to 7-3-1, 1-0 with the Pac-12 win at McAlister Field.
Samantha Johnson drilled the historic goal for the Trojans when Haley Boysen sent in a centering pass from the left sideline. Charging into the box, Johnson sent the ball past WSU goalkeeper Gurveen Clair, rattling the back of the net as the Women of Troy got a 1-0 lift just 14 seconds into the action at McAlister Field. The goal marked a new school record for the quickest goal in a game, shaving two seconds off the previous record set in 2005 by Tracy Lansing at the 16-second mark. In USC history, the Trojans now have scored in the opening minute of play five times (2011, 2005, 2003, 1998, 1997).
USC continued to keep up pressure on the Cougar defense, as Ashli Sandoval drove a tough volley off a corner kick high of the goal. Elizabeth Eddy and Johnson also kept on the attack, but the 1-0 lead held into halftime. Early in the second half, Carly Butcher let fly a laser on goal. The ball clipped the underside of the crossbar but refused to go in in the 49th minute. Three minutes later, Ashley Freyer got a foot on a ball that Clair saved over the goal, and Clair would make the grab on the ensuing corner kick as well. Meanwhile, the Cougars began to up their counterattack strikes. In the 67th minute, WSU earned a free kick. Delaney Zalud sent the ball into the box on the free, and Rachael Doyle was able to get enough of a head on the ball to direct it to the right post, where it knocked in for the equalizer.
USC goalkeeper Shelby Church would work her way up to match her career high of seven saves as the Cougars kept pressing in. One of those saves led to a Trojan attack, where Butcher blasted one that Clair made a diving save on. Butcher again hauled off another booming strike, this one blocked by a defender. Johnson pounced on the deflection for a poke to the right post, but Clair was there again for the stop in the 75th minute. Ten minutes later Washington State was able to get deep again. this time, Brandi Vega carried the ball to the end line and sent in a centering pass where Jocelyn Jeffers got to it for the knock-in score in the box, taking the Cougars ahead 2-1 with under five minutes left to play. The Trojans tried for an answer, but ran out of time as USC wound up with their fourth straight loss and fifth of the year at McAlister Field.
USC stays home next week as the Women of Troy search for some winning energy in Pac-12 play. The Trojans host Oregon State at 3 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 30) and then take on Oregon at 1 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 2) at McAlister Field.
Sept. 25, 2011 -- McAlister Field
SAVES: Shelby Church (USC) 7, Gurveen Clair (WSU) 4.
SHOTS: USC 11, WSU 18
CORNER KICKS: USC 4, WSU 3
FOULS: USC 10, WSU 5