No. 5 Trojans Top Cal State Northridge 2-1|
Oct. 5, 2008
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 5 USC women's soccer team allowed just its third goal on home turf this season, but the Trojan scoring machine stayed strong, working ahead of Cal State Northridge early en route to a 2-1 victory in front of a crowd of 803 at McAlister Field. With two assists coming from senior defender Stacey Strong today and goals from Ashli Sandoval and Alyssa Dávila, the Women of Troy bumped their season scoring mark up to 37 total goals -- equal or better than entire season totals from eight separate USC seasons -- with Pac-10 Conference play still to come for the Trojans. USC has outscored opponents 37-8 this season and 26-3 at home so far this year. Today's win over the Matadors improves USC's win streak to eight straight for a 10-1-0 overall record, while Cal State Northridge moves to 5-5-1.
After slow starts in the past couple games, USC got on the attack early, earning a pair of corner kicks in the first five minutes of play. The Trojans' corner kick opportunities were not converted, but after 15 minutes of play, USC got on the board. Megan Ohai went on the attack and slid the ball out wide for Stacey Strong on the right side. Strong then served up a nice centering pass for Ashli Sandoval, who drove in her third goal in two games to put USC up 1-0 in the 16th minute of play.
USC goalkeeper Kristin Olsen came up big with four key stops in the game, making two athletic saves during the late stages of the first half to help preserve USC's 1-0 halftime lead. In the second half, the Trojans struck quickly. Ashley Nick hit Strong wide again, with Strong serving another good ball into the box. Streaking in for the header was Alyssa Dávila, who knocked the ball back to the right post for the score, lifting USC up 2-0 at the 46:20 mark of the match.
Cal State Northridge would add pressure to the Trojans with a score in the 52nd minute. After a booming Matador free kick was nicely pushed over the crossbar by Olsen, Kristal Phillips lined up for the CSUN corner kick. Her strike was met by Katie Fox, who headed the ball off the near post and in to bring Cal State Northridge within on at 2-1. The Women of Troy would stay calm throughout, however, managing more good looks on goal but no more Trojan scores down the stretch while holding off the Matadors to capture the win. With the game-winning goal, sophomore Dávila registers her third game-winner of the season and seventh of her career to rank No. 8 all-time at USC. Strong now holds five assists this season for 11 career assists. The victory runs USC's unbeaten home streak up to 17 straight with another home stand set for next weekend.
USC opens Pac-10 play next week, hosting Washington at 3 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 10) and then facing Washington State at 1 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 12).
#5 USC 2, Cal State Northridge 1
SAVES: Kristin Olsen (USC) 4, Leah Elliott (CSUN) 10.
SHOTS: USC 27, CSUN 11
CORNER KICKS: USC 9, CSUN 8