Trojans Tie Up No. 8 Cal 1-1 On The Road
Oct. 11, 2013
BERKELEY, CALIF. -- The USC women's soccer team made a power move out of a losing slump in tangling up No. 8 California with a 1-1 tie in Berkeley today. The Trojans were authoritative in their road outing, despite the referee's whistle blowing them to a stop 21 times in the match. USC countered by out-shooting the Golden Bears 20-8, including a 78th-minute equalizer from Alex Quincey. The teams would battle through both overtimes before the horn sounded on a 1-1 draw. USC goes to 5-6-2 overall and 0-3-1 in Pac-12 play with the tie, while Cal goes to 9-0-4, 2-0-2.
The Trojans turned the pressure on right out of the gates, with Elizabeth Eddy, Jordan Marada, Tanya Samarzich and Kayla Mills causing headaches for the Cal back line. One Eddy feed got to Samarzich for a remising shot to the far post, where a Cal defender was in an opportune position for the save off the line. Minutes later, Eddy drilled a shot high of the Cal goal. Against the run of play, however, Cal would manage the first goal of the game. Cal's Samantha Witteman got the ball to Rachel Mercik for a sneak attack as she slotted a shot to the low left post to bump the Bears to a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute.
Still, the Trojans kept coming. Mills kept charging despite a triple-team of Cal defenders trying to clamp down on the feisty freshman. Marlee Carrillo transitioned from her spot on the back line for a powerful header off a Jamie Fink corner kick late in the half, but Carrillo's header was met by another Cal defender for a save that stopped another dangerous Trojan look on goal.
Despite being down 1-0 at the half, the Trojans came out for the second half with all-out domination of possession. Cal got a couple sniffs on counterattack opportunities, but it was pretty much all USC in the second half. Caroline Stanley turned away one of those with a nice save. Soon after, Megan Borman bashed a one-touch bullet just wide of the frame, and USC was feeling the momentum surge in its favor. One minute later, Mills went on the attack and fizzed a shot to the underside of the crossbar. The ball would slam down just ahead of the goal line, keeping the Trojans off the scoreboard for a bit longer.
The Trojans' hard work and determination would finally pay off in the 78th minute. Whitney Pitalo -- who spent a solid day on the back line for the Trojan defense -- sailed the ball up into the box. Samarzich got a foot on it, but a defender was there for the clearance. That knock saw the ball roll out to the feet of Alex Quincey, who jumped on her chance and ripped in a rocket to the left, getting all inside net and putting the Trojans on the board.
Until that goal slammed home, USC had been stuck in a stretch of four straight losses and had come up empty on the scoring front for 454 minutes of play. Needless to say, Quincey's goal provided a lift for a talented Trojan team that had seemed snakebit.
USC had the best looks at a winner in the remaining time with a couple whizzing headers from Quincey and Marada that were just off the mark in the last of regulation. USC's Mills and Fink would force saves out of Cal goalkeeper Emily Kruger during overtime, while Stanley and her stubborn back line of Carrillo, Pitalo, Mandy Freeman and Natalie Donaldson took care of business on the defensive end to wrap the match as a 1-1 draw.
USC now turns to take on another top-10 team on Sunday (Oct. 13) with a tilt against No. 4 Stanford at 5 p.m. in Palo Alto, Calif.
USC 1, #8 California 1 (OT)
SAVES: Caroline Stanley (USC) 5, Emily Kruger (CAL) 5, Team (CAL) 2.
SHOTS: USC 20, CAL 8
CORNER KICKS: USC 9, CAL 4
FOULS: USC 21, CAL 8