USC Gets The OT Winner From Kayla Mills
Nov. 1, 2013
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC women's soccer team responded to a gut check on home turf today at McAlister Field. Visiting Oregon knocked in an early goal, only to see the Women of Troy kick into gear. USC took it down to the wire, but 75 minutes later, Katie Johnson equalized and forced overtime. It was USC's sixth time venturing into OT, and the Trojans were ready to get it done in this one. In the final minute of the first OT period, Kayla Mills was a the hero, scoring the winner for the Trojans. The 2-1 win over the Ducks improves USC to 7-9-2 overall and 2-6-1 in Pac-12 play, while Oregon goes to 4-10-3, 2-6-1.
The Trojans were shellshocked early when Oregon's first shot of the match went through for a goal. The Ducks' Kristen Parr carried the ball upfield on the left side, beating the USC defense and breaking through for the chance. She'd make the most of it, depositing the ball to the far right post to take the Ducks up 1-0 on the Trojans in the fifth minute of play.
Pushed back onto their heels with that surprise hit, the Trojans had to regroup. The Ducks were buoyed by that boost, but USC was able to turn the pressure back the other direction. USC heaved 12 shots against Oregon in the half, only to be turned away by four saves from keeper Abby Steele to preserve that 1-0 Oregon lead by halftime.
In the second half, USC's Katie Johnson and Kayla Mills seemed to have made it their mission to terrorize the Ducks defense. Marlee Carrillo, too, came through with a header or two, and yet still the Trojans were trailing 1-0 with the clock ticking down. Autumn Altamirano fed a delicious ball into the box for a hungry Elizabeth Eddy, but the Oregon defense squelched that chance. The next opportunity, however, was all USC. Eddy was the feeder for this one, slicing in a centering pass for Johnson, who came out of nowhere to slam home the score with a searing header that locked the game up 1-1 in the 80th minute of action. The teams hung on to that score through the next 10, bringing up overtime.
USC had come up winless in its five previous overtime games, so the Trojans were determined to make it happen in their final week on home turf. Eddy had an early shot blocked, and Altamirano sent in another tantalizing cross for Tanya Samarzich, who was just a hair off the mark with her header try. Later, Oregon almost had the win in its column when Mia Gunter drilled a shot on USC goalkeeper Caroline Stanley. She made the diving save, but the ball had enough power to keep rolling on frame. It glanced off the post, giving Stanley the opportunity to pounce on it before it crossed the line. And the Trojans had new life. With a second overtime period looming, USC went back on the attack. Mills, who had danced her way through the Oregon defense once again, made the most of the daylight she had created on the right side. The freshman sliced her shot to the far post, slotting it perfectly for the long-awaited winner in the 100th minute of action at McAlister Field.
The Women of Troy return to McAlister Field on Sunday (Nov. 3) for their final home game of the year. USC will honor its graduating seniors - Autumn Altamirano, Haley Boysen, Mia Bruno, Elizabeth Eddy, Allie Harrison and Jordan Marada in a pregame ceremony. Fans are also encouraged to bring any used sporting equipment to the game to donate to local youth programs in need of gear.
USC 2, Oregon 1 (OT1)
SAVES: Caroline Stanley (USC) 4, Abby Steele (ORE) 9, Team (ORE) 1.
SHOTS: USC 30, ORE 9
CORNER KICKS: USC 7, ORE 1
FOULS: USC 15, ORE 11