USC Upsets No. 2 UCLA In Overtime Season Finale|
Nov. 2, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- It was only fitting that the USC women's soccer team played one last overtime game in today's season finale. After plenty of practice playing extended games, the Women of Troy made good in their ninth OT game of the year and capped off the season with a thrilling 3-2 comeback victory over rival UCLA today at McAlister Field.
The Bruins came into the game ranked No. 2 in the nation, but the Trojans were all the hungrier for the rivalry game. After UCLA scored in the first half, USC would fire back with two second-half goals, and when the game stretched into OT, USC was well prepared to dig in for the final push. After 122 minutes and 41 seconds of overtime action played in 2012, USC saw Jordan Marada strike the winner just three seconds away from the end of the first OT, and the Trojans grabbed the Los Angeles bragging rights with the 3-2 victory. USC finishes the season at 6-10-3 overall and 3-6-2 in Pac-12 play, with a grand total of eight overtime games played during conference play this year. No. 2 UCLA now sets up for the NCAA Tournament with a 15-2-2, 8-2-1 record.
UCLA's speedy strikers proved a handful in the first half of play, as Bruin forward Zakiya Bywaters charged on the attack and finished her shot low in the 42nd minute against an advancing USC goalkeeper Caroline Stanley. UCLA would take a 1-0 lead into halftime, but USC refused to back down to their No. 2 ranked rivals. In the 55th minute, junior Haley Boysen blasted the equalizer for the Trojans. With it even 1-1, both teams were pushing hard for an advantage. In the 81st minute, the lead would be grabbed by senior Samantha Johnson for USC. In celebration of her final game at McAlister Field, Johnson collected a pass upfield from Elizabeth Eddy and made her move, then rocketing through the go-ahead goal to give USC a late lead.
The dangerous Bruins picked up the pace after that, however. With the pressure cranked up, UCLA found a chink in USC's defensive armor as Jenna Richmond slipped a pass central for Sam Mewis, who was in the box for the finish that pulled the game even again at 2-2 with barely a minute and a half left in regulation. USC hadn't been victorious in an overtime game since their conference opener on Sept. 21, but the Trojans had been through plenty of extra minutes during Pac-12 play. Going into their ninth OT of the year, USC was carrying a 1-4-3 record in previous overtime outings. But anything can happen in a soccer rivalry game and the Trojans were clearly conditioned for OT action. With time draining quickly on the first overtime period, Marlee Carrillo got the call to take a deep throw-in for the Trojans. The freshman launched the ball into the box, where fellow freshman Erin Owen was there for a header that dropped the ball back at the feet of junior Jordan Marada. Marada made the most of the opportunity, burying the ball in the top corner where no one could deny her of the winner, and USC had the hard-fought victory with the 3-2 decision.
That wraps up the year's action for the Trojans, who were on the losing end of eight one-goal games in 2012 and also played a program record nine overtime games, as they finish out of reach of a postseason bid. Senior Samantha Johnson and newcomer junior Jordan Marada finished as USC's top scorers on the season, as both netted their fifth goals of the year in today's win. Johnson finishes her USC career ranked No. 11 all-time in career scoring with 15 career goals.
USC 3, #2 UCLA 2 (1OT)
SAVES: Caroline Stanley (USC) 3, Katelyn Rowland (UCLA) 2.
SHOTS: USC 12, UCLA 13
CORNER KICKS: USC 2, UCLA 7
FOULS: USC 8, UCLA 6