Trojans Fall In Heartbreaking Penalty Kick Fashion In The First Round Of Ncaa Tournament To Pepperdine|
Nov. 15, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the USC women's soccer team and the Pepperdine Waves played toe-to-toe for 110 minutes, and with the score still tied 1-1, penalty kicks ensued and the Waves advanced 4-2 on Saturday afternoon at Tari Frahm Rokus Field.
After a first half where the Waves (15-2-4) had some quality chances, the Trojans (12-6-3) put away their best opportunity to take a 1-0 lead late in the first half, as freshman Nicole Molen picked a good time for her first career goal, connecting with a header on a corner kick from Jamie Fink in the 44th minute.
In the second half, the Trojans stepped things up, pressuring the Waves defense stringing together some nice passes to create strong opportunities. However, in the 70th minute, Waves star forward Lynn Williams launched a shot from 25 yards out that Trojan goalkeeper made a nice stop on, but Kristen Rodriguez followed up on the rebound and was able to finish the shot to tie things up, 1-1. The Trojans continued to pressure, as both sides had some opportunities in the final minutes of regulation, but neither could find the back of the net, so the game continued to overtime.
In both overtime periods, the Trojans had some great opportunities, including one in the second overtime where Tamara Mejia made a nice run down the right flank, cut in and went at their goalkeeper Hannah Seabert, who came out and was just able to get a finger on the ball, collecting it in and making the save.
After 110 minutes of deadlocked play, the Trojans and Waves headed to a penalty kick shootout. USC goalkeeper Stanley was strong out of the gate, making the save on the first Waves penalty kick from Rylee Baisden. Fink took the shot for USC, but Pepperdine goalkeeper Seabert made the save and the score was 0-0. In the second round, both Pepperdine's Hailey Harbison and the Trojans' Mandy Freeman connected on their shots to make the score 1-1. The third round was much like the second, with the Waves' Kristen Rodriguez and the Trojans' Kayla Mills both scoring their PKs to keep things tied, 2-2. In the fourth round, Lynn Williams scored for Pepperdine, but Seabert made the save on Katie Johnson's shot for USC to make the score 3-2. In the fifth and final round, the Waves' Courtney Assumma connected on her penalty kick to put the score at 4-2 Waves, advancing them to the next round of the tournament.
Stanley finished with seven saves, while Sydney Sladek led the Trojans with four shots on the day (representing half of those taken by the Trojans).
The Trojans finished off the season with a record of 12-6-3 and made their first tournament appearance since 2010. The game was the final career match for seniors Stanley, Jessica Musmanno, Alex Quincey and Heather Davis.