USC Breaks Through With 3-0 NCAA Win Over Creighton
Nov. 16, 2007
COLUMBIA, MO. - The second-seeded USC women's soccer team dominated possession in its NCAA First Round match against Creighton on Friday afternoon, notching a 3-0 win over the Bluejays to punch the Trojans' ticket to the NCAA Second Round. After a first half of peppering the Creighton goal with 21 shots, USC finally broke through with what proved to be the game-winner in the first minute of the second half, as Amy Rodriguez tallied her eighth goal of the year and eighth career game-winner to lift USC ahead toward the win. USC is now 15-3-2 overall, while Creighton ends its season 11-8-2. The Trojans will face host Missouri in the NCAA Second Round at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday (Nov. 18) in Columbia, Mo.
The Trojans will be making their sixth trip to the NCAA Second Round, where USC has yet to win and move on to the Third Round. This is USC's eighth NCAA appearance, as the Trojans come off a regular season in which they finished second in the Pac-10.
The Women of Troy allowed few Creighton touches in the first half as it took care of the ball and generated numerous looks on goal. Megan Ohai had the first good USC opportunity when she took a pass from Rodriguez and knocked a dangerous ball barely wide of the goal in the fifth minute. USC continued to pressure the Bluejays defense, keeping the ball largely in Creighton territory, but were unable to get to the back of the net despite out-shooting the Bluejays 21-0 in the half.
Halftime gave the Trojans a chance to regroup, and the Women of Troy came out hungry to finally crack the Bluejay defense. It wouldn't take long. In the first minute of the second half, Ashli Sandoval lined up for a corner kick on the right side, launching a ball into the box. Megan Ohai redirected it for Amy Rodriguez on the left side, and Rodriguez slotted the ball to the right side of the net to lock down a 1-0 lead for USC. That goal notched Rodriguez's eighth of the season and 21st of her USC career. She also moved up on the USC all-time charts to now rank No. 5 all-time in career game-winning goals with eight. Freshman midfielder Sandoval also runs her assists tally up to nine with her initial assist, and Ohai now holds four assists on the season.
With the seal finally broken, USC kept pushing and got an insurance goal in the 54th minute when Marihelen Tomer broke loose and made a move on the left side, taking a slicing shot to the right that went bar-in for a 2-0 USC advantage. Creighton got off its first shot of the game in the 65th minute of play, when Eden Hingwing pushed a shot on goal that Kristin Olsen picked up. Creighton would manage four shots in the half, forcing two saves out of USC goalkeeper Kristin Olsen, who picked up her eighth solo shutout of the year with the eventual win and helping the Trojans to their 11th shutout this season.
With the USC defensive line of Janessa Currier, Kasey Johnson, Karter Haug and Stacey Strong instrumental in stymieing the Bluejays and feeding into the powerful USC midfield and attack, the Trojans were able to bust through once more in the game. In the 74th minute, Haug played a long ball into the box, where senior Lauren Brown collected it, turned and drilled a shot that deflected off a Creighton defender and into the left side of the goal to make it 3-0 USC.
USC 3, Creighton 0
SAVES: Kristin Olsen (USC) 2, Kristen Casey (CRE) 8, Team (CRE) 1.
SHOTS: USC 37, CRE 4
CORNER KICKS: USC 10, CRE 3