No. 25 Usc Women's Soccer Edges UC Irvine
Trojans Win 1-0 In Final Non-Conference Game
LOS ANGELES -- An early goal by junior forward Courtney Barham and an outstanding defensive effort lifted the No. 25 USC women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over UC Irvine at the Coliseum on Sunday.
USC, at 9-1-1, is on pace to have its best season ever in the program's five-year existence. The Women of Troy earned their first-ever national ranking this past week, coming in at No. 25 in the Soccer Buzz poll. UC Irvine falls to 8-5.
In the West Region rankings, the Women of Troy are No. 5 and the Anteaters are No. 6.
USC scored the game's only goal in the 14th minute. Sophomore midfielder Kim Clark lifted a free kick from the left side to the front of the goal. UC Irvine goalkeeper Kirsten Roy tried to come out and defend USC freshman forward Megan Orach, who leaped and missed the ball. Roy was then out of position when the ball went right to Barham, who knocked it in with one touch.
From then on, it was a physical and tenacious defensive battle. UCI forward Nicole Bucciarelli, who was tied for the West Region lead in points entering the week, was held to just one shot on goal thanks to the play of USC's defense, led by junior Meghan Reppe.
"This was a battle," USC Coach Jim Millinder said. "We work hard on our defense in practice, so I expect us to be tough there. The people who score the goals usually get the accolades, but our defense has done an outstanding job. We started three freshmen and Meghan Reppe back there, and I think Meghan is the top man-marker in the entire West Region."
The Women of Troy took 14 shots, while the Anteaters attempted seven.
USC senior goalkeeper Laura Badagliacco made five saves and earned her second solo shutout of the year and her third overall.
The Women of Troy begin Pacific-10 Conference play with games at Stanford on Friday (Oct. 10) at 4 p.m. and California (Oct. 12) on Sunday at 1 p.m.