Women of Troy look to extend a winning start to 2012 with clashes against St. Mary's and Minnesota.
Aug. 21, 2012
USC Women's Soccer Release
The USC women's soccer team has its first 1-0 start to the year since 2008 in the books as the 2012 Women of Troy turn to host their first games of the season. USC settles in at home on McAlister Field to take on a pair of visitors this weekend. First, the Trojans (1-0) line up against Saint Mary's (1-1) in a 3 p.m. home opener on Friday (Aug. 24). Then, USC faces Minnesota (1-1) at 1 p.m. on Sunday (Aug. 26) in the Trojans' debut on the Pac-12 Networks for a nationally televised showdown with the Golden Gophers.
PAC-12 NETWORK KICKOFF!
USC women's soccer will be the first Trojan team to be in action live on the new Pac-12 Networks! The Women of Troy take a national stage on the networks on Sunday (Aug. 26) at 1 p.m. vs. Minnesota. The Trojans' televised showdown is one of 58 women's soccer matches broadcast by Pac-12 Networks this season. The Pac-12 Networks launched August 15 and consist of one national and six regional networks de-voted solely to the Pac-12. In addition to the hundreds of live televised Pac-12 sporting events, Pac-12 Networks subscribers will have access to their carrier's `TV Everywhere' platform, providing access to all Pac-12 Networks programming on any device through their broadband service. Visit pac-12.com for more information!
DADS & DAUGHTERS
Here's your chance for you and your family to get some national attention! Sunday's USC-Minnesota game is Dads & Daughters Day at McAlister Field. For $20, wou get two game tickets, two commemorative Trojan cups, two hot dogs, two chips and two sodas. Tickets are limited, though, so CLICK HERE to get yours today!
USC is not ranked in the current 2012 polls. Saint Mary's and Minnesota also are unranked, but Minnesota is receiving votes in the NSCAA and SoccerTimes polls.
SCOUTING SAINT MARY'S
The Gaels are 1-1 overall after opening the year with a 2-0 win at Portland State and a 5-1 loss at Seattle University last week. Katy Roby led the offense in those games with a goal and an assist, while goalkeeper Kate Brenot had 13 saves and five goals against in 158 minutes of action last week. Head coach Kai Edwards is in his fourth season at SMC, which went 10-8-2 overall last season and was 1-6-1 in conference play. Current USC junior Jordan Marada was the Gaels' top scorer in 2011, with nine goals and 12 assists. USC is 2-0-1 all-time against Saint Mary's. The Trojans won the last meeting in a 2-1 victory in 2004 in Moraga, Calif.
The Golden Gophers are 1-1 overall after two tight games to open 2012. Minnesota lost 3-2 to No. 4 Florida State and then beat No. 24 South Carolina 2-1 in overtime. Taylor Uhl scored goals in each game and assisted on Haley Helverson's OT winner. Goalkeeper Cat Parkhill made 10 saves across the two games with five goals against. Head coach Stefanie Golan is in her first year at Minnesota, which went 9-10-2 overall and was 5-6-1 in conference play. This will be the first-ever meeting between USC and Minnesota.
USC shrugged off a one-goal deficit and a red card that left the Trojans a player short by rattling off three goals in a 12-minute span for a wild 3-2 comeback win over Cal State Fullerton in the season opener. Set plays from newcomer Jordan Marada helped set up the first two goals, and she would finish off the third on an assist from Jessica Musmanno to punch in the winner for USC in Marada's first game as a Trojan. Freshman Marlee Carrillo scored the first goal on a corner-kick header, and senior Samantha Johnson finished a penalty kick for the second as USC opened 2012 with a win for the first time since 2008. The 2012 Women of Troy lined up with seven newcomers in starting roles, including six freshmen. As nerves were still settling out in the early stretch, the Titans were able to test USC's freshman goalkeeper Faith Sugerman with a few shots on goal. Sugerman was up to the test, knocking away several shots before her Trojan back line buckled in and the defense managed to defuse the Titan strikers for the remainder of the first half. She would finish with six nice saves in her USC debut.
USC has two players sidelined for the season after offseason ACL injuries. Senior Isabelle Johnson and incoming freshman Jeanette Jimenez will not participate in 2012.
BACK ON THE ATTACK
USC returns seven of its 11 goal scorers from 2011, including top scorer Elizabeth Eddy, who provided four goals, including two game-winners. Those seven had combined to provide 64 percent of the Trojan scoring load last season. In addition to Eddy, who enters her junior season this year, USC has senior Kristina Noriega and Samantha Johnson and junior Haley Boysen back as multiple-goal scorers in 2011.
USC's Amy Rodriguez captured her second Olympic gold medal this summer as a member of Team USA in London. An All-American at USC, Rodriguez competed for the Women of Troy from 2005-2008. In her junior season, Rodriguez helped power USC to its first-ever NCAA Championship, as the Trojans won the 2007 title. The following year, Rodriguez had been called up the U.S. ladder to make her Olympic debut. She would go on to serve up the assist on the game-winning goal in the 2008 gold-medal game. In London, Rodriguez played in four games during the USA's run to 2012 gold.
The 2012 USC women's soccer team roster is 34 players strong. Twenty of those will be wearing Cardinal and Gold for the first time. And every last one of them aim to make a lasting impression. So if strength in numbers means anything at all, the Women of Troy are already in good shape. With the influx of newcomers -- an invigorating blend of transfers and freshmen -- an injury-depleted 2011 roster that was dinged up with more losses than USC had taken since 1993 now boasts such a healthy glow that Khosroshahin is certain his 2012 Trojans are certainly set to outshine the competition to come.
The versatile senior Samantha Johnson played in almost every spot on the pitch except for the goal in her junior season to help fill holes left by a vicious injury bug. A striker by nature, Johnson moved to a defensive role last year. But now, with returns and reinforcements bolstering the Trojan back line, Johnson has been freed up to lead her team from a more natural spot in the attack. Now in her fourth year at Troy, Johnson is the reigning veteran to lead by example and by instruction.
The Trojans tote an arsenal of four goalkeepers into 2012, with two fresh pairs of hands in the mix with returning keepers Carley Pennington and Lindsey Brown. Tabbed for the starting slot is highly touted sophomore transfer Caroline Stanley, whose toughness and athleticism stand strong for the Trojans as she enters her first season of competition at Troy. The Missouri transfer and native has another out-of-state import alongside her in New Jersey product Faith Sugerman, a promising freshman who has impressed Khosroshahin already.
Senior Kristina Noriega wraps up her second season at USC after joining the Trojans as a transfer in 2011. A lofty center back, Noriega was a clutch addition to the defensive staff in the light of a season-ending injury suffered by standout defender Mia Bruno during the spring. Bruno is back as a redshirt sophomore for 2012, locking in a powerful tagteam of experience, skill and know-how to anchor the Trojan back line. Speedy junior Autumn Altamirano answered the call to the back line, bringing a dangerous ability to charge up the transition game to turn defense into an offensive counterattack from the wing. Junior Elizabeth Eddy can fit well into the opposite wing, too, while the Trojans can compliment that speed on the corners with serious size in the center. In addition to the height that Bruno and Noriega bring, USC welcomes a freshman pairing of 6-foot Marlee Carrillo and 6-1 Erin Owen. More new defensive depth also comes from Heather Davis, Jessica Flores, Hannah Moehling, Amanda Mohajer, Dominique Randle and Darrah Shields.
With the field general Samantha Johnson running the show in the Trojan midfield, USC is already primed with a feisty attack mode. Johnson has a crop of impressive young talent at her disposal as well, with freshmen Jamie Fink and Megan Borman on call to further charge up the midfield and junior transfer Jordan Marada already a proven scoring machine. Junior Haley Boysen returns with a nose for the goal, too, joined by a set of freshmen with midfield prowess in April Juarez, Dana Schwartz and Alex Quincey, not to mention the abilities of juniors Eddy and Altamirano to move up within striking distance.
Cutting their teeth on the front lines in their Trojan debuts are freshman forwards Katie Johnson and Whitney Pitalo, whose addition to the attack Khosroshahin is truly excited about. The fresh feet of those two young talents can be joined by some returning skill in sophomore Elizabeth Caparis and senior Courtney Garcia, with sophomore Jessica Musmanno and Erica Vangsness possible fits with a year's experience at Troy. Newcomer Tamara Mejia can also make an impact up front, as may her fellow freshman forward Arielle Baptiste. Out for the season with knee injuries sustained in the offseason are senior Isabelle Johnson and freshman Jeanette Jimenez.
USC had a shockingly frustrating season in 2011, taking the second most losses in program history in finishing up 7-13-0 overall. Six of those losses were in one-goal games, and the Trojans would finish eighth in the Pac-12 at 4-7-0. Elizabeth Eddy was USC's top scorer with four goals, including two game-winners. Senior Brittany Kerridge led the pack in assist with nine, finishing with a team-high 15 points. USC would miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004. All-Pac-12 honors went to Kerridge on the second team an honorable mention to Eddy. USC scored 22 goals in 2011 and allowed 35.