No. 17 USC Travels to UC Riverside for Friday Night Tilt|
Aug. 27, 2015
THIS WEEK The No. 17 Trojans, fresh off a strong opening weekend where they defeated then No. 15 Texas Tech and then played No. 1 Florida State tight, but eventually fell 1-0 on an 83rd-minute goal. The Trojans remain on the road this week, visiting UC Riverside on Friday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. PT.
SCOUTING UC RIVERSIDE The Trojans are 1-0 vs. UC Riverside all-time, having defeated them 8-1 last season at McAlister Field. Jamie Fink had her first career hat trick in the match. Kayla Mills, Tamara Mejia and Moriah Earley are three returners who also had a goal in the game.
RANDLE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK Dominique Randle led a staunch Trojan defense that held two top-15 teams scoreless for 172 minutes at the NM Lobos Invitational this past weekend. The Trojans, who went 1-1 on the weekend, shut out then-No. 13 Texas Tech, allowing them only six shots in the match and shored up the defense even tighter in the second half, not allowing a corner kick to the dangerous Red Raiders to go on and win their first match of the season, 1-0. Then against the reigning national champions and current No. 1 Florida State, Randle and her defense held the Seminoles scoreless for 82 minutes, thwarting multiple attacks. The Seminoles were only allowed nine shots and just four on goal through 90 minutes. They finally broke through in the 83rd minute with the eventual game-winning goal, but that was the only goal Randle and the Trojans gave up through two tough matches. This is Randle's first career Defensive Player of the Week nod and the second all-time for the Trojans, as Whitney Pitalo earned the honor last season. She was also named to the College Soccer 360 Primetime Players of the Week
THIS YEAR'S MIX Consistency is key to this year's group, which returns nine starters from last season and adds strong reinforcements in college transfers Sammy Jo Prudhomme, Morgan Andrews and Amanda Rooney. Six true freshmen also join the fold of 20 returners, led by impact defender Ally Prisock.
IN GOAL Trojan fans will see a new goalkeeper in 2015, as three-year starter Caroline Stanley graduated and is currently competing for the Seattle Reign of the National Women's Soccer League. Fortunately, the Trojans have a good one waiting in the wings, as redshirt junior Sammy Jo Prudhomme has patiently sat out the last season after transferring within conference from Oregon State last year. Prudomme, a Pac-12 All-Freshman team honoree in 2012 made 188 saves for the Beavers in just two seasons. Senior Faith Sugerman and sophomore Julia Murphy round out the goalkeeping core and the group has had competitive sessions all camp.
THE DEFENSE The Trojans return the entire back line with Whitney Pitalo, Dominique Randle and the highly-decorated Kayla Mills, who earned All-Pac-12 and NSCAA West Region honors in 2014, as well as being named the No. 15 player nationally by TopDrawerSoccer. Joining the strong core is freshman Ally Prisock, who entered school a semester early and was able to hit the ground running this fall. Redshirt freshman Abigail Callahan also adds more depth in the back, along with U.S. Youth National team alum Mandy Freeman, who is being transitioned to the midfield, but can still play in the back.
THE MIDFIELD Mandy Freeman will anchor the midfield, along with highly-touted transfers Morgan Andrews (Notre Dame) and Amanda Rooney (North Carolina). Returning veterans Erin Owen, Jamie Fink and Dana Schwartz, along with rising sophomore Nicole Molen provide an outstanding midfield for Troy.
THE FORWARDS One big hole that the Trojans will have to fill is the loss of 2014 leading scorer Alex Quincey's 10 goals. Fink was tied for second on the team with six goals and McAlpine hopes she can find the back of the net more often this season. Those joining Fink at striker this season to fill the void left by Quincey are redshirt junior Reilly Parker, seniors Tamara Mejia and Natalie Donaldson, sophomore Sydney Sladek and freshman Olga Langenskiöld.
TUNE IN TO THE TROJANS USC's 2015 schedule features eight televised games for the Women of Troy. The team will play four games at home and four on the road. Pac-12 Network personalities Krista Blunk, Tammy Blackburn, Anne Marie Anderson and Kyndra de St. Aubin also return to rotate broadcasting duties throughout the season.
AROD A WORLD CUP CHAMPION USC's Amy Rodriguez started collecting championship hardware as a Trojan, her winning efforts spanning the 2007 NCAA Championship with USC before stepping onto the Olympic gold-medal podium in Beijing and London with Team USA. She also won the NWSL title in 2014. Now, Rodriguez and her fellow U.S. National Team members have given the U.S. its third star, as the team won the 2015 World Cup in Vancouver, Can. Rodriguez made her first start in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup against China in the quarterfinals after seeing her first 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup action against Sweden on June 12, 2015.
SUCCESS IN THE CLASSROOM
A program record number of USC women's soccer players earned Pac-12 All-Academic honors in 2014. The Trojans had one player earn placement on the Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team, while 11 others earned honorable mention. The program's 12 selections tied just Washington for the most out of any team in the conference. Moriah Earley led the group by receiving Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team honors.
2014 senior Jessica Musmanno earned her third All-Academic Honorable Mention, while senior Alex Quincey and then-juniors Megan Borman, Jamie Fink, Katie Johnson, Erin Owen and Whitney Pitalo became two-time honorees as Honorable Mentions. Then-juniors Natalie Donaldson and Tamara Mejia, and then-sophomores Savannah Levin and Kayla Mills were all recognized as Trojan academic standouts.