No. 13 USC Off To Indiana For Two Matches
Sept. 5, 2007
THIS WEEK: The No. 13 Women of Troy shove off on their first out-of-state adventure with a pair of road matches in Bloomington, Ind. USC (2-0-0) first faces Maryland (1-0-1) at 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday (Sept. 7) and then plays host Indiana (1-1-0) at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday (Sept. 9).
RANKINGS: USC has risen in the national polls across the board after the first week of action, boasting its highest ranking since 2002, ranked at No. 13 according to SoccerBuzz. The Trojans rose six slots to sit at No. 19 in the NSCAA/adidas poll, while ranking No. 18 in the Soccer America poll, No. 20 in SoccerTimes and No. 27 according to TopDrawer. Neither Maryland nor Indiana are ranked in this week's polls.
LAST WEEK: The Women of Troy jumped out to a winning start to 2007 with a home and a road win last week. In USC's home opener against Weber State, the Trojans rolled out to a 4-0 lead behind back-to-back goals from freshman Megan Ohai, one from Lauren Brown and one from Janessa Currier. The Wildcats managed a goal off a free kick, but USC responded with a shot from Ashley Nick to close out a 5-1 opening win for the Trojans. Two days later, the Trojans were rewarded for their long bus ride to Santa Barbara with a 2-0 win over the Gauchos. Again, Ohai registered the game-winner -- marking the first time in Trojan history that one player has opened the season with back-to-back game-winning goals -- and Meagan Holmes notched USC's second goal of the game, finishing off the Trojans' second score off a corner kick in the match. Both corners were sent in by freshman Ashli Sandoval, with assists from Kasey Johnson on Ohai's goal and one from Currier on Holmes' score. The defense stood strong the rest of the way, as sophomore goalie Kristin Olsen earned her first career solo shutout after posting two saves in the win.
SCOUTING MARYLAND: Maryland comes into this week's match with a 1-0-1 record after a scoreless tie with Eastern Kentucky and a 2-1 win over Fairleigh Dickinson last week. Mary Casey notched a goal and an assist to lead the Terps in the win. Brian Pensky is in his third season as head coach. The Terps return seven starters and 14 letterwinners from last year's team, which went 5-9-4 overall in 2006. USC is 1-1 all-time against Maryland, having lost 3-1 in 1998 and won 3-0 in 1999.
SCOUTING INDIANA: Indiana comes into this weekend's match with a 1-1-0 record after a 1-0 loss to #13 Florida and a 4-3 overtime win over Jacksonville last week. Christie Kotynski notched the game-winning goal and an assist to lead the Hoosiers in the win. Mick Lyon is in his sixth season as head coach. The Hoosiers return 15 letterwinners and six starters from last year's squad, which went 9-7-4 overall in 2006. USC is 1-0 all-time against Indiana, last winning 6-0 at McAlister Field in 2005.
ROAD TESTED: USC's flight to Indiana may be about as long as the Trojans' bus ride to Santa Barbara over last weekend. Labor Day weekend traffic bogged down the 90-mile trip and pushed back the start of the game, but the Women of Troy eventually shook off the slow start and punched in a pair of first-half goals to lock away their second win of the season.
PEPPERING THE PAC: USC's goal-happy start to 2007 has lifted several Trojans into the Pac-10 rankings after the first week's action. Standing tall in the Pac-10 stats is freshman Megan Ohai, who leads the league in total goals (3) and point (6). And with a conference-high goals (7) and assists (7) mark through the weekend, a host of other Trojans appear on the stat sheets, including freshman Ashli Sandoval's top mark of two assists.
FRESH START: The USC freshman class wasted no time making an impact. Coach Ali Khosroshahin gave the starting nod to five freshmen for USC's first two games, and all five had a foot in Trojan goals during those opening wins. Megan Ohai topped them all with three goals in two games, including a historic back-to-back game-winner effort. She became the first USC player since 1998 to score three goals in USC's first two games of the year, and is the first-ever Trojan to notch back-to-back game-winning goals to open the season. Her first career goal was assisted by fellow freshman Karter Haug, and the remaining freshmen starters also tallied assists in the wins. Alyssa Davila served up an assist in the 5-1 win over Weber State as well, and Kasey Johnson set up Ohai's third goal of the weekend in the 2-0 win over UC Santa Barbara. Both Trojan goals in the UCSB win were arranged by Ashli Sandoval, who notched assists with her first two corner kicks against the Gauchos. All told, USC freshmen have accumulated a combined 11 points, led by Ohai's six.
ON PACE: Junior forward Amy Rodriguez already has made a home in the USC record books for career points (36), goals (13), assists (10) and game-winners (6), but she stands to keep climbing the charts this season. Within reach of joining Rodriguez in the history books is senior forward Lauren Brown, who holds eight career goals after last week's score, along with seven assists and three game-winners for a career count of 23 points.
SHUTDOWN STREET: Sophomore goalkeeper Kristin Olsen had a hand in two of USC's program-record 14 shutouts last season, but as the starting keeper for the Trojans' first two games of this year Olsen recently grabbed her first career solo shutout (Sept. 2 vs. UC Santa Barbara), and her first career wins in playing the full 90 against Weber State and UCSB.
2006 RECAP: The Women of Troy posted an 11-5-5 overall record with a repeat trip to the NCAA Second Round. To get there, USC managed a huge upset of perennial power Santa Clara with a 1-0 win over the host Broncos in the First Round. The Second Round saw the Trojans up against fellow Pac-10 team Stanford, and the Cardinal pulled out the win to cap off USC's NCAA run. USC set new program records in 2006, notching 14 shutouts, including a stretch of six straight shutout wins. USC allowed an all-time low mark of 13 goals against. Pac-10 play was marked with a series of ties, however, which left the Trojans with a fifth-place finish after four scoreless draws for a 3-2-4 record. Season honors went to senior midfielder Rosa Anna Tantillo, who earned All-Pac-10 First Team for the third straight year. Meagan Holmes and Stacey Strong were named to the Second Team, and Lauren Brown and Nini Loucks received honorable mention. Regionally, Tantillo and Janessa Currier earned nods to the SoccerBuzz All-West Region Second Team. All honorees except for Tantillo return for 2007.