Women's Soccer
    USC Rolls Home For Trojan Invitational

    Ashley Freyer scored her 10th career goal last weekend at Illinois.

    Sept. 6, 2011


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    The USC women's soccer team brings a three-game win streak back to McAlister Field as the Women of Troy look for their first home wins of the year. USC (3-3) hosts the Trojan Invitational this weekend, with No. 4 Oklahoma State (7-0), Texas (5-1) and San Diego (4-2) coming to town. Game one features San Diego vs. Texas at 1 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 9) followed by the Trojans' showdown with Oklahoma State at 3:30 p.m. On Sunday (Sept. 11), San Diego and Oklahoma State have the morning matchup at 10 a.m., and USC will do battle with Texas at 12:30 p.m.

    Live stats will be available for this weekend's matches. Click on the Gametracker link for each game on the USC soccer schedule page at usctrojans.com.

    Come join in a new tradition at USC soccer games! At every Friday home game, two specialty food trucks will be at McAlister Field.

    USC opened the year ranked No. 25 in both the NSCAA and Soccer America preseason polls, but dropped out of the polls after opening losses and is currently receiving votes in the polls. Oklahoma State leads the field at this weekend's Trojan Invitational, ranked highest at No. 4 in the NSCAA poll. San Diego and Texas are unranked but receiving votes in the polls.

    The No. 4 Cowgirls enter the week undefeated at 7-0 after beating Creighton 1-0 and Arkansas-Little Rock 7-0 last week. Krista Lopez and Taylor Mathews lead OSU with a combined nine goals so far. Rosa Medina and Adrianna Franch have shared time in goal, combining for 25 saves and just one goal allowed to date. Colin Carmichael enters his 16th season as head coach of the Cowgirls, who set a program record with a 20-4-2 overall record last season, reaching the NCAA Quarterfinals and falling to eventual champ Notre Dame 2- last season. USC and Oklahome State have faced off just twice, both in the 2009 season. USC registered a 1-0 win over the Cowgirls in Stillwater, Okla., early in the season, and then OSU advanced to the NCAA Second Round after a 1-1 tie led to penalty kicks in the 2009 first round vs. the Trojans.

    The Longhorns enter the week at 5-1-0 overall after 2-0 wins over UTSA and Dartmouth last week to make it a five-game winning streak following a 3-1 loss to LMU in their season opener. Kylie Doniak leads the Texas offense with four goals and three assists so far, and goalkeeper Alexa Gaul has 12 saves and four goals against in the first six games. Chris Petrucelli is in his 12th season as head coach of the Longhorns, who went 11-6-4 last season with a trip to the NCAA First Round. USC and Texas have clashed just once before, resulting in a 1-1 tie last season in Austin.

    USC turned an early-season slump into a three-game winning streak after a victorious weekend run through out-of-state competition. In a big matchup at No. 17 Illinois, USC put together an offensive onslaught that rang up a 3-1 victory, with a 17th minute goal from Ashley Freyer leading into two second-half strikes by the Trojans. Haley Boysen scored on a Brittany Kerridge assist in the 57th minute, and Kerridge converted on a penalty kick in the 66th to put USC ahead 3-0 for some padding. A 74th minute score by the Illini put the game-winner as Boysen's blast, and USC had some momentum to carry them across the state lines. On Sunday, the Trojans fought out of a halftime hole to claim an overtime victory over host Purdue, thanks to an equalizer from Elizabeth Eddy and the game-winner from Courtney Garcia in OT. Goalie Shelby Church had another six-save outing for the Trojans, rounding out a strong weekend in goal for the USC sophomore. Both games were a part of the Illini/Boilermaker Cup, and four Women of Troy earned All-Tournament Team honors on the successful road trip: Brittany Kerridge, Shelby Church, Carly Butcher and Ashley Freyer. For her two-assist, one-goal effort on the weekend, Kerridge was named one of CollegeSoccer360.com's Primetime Performers of the Week

    USC has two players sidelined for the season with ACL injuries. Sophomore defender Mia Bruno suffered a tear during the spring, and freshman defender Heather Davis was injured during high school. Two Trojans return to the lineup after season-ending knee injuries sustained last season -- redshirt junior defender Chelsea Buehning and redshirt sophomore midfielder Morgan Morrow.

    USC went 13-6-3 overall last season after a third-place finish in the Pac-10 with a 5-3-1 mark. The Trojans reached the NCAA Tournament for the sixth straight season, beating Illinois 3-1 in the first round before falling 4-0 to eventual NCAA champion Notre Dame. Ashli Sandoval was USC's top scorer with six goals -- including three game-winners -- while Autumn Altamirano and Elizabeth Eddy each added five goals. Karter Haug was USC's assists leader with six assists, and Shelby Church was USC's goalkeeper of record in all games as she hauled in 82 saves with 25 goals against. Pac-10 honors went to seniors Haug and Megan Ohai on the Second Team and Alyssa Dávila with honorable mention along with Sandoval. Eddy was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team.

    In spite of interruptions from injuries, USC redshirt senior Ashli Sandoval has already locked in on the USC career leader boards. As she enters her final season with the Trojans, the 2007 NCAA Champion is following up her call-up to the Mexican National Team's summer training camp with one last push to the top of the lists at Troy. Sandoval has a hold with the No. 4 all-time mark in career assists (23), No. 8 in career game-winning goals (5), No. 10 in career points (51) and No. 10 in career goals (14). Sandoval was recently joined on the game-winning goal board by junior Courtney Garcia, who tallied her fifth game-winner in USC's overtime win at Purdue last weekend. Meanwhile, making a push to join Sandoval on the assists ladder is senior Brittany Kerridge, whose two assists over the weekend give her a career count of 10 to date.

    Five of USC's top seven scorers in 2010 were either freshmen or sophomores. That sure-footed unit returns for 2011, along with leading scorer Ashli Sandoval, who provided six goals in 2010 after being sidelined in 2009 with an ACL injury. As freshmen, Autumn Altamirano, Haley Boysen and Elizabeth Eddy accounted for a third of USC's goal-scoring in 2010. Now sophomores with some extra savvy, that trio combines forces with Sandoval, senior Ashley Freyer and juniors Courtney Garcia and Samantha Johnson as the Trojans bring back seven of their top eight scorers. Thirteen different Women of Troy got to the back of the net to tally 39 goals in 2010. Now, six games into 2011, three of those 2010 scorers are already on the board, as Boysen, Eddy, Freyer and Garcia have all scored to date, while Brittany Kerridge has blasted to the front of the pack with a career season even in the early goings, boasting three goals and four assists so far.

    Three Trojan newcomers have already made their marks on the offensive end this season. Transfers Kristina Noriega and Erica Vangsness have each scored a goal apiece, and true freshman Jessica Musmanno has served up an assist for the Trojans. Noriega and Musmanno have both appeared in the starting lineup as well, with Noriega a full-time starter on the back line, and Musmanno holding two starts up front for the Trojans.

    USC head coach Ali Khosroshahin just finished up his 10th season of collegiate head coaching. It's a milestone that he admits came faster than he expected, but there's no doubt that he has squeezed a lot of shining moments into his first decade. In his four seasons at the helm of the Women of Troy, he's continued his streak of NCAA appearances (2005 and 2006 at Cal State Fullerton; 2007-present at USC) and picked up a national championship along the way. Khosroshahin and the Trojans won the 2007 NCAA title in his first season at Troy, making USC the first and only Pac-12 school to ever win a women's soccer national championship. The 2007 National Coach of the Year, Khosroshahin totes a 61-20-10 (.725) overall record at USC and 137-60-16 (.681) career record into this final season of his first decade of collegiate coaching.