Women's Soccer
    USC Kicks Off Pac-12 Play At Arizona State
    Autumn Altamirano and the Trojans are looking to avenge an overtime loss to ASU last year in Tempe.
    Autumn Altamirano and the Trojans are looking to avenge an overtime loss to ASU last year in Tempe.

    Sept. 24, 2013

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    THIS WEEK
    The USC women's soccer team kicks off conference competition this week with a single-game road trip to Arizona. There, the Trojans (5-3-1) will open up Pac-12 play against Arizona State (5-3-0) in a 4 p.m. MT matchup on Sunday (Sept. 29) in Tempe. The game will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks.

    THE LAST MEETING
    USC4  
    Arizona State5(2OT)
    September 28, 2012
    Tempe, Ariz.
    Things Get Heated In Tempe: USC Falls 5-4 In OT At ASU
    It couldn't have been much hotter or wilder in Tempe today. On a steamy day of Pac-12 play, the USC women's soccer team fought back from a two-goal deficit to host Arizona State to bring up overtime, only to be stuck two players down with red cards. In OT, ASU was able to net the winner in the 101st minute to record a 5-4 win over the visiting Trojans. USC had a go-ahead goal rubbed from the books in the first half when referees failed to see a shot from Katie Johnson cross the goal line -- a clear score on replay, but not caught by the eyes that mattered in this one.

    FOLLOW ALONG
    Sunday's USC-Arizona State match will be televised live by Pac-12 Networks, with play-by-play from Christian Miles and analysis from Kyndra de St. Aubin. The live streaming broadcast is also available online to Pac-12 Network recipients at pac-12.com/networks/pac-12-national/.

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    RANKINGS
    USC moved back in the national rankings for the first time since the start of 2011, when the Trojans opened the year ranked No. 25 in the NSCAA preseason poll. The primary national coaches' poll, NSCAA, had USC in the rankings the first three weeks, but the Trojans dropped out last week. Arizona State also is unranked.

    SCOUTING ASU
    The Sun Devils are 5-3-0 overall after a 2-0 loss to Boise State last week. Cali Farquharson is ASU's top scorer with nine goals to date, and Holland Crook leads with six assists. Goalkeeper Chandler Morris has made 29 saves with 10 goals allowed in her eight appearances. The Sun Devils went 10-9-2 overall last season with a trip to the NCAA First Round. ASU went 6-4-1 in Pac-12 play last year. USC is 12-5 all-time against the Sun Devils, but the teams have traded wins the past six seasons. The Trojans lost 5-4 in double overtime to ASU last year in Tempe.

    LAST WEEK
    USC played its third and fourth consecutive games at McAlister field last week and came away with a home split. The Trojans opened the week with a rare Thursday clash against Florida Atlantic, and USC was ready for the opportunity. Jamie Fink would open the scoring with a goal in the 16th minute on a Jordan Marada assist to give USC a leg up. 15 minutes later, Marada herself struck for the Trojans, and USC's 2-0 halftime lead would hold strong through regulation as USC beat the Owls 2-0 as Fink registered the first game-winning goal of her career. USC out-shot FAU 14-5 in the game en route to the victory. The Women of Troy would later lineup against a local rival, facing Cal State Fullerton on Sunday in front of a packed house of 1,140 fans. USC was again the aggressor and came out firing, as Megan Borman scored for the Trojans just 37 seconds into the game. That 1-0 lead would hold up for another 15 minutes before the Titans equalized. USC went on to out-shoot Cal State Fullerton 24-7 in the match, which extended into double overtime, but it was the Titans' last strike of the day that made the difference. Cal State Fullerton netted the game-winner in the 108th minute of play to hand the Trojans a 2-1 loss in USC's third overtime match of the year. The Trojans remain winless in three overtime tries this season, having tied Ole Miss and lost in OT matches to Pepperdine and Cal State Fullerton.

    BIG WINNERS ON OPENING WEEKEND
    Trojans emerged victorious from their first road trip of the year, tacking up 4-1 upset win over No. 11 San Diego State before amassing another four-goal outing to beat host San Diego 4-2. USC finished as the only team at the USD Tournament with two wins, and had Elizabeth Eddy and Jamie Fink named to the All-Tournament Team. Against the No. 11 Aztecs, USC was in control throughout and quickly made a 1-0 halftime lead a solid 3-0 advantage with goals three minutes apart from freshman Kayla Mills and sophomore Jamie Fink. Senior Elizabeth Eddy bookended those blast in scoring USC's first and last goals of the match as the Women of Troy locked in on a decisive winning start to 2013. Defensively, the USC's starting back line of Marlee Carrillo, Mia Bruno, Mandy Freeman and Autumn Altamirano did a good job of limiting work for goalkeeper Caroline Stanley, who was called to action for three saves in the game. Two days later, USC made another strong statement in San Diego in taking down the tournament host Toreros 4-2. USC roared to life with three first-half goals, including back-to-back goals from freshman Tanya Samarzich to follow sophomore Jamie Fink's opener. The Women of Troy would build a 4-0 advantage on a finish in the box from Elizabeth Eddy before the Toreros managed two late goals against a younger USC lineup to wrap the final scoreline as a 4-2 USC win.

    EDDY ON THE LOOSE
    Senior forward Elizabeth Eddy opened the 2013 season with a bang, becoming the first Trojan since 2010 to be named Pac-12 Player of the Week, picked as Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week on Aug. 26. Eddy scored the Trojans' first goal of 2013 as she provided the spark for the Trojans in the 7th minute of play en route to a 4-1 upset win over No. 11 San Diego State. Eddy would score the last goal of the game as well on an 89th minute breakaway to cap the 4-1 victory. With two goals on the day, it was the senior's first multiple-goal game since tallying a hat trick for USC during her freshman season. Two days later, Eddy made it a three-goal weekend as she finished off USC's fourth goal again in a 4-2 win over host San Diego, also earning a place on the the USD All-Tournament Team. The last Trojan to be named conference player of the week was Karter Haug in 2010. Eddy now leads the Women of Troy with five goals scored to date, giving her 15 in her Trojan career to rank No. 11 all-time in goal scoring.

    OFFENSIVE ONSLAUGHT
    USC's attacking abilities are in full effect. The Trojans lead the conference in points (61), is second in assists (19) and is third in goals (21) to date. USC has outscored opponents 21-10 this season, coming up scoreless in just two losses this year. USC's 12 goals scored in its first three games was a program record. With eight goals scored in its first two games, USC had bettered the seven goals scored in its first two games of 2007 when the Trojans went on to win the NCAA Championship. That year, USC won its first three games of the season -- a stat the 2013 Trojans have also matched. The Trojans' best season start to date was in 2000 when USC won five in a row to start the year.

    NUMBERS CRUNCH
    The USC attack is widespread. While senior Elizabeth Eddy leads the team with five goals, five other Women of Troy have gotten to the back of the net. On Sept. 15, sophomore Katie Johnson became the first Trojan to score a hat trick since Eddy did so in 2010. Johnson has now bettered her freshman season output as she holds four goals this year. Freshmen Tanya Samarzich and Kayla Mills have scored three apiece, even with sophomore Jamie Fink. Senior Jordan Marada has punched in two goals, and Megan Borman got in on the scoring action last weekend with her first of the year coming just 37 seconds into the game. Assists have come from a set of nine Trojans, led by Mills with five, Marada with four and Autumn Altamirano, Marlee Carrillo and Fink each with two.

    THE VETS
    The USC roster is five seniors strong this year, marking a changing of the guard that has brought some standout leadership to the forefront. A transfer last season, Jordan Marada not only was the Trojans' top scorer in 2012, she has fit into USC's veteran core like a charm, as she takes up her senior season as a Trojan alongside Autumn Altamirano, Haley Boysen, Mia Bruno and Elizabeth Eddy. There are three juniors on the list this year, but only Jessica Musmanno began her collegiate career at Troy. Alex Quincey and Caroline Stanley played their first seasons as Trojans last year, but, like Marada, they've taken a natural shine to Cardinal and Gold as they continue to be key forces in the USC gameplan. That group of eight upperclassmen have accounted for 37 goals, 29 assists and 114 saves for the Trojans to date.

    THE SOPHS
    Ah, the sophomores... Freshman year is but a distant memory for the USC sophomore class, which came into 2012 as a group of 10 new Trojans looking to make their mark. At the close of their first season, they accomplished something that few freshmen classes had managed -- a dramatic win over rival UCLA, which was then ranked No. 2 in the nation. That was the confidence boost the young Trojans needed to charge them up for the next stage in their USC careers, and the 2013 class of sophomores are undoubtedly locked in for more success. Six of them are entering 2013 already with goals on their career count. Katie Johnson had three in 2012, joined by Marlee Carrillo, Erin Owen, Megan Borman, Jamie Fink and Whitney Pitalo with goal tallies last season.

    THE NEWBIES
    USC welcomes 12 new Women of Troy to the turf for 2013. It's a crew packed with talent and potential for immediate impact on the pitch. U.S Under-20 national teamers Mandy Freeman and Kayla Mills may be the headliners, but the 12-pack of new Trojans is clearly deep and versatile. Natalie Donaldson is the only transfer in the mix this season, as the California native comes back west from Auburn.

    KICKIN' IT FOR KENYA
    Long since serving up the game-winning goal in USC's 2007 NCAA Championship victory, Trojan grad and current Director of Operations Marihelen Tomer has remained hungry to succeed. Now, the USC women's soccer standout is focusing her efforts on an international stage. As founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization Luv Way Ministries, Tomer is working to save the lives of children in Kenya. The mission of Luv Way is to build and run a children's home, where Tomer hopes to save the lives of Kenyan children. Luv Way is holding fund-raising events that range from the soccer-inspired Kickin' It For Kenya tournaments, to Komedy for Kenya shows and an upcoming concert. For more information, visit luvway.org

    TUNE IN TO THE TROJANS
    USC's 2013 schedule features 10 televised games for the Women of Troy. Of the 20 total games on the Trojans' regular-season agenda, half are scheduled to be televised by the Pac-12 Networks -- six 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.

    125 YEARS OF GREATNESS
    Since fielding a football team in 1888, USC has had an unparalleled athletic tradition, including 120 national team championships, an unprecedented 419 Olympians and 52 NCAA Postgraduate Scholars as the Trojan family celebrates its 125th anniversary this 2013-14 academic year. Including the USC women's soccer team's historic 2007 NCAA Championship victory, USC boasts a grand total of 120 national team championships, including a national-best 82 men's NCAA crowns. Trojan men have won more individual NCAA titles (309) than those from any other school, while the Women of Troy have added another 69 individual NCAA titles. Four Trojans have won the prestigious Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete. Two Women of Troy athletes have won the Honda Cup as the top collegiate female athlete of the year and there have been 15 Honda Award winners as the top female athlete in their sport. USC not only has more Olympians than any school, but more Olympic medalists (287) and gold medalists (135). USC soccer great Amy Rodriguez is a big part of that Olympic tradition as a two-time Olympic gold medalist with Team USA. Thanks in part to A-Rod, a Trojan has won a gold medal in every summer Olympics since 1912. Go to usctrojans.com/125 to revisit the athletic highlights for Trojans the past 125 years.