No. 18 USC Opens Pac-12 Play at Arizona on Friday|
Sept. 24, 2014
THIS WEEK - The USC women's soccer team (6-1-2) heads to Tucson, Ariz. to open Pac-12 play at Arizona on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. PT. The game will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.
IN THE RANKINGS - The Women of Troy are ranked No. 21 in the NSCAA poll, 18th in the Soccer America poll, and 19th in the TopDrawer Poll this week. The team dropped six slots from their No. 15 ranking in the NSCAA poll last year. The highest the team has been ranked this season is No. 14, marking the highest the Women of Troy have been ranked since the second week of the 2009 season when they were ranked No. 12. That year they started off the season ranked No. 8 nationally.
GOALS GALORE The Women of Troy have scored 29 goals so far on the season, just three shy of tying the number of goals they scored all of last season (31). The Women of Troy have 14 different goal scorers on the year, with six having had multi-goal outings.
BEST START - The Women of Troy's season start of 6-0-2 is a program-best. The program has never seen a team be undefeated through its first eight games of the season. The last record was the 2000 team, which went 5-0-0 to start the year.
SCOUTING ARIZONA - The Wildcats (6-1-1) are on a four-game winning streak coming into Friday's match, and a six-game unbeaten streak after their one loss of the year to Florida Gulf Coast on August 24, 2-1. Gabi Stoian leads the team with seven goals, followed by Alexandra Doller with four. Goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman has a 0.73 goals against average and a .806 saves percentage. She has four shutouts on the year.
The Women of Troy are 14-4-2 all-time vs. the Wildcats. In Tucson the Women of Troy are 6-2-2. The last time the team played there was in 2012, where they played to a 1-1 draw in overtime. Last season the Women of Troy fell 3-2 to the Wildcats in overtime at the Coliseum.
CONFERENCE OPENERS - The Women of Troy are 9-7-3 in Pac-10/12 openers . This is only the second time in program history that the Women of Troy have opened Pac-10/12 play vs. Arizona and the first time they have opened up at Arizona. In 1999 the Women of Troy defeated the Wildcats 6-0 in the home-opener at the Coliseum. The Women of Troy are 2-5 in Pac-10/12 openers on the road since 1995.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK - The Women of Troy went 1-0-1 last week, defeating Arkansas Pine Bluff 9-0 before suffering their first loss of the year at the hands of No. 12 Pepperdine, 2-1. In the defeat of Arkansas Pine Bluff, six different Trojans scored their first goals in the Cardinal and Gold. Those first-time goal scorers included seniors Jessica Musmanno and Heather Davis, juniors Natalie Donaldson and Dana Schwartz, and freshmen Allie Bruder and Noel Askins. The team's nine goals scored in the win is a program high for goals scored in a game, and the team's eight goals in the first half are also a program-high. Askins, Bruder and Faith Sugerman all made their season debuts in the game.
On Sunday vs. Pepperdine, the Women of Troy were down 1-0 in the first half, after the Waves scored in the 16th minute off a corner kick. The team came back strong in the second half, outshooting the Waves 15-4 in the second half, while forcing their goalkeeper Hannah Seabert to make five saves in the half. The Women of Troy scored the equalizer in the 52nd minute, as Sydney Sladek crossed the ball to Katie Johnson who creatively back-heeled the ball to an open Erin Owen at the 6 yard box who hammered it home. However, the Waves picked up the eventual game-winning goal in the 66th minute off a long throw-in, header flick to an open player back door.
IN THE NATIONAL STATS - The Women of Troy's scoring offense ranks 10th nationally, with 3.22 goals per game. The team ranks 12th with 9.11 points per game and ranks 16th with 2.67 assists per game.
FOOD TRUCK FRIDAYS! - Come join in a new tradition at USC soccer games! At every Friday home game, at leaast one specialty food truck will be at McAlister Field.
RACKING UP THE HONORS - North Carolina transfer Reilly Parker has made herself known in the early going, as her two goals over the weekend, including the game-winner over Notre Dame earned her Pac-12 Player of the Week. She was also named to Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week and was College Soccer 360 Primetime Player. The honor was the first of her career and the first for the Women of Troy since Elizabeth Eddy won in the first week of the 2013 season. Goalkeeper Caroline Stanley was also recognized her outstanding play between the pipes as Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week. Stanley is the first Trojan to win the honor since the inception of the award. She collected seven saves over the two wins, including the huge stop on the Notre Dame penalty kick. The last goalkeeper to receive a weekly honor was Kristin Olsen, who earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors in 2009.
PRESEASON ACCOLADES - Sophomore Kayla Mills earned Preseason First Team All-Pac-12 honors by College Sports Madness. Mandy Davis and Jamie Fink earned preseason second team honors. Mills also earned Preseason All-American fourth team honors by College Sports Madness. Freeman earned All-Pac-12 honors and Freshmen All-Pac-12 honors last season, while Mills earned Freshmen All-Pac-12 honors, while Fink earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention.
THE VETS - The Trojans boast four seniors in Jessica Musmanno, Alex Quincey, Caroline Stanley and Heather Davis. Stanley is set to be the Trojans' starting goalkeeper for the third-straight season. Last season Stanley started all 20 games in goal, making 78 saves for a save percentage of .757. Musmanno and Quincey provide the Trojans with versatility, and head coach McAlpine expects them to be big contributors on any of the three lines. Overall the Trojans boast 19 returners, including six starters. Jamie Fink leads a strong junior class, as the Trojans bring back goal-scoring tenacity with Fink (five goals) and Katie Johnson (five goals). Megan Borman will also be looked at to be a big contributor for the Women of Troy in 2014.
THE SOPHS - The Trojans boast a strong group of sophomores, headlined by Mandy Freeman and Kayla Mills. The Trojans also have strong contributors in midfielder/forward Savannah Levin, who appeared in 17 games last season, making seven starts. The return of a healthy Dominique Randle, now a redshirt sophomore is key for the Trojans in 2014, as she will be able to anchor the defensive line with Freeman.
THE NEWBIES - USC welcomes 11 new Women of Troy to the turf for 2014. It's a crew packed with talent and potential for immediate impact on the pitch, led by North Carolina transfer Reilly Parker. Freshman Sydney Sladek was the Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year and should make a splash for the Trojans from day one, along with Nicole Molen and Sydney Johnson.
THE STAFF - The Trojans have a new-look coaching staff in 2014. Along with head coach Keidane McAlpine, the 2013 Pac-12 Coach of the Year, the staff includes former UNLV head coach Jen Klein, one of McAlpine's assistants at Washington State, along with Jason Lockhart, also an assistant for McAlpine in Pullman, Wash.
SISTER ACTS - Three USC juniors have factored in significantly to the USC gameplan since arriving at USC two seasons ago, and their ability to make a quick transition may well be attributed to family ties. Jamie Fink, Katie Johnson and Erin Owen have all played a ton of minutes, and all three have older sisters who also have been USC student-athletes. Fink's older sister Amanda was an All-American and Pac-12 champion in tennis; Katie Johnson's older sister Isabelle also was on the soccer team; and Owen's older sister Kelly was a co-captain on the track and cross country teams before graduating last year. Whether it has been familiarity with USC overall or sisterly advice on how to succeed as a student-athlete, it's working as all three have played in every game to date.
The collegiate soccer pedigree lives amongst other Women of Troy, including sophomores Mandy Freeman, Savannah Levin and Dominique Randle. Mandy's sister Ashley played soccer, softball and ran track at Florida, while her sister Tiara played soccer at South Alabama. Savannah's sister Camille played soccer for four seasons at Stanford and was a member of the 2011 National Championship team on the Farm. Camille currently plays in the NWSL for Sky Blue F.C. as a defender. Randle's sister Brittanee plays college soccer at Missouri. Marlee Carrillo's sister Mikaela Carrillo also plays Division I soccer and is a senior defender at Idaho State this season.