The USC women's soccer team continues is Pac-12 road run this week, venturing from last week's heated games in the Arizona desert to expectedly cooler climate in Oregon. After three straight overtime games, the Trojans (4-5-2, 1-1-1 Pac-12) are also back on TV, as USC's Friday (Oct. 5) visit to Oregon State (9-3-0, 1-2-0) at 1 p.m. will be broadcast regionally on Pac-12 Networks. After that stint in Corvallis, the Trojans will head to Eugene to take on Oregon (5-5-2, 0-2-1) in a 1 p.m. game on Sunday (Oct. 7).
THE LAST MEETING
September 30, 2011
Tough OT Loss For Women of Troy
The USC women's soccer team's unlucky streak has now stretched into a five-game skid of one-goal losses, the latest coming when an overtime score from visiting No. 19 Oregon State broke a scoreless tie after 94 minutes of play. The host Women of Troy fall to 3-8-0 overall and have an 0-2 start to Pac-12 play after today's home loss to the Beavers at McAlister Field. Oregon State, meanwhile, improves to 8-2-1, 2-0 with its fourth straight victory.
Trojans Take Another Tight Loss
The USC women's soccer team's frustrating stretch of tight losses has extended to six games after the Trojans outplayed Oregon but still came up on the losing end of a Pac-12 clash at McAlister Field. Ahead of the Ducks on the shot count and moving the ball well, the Women of Troy were broken by a first-half penalty kick and a 63rd minute Oregon goal that answered a USC second-half score. That left USC with a 2-1 loss on home turf, putting the Trojans at a 3-9-0 overall record and 0-3 start to Pac-12 play. Oregon goes to 6-5-1, 1-2 with the win.
Friday's match at Oregon State will be regionally televised live by Pac-12 Networks with play-by-play from Ann Schatz and analysis from Kyndra de St. Aubin. Live stats for both games will be available online. Click on the Gametracker link on the USC soccer schedule page at usctrojans.com for the USC-Oregon State game, and go to the women's soccer page at goducks.com to access the USC-Oregon live stats. Follow us on twitter, too! @USCFutbol
USC is not ranked in the current 2012 NSCAA poll. Oregon State and Oregon also are unranked, although OSU is receiving votes in the NSCAA poll.
The Beavers are 9-3-0 overall and 1-2-0 in Pac-12 play after losing 5-1 at Stanford and 3-1 at Cal last week. Jenna Richardson leads OSU in scoring with four goals, and Megan Miller has provided five assists. Goalkeepers Sammy Prudhomme and Audrey Bernier-Larose have shared time in goal as OSU has allowed 12 goals and made 69 total saves. USC is 13-5-1 all-time against the Beavers after losses in the past three meetings. OSU beat USC 1-0 in overtime last year in Los Angeles, and USC's last win over the Beavers was a 1-0 win in Corvallis in 2008.
The Ducks are 5-5-2 overall and 0-2-1 in Pac-12 play after losing 2-0 at Cal and 2-1 at Stanford last week. Kristen Parr is Oregon's top scorer with six goals, and goalkeeper Abby Steele has 37 saves and 11 goals allowed. USC is 13-2-1 all-time against Oregon after a 2-1 loss in Los Angeles last year snapped a a four-game unbeaten streak. The Trojans tied the Ducks 1-1 in their last game in Eugene in 2010.
In two hot games in Arizona, USC pushed to the limit in two double-overtime decisions. Two player ejections in the ASU game put the Trojans down to just nine players on the field during overtime after USC had fought back from two goals down during regulation to bring up the OT. The host Sun Devils would get the winner in the 101st minute, ending the game as a wild 5-4 ASU victory. 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. USC had gotten on the board first with a golazo from Haley Boysen in the 22nd minute before ASU worked ahead 3-1 by the 60th minute. Back-to-back goals from Alex Quincey pulled even at 3-3 during the second half of play. ASU manufactured a counterattack in the 86th minute, though, as Sun Devil Cari Farquharson scored her third goal of the day to go back on top 4-3. The Trojans kept coming, and Autumn Altamirano pulled USC equal again in the 89th to force overtime. She would be sent off with her second yellow card soon after, however, and Samantha Johnson was dealt a red card during the first overtime to leave USC two players down the rest of the way. Playing without Altamirano and Samantha Johnson two days later, USC remained strong at Arizona. With two junior and senior leaders sitting in the stands, the Trojans found a spark in freshman feet when April Juarez set up Whitney Pitalo for a goal in the 37th minute. The advantage would hold until the 88th minute, when the Wildcats managed a goal off a free kick. USC created some dangerous opportunities for a winner in OT, but was just off the mark, finishing up deadlocked at 1-1 with Arizona after 120 minutes of play. Anchoring the USC defense through another two overtime games was goalkeeper Caroline Stanley, who followed up a career-high 12 saves vs. ASU with nine more against Arizona.
Outside of two lopsided 4-1 games earlier in the year, USC has played one-goal games or ties in every match, and much of the deciding action has come in the final 20 minutes of play. Samantha Johnson has provided last-second heroics with two winners -- a 90th minute winner at San Diego and a 100th minute OT winner vs. Washington. USC suffered 70th minute goals to Duke and San Diego, and a 69th minute losing strike by Portland, with the most recent dagger coming in a 101st minute OT goal by ASU with USC playing two players down. More late-game drama has seen the Trojans find clutch equalizers from Elizabeth Eddy (86th minute in an eventual win at San Diego), Autumn Altamirano (89th minute to tie ASU in the eventual OT loss) and Samantha Johnson (74th minute to tie Cal State Northridge in what would finish as an overtime draw). The Trojans also gave up an 88th minute game-tying goal at Arizona. In all, USC and its opponents have each scored 14 goals in the second half of play. In the final 20 minutes of regulation, the Trojans are also even with opponents with seven goals scored each, and USC has both scored and given up one overtime goal.
In taking a 2-1 to start the season, USC matched its 2008 start, which also happens to be the last time the Trojans won both their season and home openers, as USC has done in 2012. The Trojans' 4-1 win over Saint Mary's was the highest scoring home opener for the Women of Troy since 2007, the year of USC's run to the national championship that began with a 5-1 win over Weber State. The scoring production of eight goals in the first three games was a marked shift from the 2011 campaign. Through their first three games of 2012, the Trojans had already matched their scoring output from their first eight games of 2011. That increased scoring pace now has USC with 22 goals scored to date this year, equalling its entire season total from 2011.
USC has lined up with no fewer than five newcomers in the starting lineup in every game of 2012, and all but seven of USC's 22 goals scored to date has come from a new Trojan foot -- six of those true freshmen. Freshmen Megan Borman and Katie Johnson and transfer Alex Quincey have notched two-goal games so far in their first year as Trojans. On the defensive end, freshman goalkeeper Faith Sugerman anchored the first win of 2012, while sophomore transfer Caroline Stanley stepped in for the start against Saint Mary's to log the first 69 minutes of that 4-1 win. On the starting blocks, USC freshmen Jamie Fink and Katie Johnson have started all 11 games. Transfer Jordan Marada has done the same, and leads the team to date in points with three goals and five assists. Freshman defender Erin Owen has been tabbed for 10 starts, as has goalkeeper Stanley. In all, USC has utilized nine different starting lineups in its 11 games to date.
TREES `R' US
To go along with senior defender Kristina Noriega -- who stands at 5-foot 10-inches -- USC's crop of newcomers boasts a lofty crew of talent with regular roles in the Trojan gameplan. Aside from Noriega, USC has freshmen Megan Borman (5-10), Marlee Carrillo (6-0) Jamie Fink (5-9), Katie Johnson (5-9) and Erin Owen (6-1) looming at 5-9 and up. Sophomore transfer Alex Quincey stands at 6-1 and started her first three games as a Trojan. That height has had either a head or a foot in scoring or setting up 11 of USC's 22 goals to date. Borman, Johnson and Quincey have already made their mark as the only players to put in a two-goal performance to date. Borman notched her pair in USC's 4-1 win over Saint Mary's in the Aug. 24 home opener; Johnson slotted two on Sept. 16 in a 3-2 loss to No. 19 Portland; and Quincey went back-to-back for the Trojan in a 5-4 OT loss at ASU on Sept. 28.
The versatile senior Samantha Johnson played in almost every spot on the pitch except for the goal in her junior season to help fill holes left by a vicious injury bug. A striker by nature, Johnson moved to a defensive role last year. But now, with returns and reinforcements bolstering the Trojan back line, Johnson has been freed up to lead her team from a more natural spot in the attack. Now in her fourth year at Troy, Johnson is the reigning veteran to lead by example and by instruction. With four goals to date -- including dramatic game-winners at San Diego on Sept. 14 and vs. Washington on Sept. 21 -- Johnson has bumped up her career tally to 14 as she works on climbing up the USC career charts.
BACK ON THE ATTACK
USC returns seven of its 11 goal scorers from 2011, including top scorer Elizabeth Eddy, who provided four goals, including two game-winners. Those seven scorers had combined to provide 64 percent of the Trojan scoring load last season. In addition to Eddy, who enters her junior season this year, USC has seniors Kristina Noriega and Samantha Johnson and junior Haley Boysen back as multiple-goal scorers in 2011. Johnson leads the pack of returners with a team-high four goals to date, including two game-winners, and Boysen and Eddy also have scored a goal each for the Trojans this year.
The 2012 USC roster is 34 players strong. Twenty of those are wearing Cardinal and Gold for the first time, and every last one of them aims to make a lasting impression. So if strength in numbers means anything at all, the Women of Troy are in good shape. With the influx of newcomers -- an invigorating blend of transfers and freshmen -- an injury-depleted 2011 roster that was dinged up with more losses than USC had taken since 1993 now boasts a healthy glow for 2012.
USC's Amy Rodriguez captured her second Olympic gold medal this summer as a member of Team USA in London. An All-American at USC, Rodriguez competed for the Women of Troy from 2005-2008. In her junior season, Rodriguez helped power USC to its first-ever NCAA Championship, as the Trojans won the 2007 title. The following year, Rodriguez had been called up the U.S. ladder to make her Olympic debut. She would go on to serve up the assist on the game-winning goal in the 2008 gold-medal game. In London, Rodriguez played in four games during the USA's run to 2012 gold.
USC had a shockingly frustrating season in 2011, taking the second most losses in program history in finishing up 7-13-0 overall. Six of those losses were in one-goal games, and the Trojans would finish eighth in the Pac-12 at 4-7-0. Elizabeth Eddy was USC's top scorer with four goals, including two game-winners. Senior Brittany Kerridge led the pack in assist with nine, finishing with a team-high 15 points. USC would miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004. All-Pac-12 honors went to Kerridge on the second team an honorable mention to Eddy. USC scored 22 goals in 2011 and allowed 35.