Women's Soccer
    USC Takes Aim At Arizona To Build Pac-12 Momentum
    Caroline Stanley and the Trojan defense are eager for another shutout win!
    Caroline Stanley and the Trojan defense are eager for another shutout win!

    Oct. 15, 2013

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    THIS WEEK
    The USC women's soccer team returns to Troy with a big lift to its spirits as the Women of Troy follow up last weekend's successful trip through the Bay Area with a one-game stand at McAlister Field this week. The Trojans (6-6-2, 1-3-1 Pac-12) are looking to get a winning run going when they clash with Arizona (6-5-3, 1-4-0) on Friday (Oct. 18) at 3 p.m. in a conference clash televised by Pac-12 Networks.

    THE LAST MEETING
    USC1  
    Arizona1(2OT)
    September 30, 2012
    Tucson, Ariz
    Marathon Match Ends Even For USC In Arizona
    The USC women's soccer team caught fire in the second overtime period but was unable to find the winner at Arizona, where the Trojans played their third straight overtime match today. USC had taken a 1-0 lead on a goal from Whitney Pitalo in the first half, only to see the host Wildcats equalize late in regulation. The 1-1 tie would hold despite a series of attacks from the Trojans, leaving USC with the draw to move to 4-5-2 overall and 1-1-1 in Pac-12 play.

    FOLLOW ALONG
    Friday's USC-Arizona match will be televised live by Pac-12 Networks, with play-by-play from Jim Watson and analysis from Tammy Blackburn. The live streaming broadcast is also available online to Pac-12 Network recipients at pac-12.com/networks/pac-12-national/. Live stats also will be available. Click on the Gametracker link on the USC soccer schedule page at usctrojans.com to follow along.

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    RANKINGS
    USC broke 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 four weeks ago. Arizona also is unranked.

    SCOUTING ARIZONA
    The Wildcats are 6-5-3 overall and 1-4-0 in Pac-12 play after beating Ohio State 2-0 and losing to Oregon 1-0 last week. Jazmine Ponce leads Arizona in scoring with eight goals and has also added four assists. Goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman is averaging 4.6 saves per game and has allowed 14 goals in her 14 appearances. Arizona went 6-11-3 overall last season and was 2-7-2 in Pac-12 play. USC is 14-3-1 all-time against the Wildcats after a 1-1 tie against Arizona last season in Tucson. The Wildcats' last win over USC was in 2004 in Tucson.

    LAST WEEK
    Alex Quincey came up big for USC last weekend in a tough road trip through the Bay Area, scoring the equalizer on Friday in a 1-1 draw with No. 8 California before slamming home the winner against No. 5 Stanford for a long-awaited shutout win for the Trojans. The well-rounded victory marked USC's first win over Stanford since 2005 and snapped a skid of five winless games by the Trojans. Quincey's heroic weekend began on Friday, though, when her 78th-minute blast locked USC even with No. 8 Cal. Until that goal slammed home, USC had been stuck in a stretch of four straight losses and had come up empty on the scoring front for 454 minutes of play. Needless to say, Quincey's goal provided a lift for a talented Trojan team that had seemed snakebit. The Trojans were authoritative in their road outing in Berkeley, despite the referee's whistle blowing them to a stop 21 times in the match. USC countered by out-shooting the Golden Bears 20-8, including that searing equalizer from Quincey. The Trojans turned the pressure on right out of the gates, with Elizabeth Eddy, Jordan Marada, Tanya Samarzich and Kayla Mills causing headaches for the Cal back line, which was forced to make two team saves on the goal line in addition to the five saves made by goalkeeper Emily Kruger. Against the run of play, however, Cal would manage the first goal of the game, taking a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute. Despite being down 1-0 at the half, the Trojans came out for the second with all-out domination of possession. The Trojans' hard work and determination would finally pay off in the 78th minute. Whitney Pitalo -- who spent a solid day on the back line for the Trojan defense -- sailed the ball up into the box. Samarzich got a foot on it, but a defender was there for the clearance. That knock saw the ball roll out to the feet of Quincey, who jumped on her chance and ripped in a rocket to the left, getting all inside net and putting the Trojans on the board. USC's Mills and Fink would force saves out of Kruger during overtime, while Caroline Stanley and her stubborn back line of Carrillo, Pitalo, Mandy Freeman and Natalie Donaldson took care of business on the defensive end to wrap the match as a 1-1 draw. Two days later in Palo Alto, the Trojans were all business once again, controlling much of the possession game while Stanford seemed to opt for some longer balls into the area in an effort to create chances. True, Stanford would out-shoot the Trojans down the stretch 15-8 and did have some dangerous opportunities, but the USC defense was up to any and all challenges. Goalkeeper Stanley secured eight saves -- many of them impressive feats to stymie the Cardinal -- while the Trojan back line of Autumn Altamirano, Carrillo, Freeman and Pitalo were all saving graces for the Women of Troy. But the hero of the day again was decidedly Quincey, who not only commanded the midfield along with Marada and Jamie Fink, she hammered home a long-awaited header off a corner kick sent in by Mills to take the Trojans to a 1-0 lead on the nation's No. 5 squad. Stanford dug in and worked to create some chances for an equalizer in the remaining time, but the stubborn USC defense and cast of determined Trojan teammates were up to the task of making that Quincey goal stand up as the winner, handing Stanford its third straight loss and pinning up the Trojans' second shutout win of the year.

    SCORING SKID
    In spite of a breakout start to the year in which the Trojans scored 12 goals in their first three games, USC came up empty on the scoring front for a stretch of 453 minutes that spanned from a first-minute goal by Megan Borman in a Sept. 22 loss to Cal State Fullerton to Alex Quincey's 78th minute equalizer against Cal on Oct. 11. Quincey's breakthrough was the lift the Trojans needed, forcing the 1-1 draw with No. 8 Cal and helping build USC's confidence for their next game, where Quincey came through again with the game-winning goal to upset No. 5 Stanford on Oct. 13.

    SENIOR SHUFFLE
    USC's leadership core has been shaken up a bit this season, with the injury bug biting different Trojan seniors at different times this season and thus interrupting some of USC's stability on the field. Autumn Altamirano, Mia Bruno, Haley Boysen, Elizabeth Eddy and Jordan Marada have all been banged up and forced to the sidelines during the season to date.

    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 USD All-Tournament Team. The last Trojan to be named conference player of the week was Karter Haug in 2010. Eddy currently 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 has outscored opponents 23-15 this season. USC scored 12 goals in its first three games, setting a program record. And 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 also matched this year.

    NUMBERS CRUNCH
    The USC attacking abilities are widespread. While senior Elizabeth Eddy leads the team with five goals, six 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 and junior Alex Quincey have punched in two each, and Megan Borman got in on the scoring action on Sept. 22 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 six, 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 39 goals, 29 assists and 132 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 freshman 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 entered 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. Now, Johnson, Borman and Fink have all tallied goals this year, adding eight goals to the USC total.

    THE NEWBIES
    USC has welcomed 12 new Women of Troy to the turf for 2013. It's a crew packed with the talent to make 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. To date, Freeman is the only newcomer to start every game, but Mills is right there with 13 starts in 14 appearances. Other regulars in the rotation are Natalie Donaldson (13), Savannah Levin (12 appearances) and Tanya Samarzich (9).

    BIG WINNERS ON OPENING WEEKEND
    USC emerged victorious from it 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 Fink. Eddy bookended those blasts in scoring USC's first and last goals of the match. 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 Fink's opener. The Women of Troy would build a 4-0 advantage on a finish in the box from Eddy before the Toreros managed two late goals against a younger USC lineup to wrap the final scoreline as a 4-2 USC win.

    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.

    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.