Women's Soccer
    USC Season Finale Brings No. 2 Bruins To McAlister Field

    Autumn Altamirano scored USC's gamewinner against UCLA as a freshman.

    Oct. 30, 2012

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    The USC women's soccer team may be out of reach of a postseason bid, but the Trojans still have a shot at some serious bragging rights in this week's season finale. USC is matched up against crosstown rival UCLA for one last 2012 battle at McAlister Field, as the Trojans aim to wrap the year on a winning note against the Bruins. USC (5-10-3, 2-6-2 Pac-12) host No. 2 UCLA (15-1-2, 8-1-1) in a 2 p.m. showdown on Friday (Nov. 2) at McAlister Field.

    November 4, 2011
    Westwood, Calif.
    Trojans Fall To Bruins In Pac-12 Finale
    The USC women's soccer team got stuck with a 5-2 loss to No. 2 UCLA on Friday night in the teams' regular-season finale at Drake Stadium in Westwood. A damp day saw the Bruins slide out ahead of the Trojans for a 3-0 lead before USC broke through early in the second half. Samantha Johnson and Kristina Noriega both scored for USC, with seniors Carly Butcher and Brittany Kerridge wrapping up their Trojan careers with assists in the game. USC finishes a tough 2011 season with a 7-13 overall record and a 4-7 mark in Pac-12 play.

    Friday's match against UCLA will be regionally televised live by Pac-12 Networks with play-by-play from Mark Rogondino and analysis from Tammy Blackburn. Live stats will also be available online. Click on the Gametracker link on the USC soccer schedule page at usctrojans.com. Follow us on twitter, too! @USCFutbol

    USC is not ranked in the current 2012 NSCAA poll. UCLA is ranked No. 2 this week.

    The No. 2 Bruins are 15-1-2 overall and 8-1-1 in Pac-12 play beating Cal 3-0 and then falling 2-1 to top-ranked Stanford for UCLA's first loss of the year last week. Zakiya Bywaters leads the Bruins and the Pac-12 in scoring with 12 goals to date, and goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland is the conference's top goalkeeper with just six goals allowed in 15 appearances. Rowland has made 35 saves. USC is 4-20-1 all-time against the Bruins, falling 5-2 last year in Westwood and winning 1-0 in a 2010 match at the Coliseum. A freshman that year, Autumn Altamirano scored the winner for the Trojans in 2010. USC and UCLA's last game at McAlister Field was a 2-1 win by the Bruins in overtime in 2006.

    USC played host to two ranked teams last week, and held tight to two of the nation's best. In a Friday night showdown at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Trojans stayed right in stride with No. 1 Stanford until the Cardinal managed a winner in the second overtime period. USC had an apparent goal in the first OT negated by an offsides call, and Stanford made the most of its second chance in the 103rd minute of play. Two days later the Trojans returned to McAlister Field to host No. 21 California. USC again had their ranked opponent on the ropes until the Bears' top scorer, Ifeoma Onumonu went on the attack for a 74th minute score that would stand as the winner as USC got stuck with its third straight 1-0 loss. USC has taken eight one-goal losses this year, and has played a program record eight overtime games, including seven in Pac-12 play. USC's overall record in OT matches is 1-4-3.

    Outside of just three lopsided 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 more recent daggers coming in a 103rd minute winner by No. 1 Stanford, a 105th minute decider by Colorado, a 101st minute OT goal by ASU with USC playing two players down and a 95th minute golden goal by Oregon. USC has also been the producers of some more positive late-game drama with 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, a 74th minute strike for the win by No. 21 Cal, and fell prey to a 73rd minute own goal for a tie at OSU.

    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 has USC with 24 goals scored to date this year, bettering 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 24 goals scored to date has come from a new Trojan foot -- seven 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 freshman Jamie Fink has started all 18 games along with transfer Jordan Marada, who leads the team to date in points with four goals and five assists. Freshman defender Erin Owen has been tabbed for 17 starts, as has goalkeeper Stanley. In all, USC has utilized 12 different starting lineups in its 18 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 12 of USC's 24 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.

    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. 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.