USC Returns to the NCAA Tournament, Travels to Pepperdine for First Round Game Saturday|
Nov. 13, 2014
Keidane McAlpine becomes the second first-year USC coach to take his team to the NCAA Tournament. He is also just the fourth coach to take three different teams to the NCAA Tournament. Overall the Trojans are making their 13th NCAA Tournament appearance. In 2010, the last time the team made the tournament, they advanced to the second round. In 2007, the Trojans won the NCAA title under the leadership of first-year head coach Ali Khosroshahin.IN THE RANKINGS - The Women of Troy are back in the national rankings, as they are No. 22 in the Soccer America poll for the second-straight weekend. The team is also receiving votes in the NSCAA poll. 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.RECAPPING LAST WEEK - The Trojans hosted rival No. 1 UCLA in the LA Coliseum to close out the regular season last week, falling to the Bruins 2-0, despite a valiant effort where they kept the crafty Bruins out of the back of the net for the first 79 minutes of play. Goalkeeper Caroline Stanley held strong through 24 Bruin shots, making eight saves. Reilly Parker also made a goal-saving save far post for a team save in the match. There were 10,128 fans at the game, setting a new NCAA regular season women's soccer attendance record.ALL-CONFERENCE HONOREES - Sophomore Kayla Mills earned All-Pac-12 First Team honors, while junior Jamie Fink was an honorable mention selection and Sydney Sladek was named to the All-Freshman Team. Mills, an All-Freshman selection in 2013, started 18 of 20 games for the Trojans, mostly as a defender. She scored two goals and added two assists from her winger position, where she is a dangerous attacker and causes fits for opposing squads. Fink, one of the Trojan captains, commands the midfield, starting all 20 games for USC. Currently she is tied for second on the team with six goals. She also is tied for the team lead with five assists. This is the second-straight season that Fink has earned honorable mention All-Conference honors. Sladek represents the Trojans on the All-Freshman Team. A speedy center midfielder, Sladek is an impact player for the Trojans, especially in conference play, where she scored two goals, both on the road, including one game-winner in double-overtime at Oregon. She has appeared in 19 of 20 games for the Trojans, making eight starts. Her four assists are second-most on the team.GOALS GALORE The Women of Troy have scored 41 goals so far on the season, already 10 more than they scored all of last season (31). The 41 goals are the most the program has seen since 2010. The Women of Troy have 17 different goal scorers on the year, with seven having had multi-goal outings The team's 41 goals are fourth in the Pac-12, and they also rank No. 4 in points per game (5.65) and fifth in assists per game (1.55 per game, 31 total).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. The team's 12 wins so far on the season are the most the program has seen since 2010, and there are still three games to go.QUINCEY'S KICKS - Senior Alex Quincey is tied for fifth in the Pac-12 with 10 goals on the year. Her 10 goals have come on just 31 shots. She has a team-leading .323 shooting percentage. four of her goals have been game winners. The last Trojan to score 10 goals in a season was Amy Rodriguez, who completed the feat in 2007.SCOUTING PEPPERDINE- The Waves defeated then-No. 15 BYU 3-2 in their final regular season game. They are ranked No. 11 in the NSCAA poll this week. Senior forward Lynn Williams is second in career goal scoring for the Waves wtih 37 goals and ranks first in game-winning goals with 15. Goalkeeper Hannah Seabert ranks sixth in career saves with 185 and fourth in shutouts with 13. Head coach Tim Ward earned WCC Co-Head Coach of the Year honors in 2014. The Trojans and the Waves met earlier this season at McAlister Field, with the Trojans falling 2-1. The Waves scored first, but the Trojans tied things up 1-1 on a goal from Erin Owen, assist from Sydney Sladek and Katie Johnson. However, Lynn Williams scored the eventual game-winning goal in the 66th minute. Pepperdine and USC have faced each other twice in postseason play, with the Waves getting wins in both 2001 and 2003. Overall the Trojans are 6-6 all-time vs. the Waves. The Trojans are 3-1 while playing the Waves in Malibu. The last time the Trojans played in Malibu was 1997. The Trojans have lost their last four matchups vs. the Waves. All the losses have come by one goal. The last time the Trojans beat the Waves was in 2008, 3-0 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. Sophomore defender Mandy Freeman was named to Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week after the Women of Troy held Arizona scoreless in the Pac-12 opener on the road. Whitney Pitalo became the first Trojan ever to win Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week since the award's inception in 2012. Against the Beavers, Pitalo picked a good time to net her first goal since her freshman season, as she connected on a header off a corner kick from teammate Jamie Fink in the 54th minute to tie the game back up at 1-1, after the Beavers had taken a 1-0 lead just five minutes earlier. She then helped the defense shore things up, not allowing another goal through regulation and into overtime, allowing teammate Alex Quincey to come up with the game-winning goal in the 96th minute of a wet, sloppy game to finish the Trojans' sweep of the Oregon schools. Katie Johnson was the offensive power behind the Trojans' two big road upsets in the second-to-last regular season weekend at the Washington schools. The junior began the week with a goal against Washington to give the Trojans a 1-0 lead in a game that USC eventually won, 2-1. Johnson then netted the dramatic goal in the final minute of regulation against Washington State, running onto a flicked header from teammate Jamie Fink and giving USC the 1-0 victory. The honor was the first of Johnson's career. Caroline Stanley made eight saves over the weekend's two road games The senior goalkeeper was between the pipes all 180 minutes for USC, only giving up one goal. In the 2-1 win over Washington, Stanley recorded three saves on wet field conditions. She then went on to make five saves in a 1-0 win over Washington State where the Cougars had nine corner kick opportunities, but Stanley held her line and came up with her seventh shutout of the year. The honor was her second of the season and career.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.