USC Rocks Presbyterian for Program's First Win
from press release
LOS ANGELES - Powered by goals from 10 different players, the USC women's lacrosse team (1-2) recorded the program's historic first victory in a 24-4 win against Presbyterian College (0-2) on Friday, Feb. 15, at McAlister Field. The Women of Troy were rarely threatened as they imposed their will on the Blue Hose to emerge victorious.
"It's really exciting," said head coach Lindsey Munday. "I think it's really special for the girls. They worked really, really hard, so to see it come together today and to see us improve from last week is awesome. It's a milestone for our program, so we're excited about it."
USC out-shot PC, 34-10, in the game, and made good on eight out of 10 free-position shots, but the story of the game was written in the center circle where the Trojans out-muscled the Blue Hose to the tune of a 25-5 edge in draw controls.
Freshman midfielder Amanda Johansen was a force on the field for the Women of Troy as she recorded 10 of USC's 25 draw controls. Johansen also put four shots in the back of the Blue Hose net and picked up two ground balls on the day. Freshman attacker Caroline Cordrey also scored four goals and had one of three USC assists to lead all players with six points on the day.
"It was a really special moment for all of us," said Cordrey about the win. "It's something that we've been working towards together. All of our work in the fall and everything up to today has really been preparation for this moment, so it's really exciting and we did it as a team, which is the most important thing for us. We worked together and got lots of people in there and it was exciting."
Off the bench, sophomore attacker Olivia Gerton sparked the reserves with four goals on just four shots. Freshman attacker Maggie Mawhinney scored three goals on three shots, off the bench, and nabbed two draw controls. Freshman midfielder Caroline de Lyra had another solid game with three goals, an assist, and a ground ball. On the defensive side of the field, freshman defender Kelsey Dreyer and freshman midfielder Eggy Plastaras each picked up three ground balls to tie for game-high honors.
In goal, freshman Liz Shaeffer faced six shots and got the win as she notched a solid .500 save percentage. For the Blue Hose, Kelsey Rupsch was the effective offensive leader with two goals, on two shots. Defensively, Liz Bedell and Jaime Beamish each had two ground balls. The Trojans showed their physicality against PC and got around players with ease forcing the Hose to commit 38 fouls in the game.
USC started the game off with a bang as Johansen took the draw control and raced down the field. A PC foul put Johansen on the eight-meter line where she blasted a shot past the Hose goalie to draw first blood. 30 seconds later, freshman attacker Katie Austin put the Trojans up, 2-0, on a free-position goal of her own. Presbyterian got on the board with a goal from Catherine Ellis to pull within one point, 2-1, but the Trojans ripped a run into the Blue Hose with eight straight goals to lead, 10-1 with 11:58 left in the first half. Cordrey and Johansen each scored twice through that run with the final goal coming on a Cordrey to Johansen connection.
Presbyterian got a goal from Rupsch to stop the bleeding momentarily, but USC scored five more times (twice by Cordrey) to hold a big 15-2 lead at halftime.
The Trojans were unrelenting coming out of the break even with much of their bench on the field. Mawhinney scored her first-career goal at 28:30 in the second half before PC got its third goal to make the score 16-3. Gerton found the back of the cage unassisted before she scored on a free-position shot to put the Trojans up, 18-3, and Mawhinney had her third goal of the day with an assist from freshman defender Alex Foreman to push the Trojans' lead to 19 at 22-3.
Gerton and freshman attacker Emily Boone scored once, each, to close out USC's scoring at 1:46 left in the game before Rupsch scored one more for a 24-4 final.
USC has a long nine-day layoff before it opens MPSF (Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) action as host to Saint Mary's College. The Trojans and the Gaels take McAlister Field for a 1 p.m. PT game on Sunday, Feb. 24.