Post-Season Hopes On The Line This Weekend For Women Of Troy
Nov. 4, 2003
LOS ANGELES - The USC women's soccer team (7-7-4, 3-3-1) will conclude the 2003 regular season this weekend at Oregon (9-4-0, 3-4-0) on Friday (Nov. 7) at 7 p.m. and Oregon State (7-9-2, 3-3-1) on Sunday (Nov. 9) at 11 a.m. The Women of Troy will probably need two wins to secure a berth in the NCAA Tournament. With two wins and a loss by Arizona State, USC would share a tie for second place in the Pac-10.
LAST WEEK - USC lost at No. 3 UCLA, 2-0, in the only match played. Second-half goals by Lindsay Greco and Iris Mora proved to be the difference for the Bruins at Drake Stadium.
NOT AN EASY SCHEDULE - The Women of Troy's schedule is among the toughest in the nation with 10 games against opponents that competed in last year's NCAA Tournament, including runner-up Santa Clara. The latest Soccer Times rankings as of Oct. 21 show the Trojans playing five of the top 10 teams in the nation and seven in the top 25: No. 2 UCLA, No. 4 Penn State, No. 6 Santa Clara, No. 8 Virginia, No. 10 Florida, No. 14 Washington and No.16 Florida State.
Rosa Anna Tantillo - Freshman midfielder/forward Rosa Anna Tantillo (San Diego/La Jolla HS) is the top player for the 2003 USC freshman class of 10 players, the largest in the program's history. She leads the team in goals (six) and points (14). Tantillo had the game-winning goal in a 1-0 Pac-10 Conference win on Oct. 11 against Washington State. On Sept. 26 at No.13 Santa Clara, she scored two goals and added an assist in the Trojans' 3-0 upset to earn Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week honors. Tantillo scored twice in a 4-3 loss at Florida on Aug. 31 and added an assist on Sept. 7 in a 2-1 win at Michigan.
Megan Abbamonto - Senior midfielder Megan Abbamonto (Mission Viejo/Capistrano Valley HS) is one of the team's leaders in 2003 after earning All-Pac-10 second team honors last season, the second time she has earned the distinction in her career. She missed the final six games of the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee on Nov. 1 against Oregon State, but is healthy now.
Shannon Cross - Junior Shannon Cross (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) has battled numerous knee injuries, but she may be an offensive catalyst for the Women of Troy late in the season after the injury to senior forward Jessica Edwards (out indefinitely with a fractured right leg). Cross scored two goals in a 3-1 win against No. 18 Arizona State on Oct. 26 at McAlister Field. The Women of Troy rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit after Cross scored two straight goals on corner kicks.
SHUTTING OUT THE COMPETITION - Junior goalkeeper Julie Peterson (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita HS) with a shutout on Oct. 17 at California tied the USC career mark of 14, held by Laura Badagliacco (1994-97). Peterson has a 1.22 goals-against-average this season and has six shutouts. Last year, she turned in one of the best seasons ever for a USC goalkeeper last year, setting school records for most shutouts (eight) and shutouts in consecutive matches (three). Her streak of three straight shutouts included matches vs. No. 5 Penn State and No. 2 Virginia.
OREGON NOTES - Oregon is 9-4-0 overall this season and 3-4-0 in Pac-10 play. Head coach Bill Steffen is 46-87-11 in his ninth season at Oregon. Andrea Valadez leads the team with seven goals and 18 points (7-4=18). USC leads the all-time series with Oregon by a 7-0 margin.
OREGON STATE NOTES - Oregon State is 7-9-2 overall this season and 3-3-1 in Pac-10 play. Head coach Steve Fennah is 46-62-10 in his sixth season at Oregon State. Tessa Baker leads the team with 10 goals and 23 points (10-3=23). USC is 8-2 all-time against Oregon State and has won the last eight meetings.
CENTURY MARK - USC head coach Jim Millinder earned the 100th win in his eight-year career with the Women of Troy on Oct. 17 in a 1-0 win at No. 21 California.
McALISTER FIELD - After sharing the practice field with the football team, the USC women's soccer team moved to its own facility prior to the 1998 season. McAlister Field, located on the corner of 30th and Hoover just north of the USC campus, is the permanent home for the team. USC boasts an 21-7-4 (.719) record at McAlister Field.
LAST SEASON - In 2002, the Women of Troy went 11-8-3 overall and placed fourth in Pac-10 play with a 5-4-0 record. The Trojans made their fifth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, losing to UCLA (1-0) in double overtime in the second round.