No. 22 USC Heads Across Town For Out-of-State Opponents

Sept. 6, 2005

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THIS WEEK: The Trojans' road stint continues with two games against out-of-state opponents to be played at the UCLA Women's Cup, first against Colorado on Friday (Sept. 9) at 8 p.m. and then versus Penn State on Sunday (Sept. 11) at 2 p.m.

RANKINGS: USC (2-1) is ranked No. 22 by SoccerBuzz this week and received votes in Soccer Times' poll last week. Colorado (1-1-2) is not ranked, and Penn State (4-0) is ranked No. 5 by SoccerBuzz.

WEEKEND RECAP: The Trojans put some wind in their sails by pinning up their second straight win with Sunday's 4-0 victory over host UC Irvine. Defense was again stingy, feeding into USC's hungry attack. At the 23-minute mark, Kat Stolpa notched her first career goal with a diving header off a corner kick from Rosa Anna Tantillo. Jocelyn Hein struck next when Nini Loucks' sharp shot on goal got away from the UCI goalkeeper, sparking Hein to track it down and put away the score for a 2-0 lead. In the second half, the Trojans turned up the domination and added two more quick scores. Amy Rodriguez drilled a left-footed score to make it 3-0, followed by Lauren Brown's third goal of the season just three minutes later.

OFFENSE ON: The Women of Troy rang up their goal total to a whopping 10 goals in two games after last weekend's 4-0 victory over UC Irvine. In all, seven different Trojans have hit the back of the net.

DEFENSES UP: With one shutout already under her belt, sophomore goalkeeper Veronica Simonton split the Trojans' most recent shutout victory with junior keeper Katy Boynton in last week's win over UC Irvine. Against the Anteaters, Simonton added 83 minutes of shutout play to the complete game effort she pitched against Indiana. Boynton -- a late addition to the Trojan roster after taking a year off last season -- stepped in to close down the 4-0 won at UC Irvine.

FIRST THINGS FIRST: A new set of firsts came to light in USC's second win of the season. In addition to Kat Stolpa's first career goal (which just so happened to be the game-winner), Jocelyn Hein notched her first goal of the season, and the Trojans' 2004 assists leader Jocelyn Leche pinned up her first assist of the season. Also, with seven minutes spent in goal at the close of the game, junior Katy Boynton announced her return to the Trojan roster after taking last year off to study in London. A senior academically, Boynton is back in action with another season of eligibility left to play.

LECHE LIGHTS IT UP: Jocelyn Leche took another step up in the USC history books with Sunday's assist on the Trojans' fourth goal. The assist marked her 11th career assist -- good enough to lift her into a tie at No. 8 on the all-time Trojan career assist charts.

TANTILLO TERRITORY: Junior forward Rosa Anna Tantillo continues to climb to USC charts. Her game-winning goal in the 11th minute of play against Indiana was her eighth career game-winner, rocketing her into a tie for No. 4 on the USC all-time career charts. Her goal and three assists in that game also notched her five more points to take over the No. 8 spot in the all-time career points leaderboard.

STARTING FRESH: Five freshmen have stepped in with starting roles in their first seasons as Women of Troy. All five -- Meagan Holmes, Nini Loucks, Ashley Nick, Amy Rodriguez and Stacey Strong -- got starting nods in the season opener, and four have been in the starting lineup for the past two Trojan victories.

COLORADO NOTES: The Buffaloes (1-1-2) slipped out of the national rankings this week after getting stuck with a pair of ties last week. Colorado first tied Denver 2-2, and then played Wyoming to a 1-1 overtime tie. USC and Colorado have played each other just once before, with the Trojans posting a 1-0 win on Sept. 1, 2000. The Buffaloes return 10 starters and 14 letterwinners from last year's team that went 15-6-2 overall and finished tied for third in the Big 12. Bill Hempen is in his fifth year as head coach at Colorado.

PENN STATE NOTES: Undefeated Penn State (4-0) is ranked No. 5 in the nation after beating Loyola 5-0 and then toppling Virgina 5-2. The series record between the Nittany Lions and USC is locked at 1-1. The Trojans won their 2002 meeting 1-0, and lost the 2003 clash 3-2. Penn State returns eight starters and 19 letterwinners from last year's team that went 19-3-1, won the Big Ten title and reached the NCAA second round. Paula Wilkins is in her fifth year as head coach at Penn State.

2005 SEASON PREVIEW: The 2005 Women of Troy are a dynamic blend of veteran players and new talent. The Trojans' 12 newcomers were heralded as the top recruiting class in the nation, joining a core of veteran talent including junior leading scorer Rosa Anna Tantillo, senior defenders Hillary Schwarzbach and Jocelyn Leche and sophomore goalkeeper Veronica Simonton. New to the USC coaching staff is four-time All-American Isabelle Harvey, who completed her Trojan playing career in 2000. Headlining the group of incoming talent are a pair of freshmen with U.S. national team experience -- forward Amy Rodriguez and defender Meagan Holmes -- and Florida State transfer Leah Gallegos. The returning talent and fresh faces have already commanded the respect of the powers that be, as the Women of Troy have racked up a No. 18 national ranking and the No. 2 pick in the Pacific-10 Conference coaches poll.

McALISTER FIELD: Beginning with the 1998 season, the USC women's soccer team no longer had to share a practice field with the football team, as the Women of Troy received a field all their own. USC played part-time on McAlister and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum until 2002, when the team began playing all its home games at the new facility. USC boasts an 25-10-5 (.688) record at McAlister Field.

LAST SEASON: In 2004, the Women of Troy missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years after finishing tied for 8th in the Pac-10 with a 3-6-0 record. USC won five straight games in September and October, but lost its last four conference games to finish at a 9-9-1 overall mark.

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