USC Locks Down Crucial 1-0 Pac-10 Win Over No. 17 Stanford
Oct. 28, 2005
STANFORD, CALIF. -- The USC women's soccer team snapped a six-game winless streak against No. 17 Stanford in dramatic fashion on Friday night with a score from freshman forward Nini Loucks in the 87th minute of play. That goal finished off the fourth consecutive win for the Trojans -- and fourth straight game where USC has scored during the final six minutes of play. The Women of Troy hadn't beaten the Cardinal since 1998 until Friday's victory. The win improves USC to 10-4-2 overall and 4-1-1 in Pac-10 play. Stanford moves to 8-6-2 and 2-3-1.
From the start, the Trojans and the Cardinal were locked in an even battle of dangerous strikes and stubborn defense. Stanford had several corner kick opportunities in the game, but USC managed to shut down all seven Cardinal chances. On the other end of the field, USC took just three corners. Just when the game threatened to stay scoreless and force overtime, the Women of Troy kicked their offensive pressure up another notch, while the Trojan back line stymied several Cardinal strikes. USC goalkeeper Veronica Simonton (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS) made four of her final five saves during the second half, including a one-on-one stop and a pair of late-game saves. After USC shut down yet another Stanford corner kick, the Trojans mounted their dramatic offensive attack. With the ball deep in Cardinal territory, freshman forward Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif./Santa Margarita HS) served a perfect cross to fellow freshman speedster Loucks (Canyon Country, Calif./Canyon HS) on the left side of the goal. Loucks -- left alone about seven yards out -- trapped the ball down and nailed it to the back of the net for her first game-winning goal and third score of the year.
Now up 1-0 with just over two minutes left to play, USC took care to increase their control of the game and kept the Cardinal from manufacturing any answering strikes to lock down the win. Simonton and her Trojan defense have now posted nine shutouts this season.USC next faces No. 9 California in Pac-10 play on Sunday (Oct. 30) at 1 p.m. in Berkeley.
USC (10-4-2) 0 1 -- 1STAN (8-6-2) 0 0 -- 0
Shots: USC 8, STAN 11 Corners: USC 3, STAN 7 Fouls: USC 14, STAN 15Saves: Veronica Simonton (USC) 5; Erica Holland (STAN) 4