Women Of Troy Blaze Trail To NCAA Tournament

Nov. 7, 2005

The Women of Troy have blasted their way into the NCAA Tournament, taking a 12-5-2 overall record into their NCAA First Round match against Gonzaga on Friday (Nov. 11) in Fullerton, Calif. The match will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The gametime is yet to be determined. Also bracketed with the Trojans is host Cal State Fullerton and UNLV, who will face off for their first-round game. The winners of those matches square off on Sunday (Nov. 13) at the same site.

'They've made huge strides since day one,' USC head coach Jim Millinder said of his team, which has 12 newcomers on the roster this season. 'They've matured a lot, and the chemistry has grown. We're fortunate and we just need to be prepared for more hard work. Gonzage is a very good team. They've had some good results, so we have to be ready.'

USC missed out on the NCAA Tournament last season, but has powered right back this year as a determined squad bent on winning. The Women of Troy finished Pac-10 play in third place, with their only two losses coming to conference champion UCLA and second-place California. The Trojans posted six shutouts in Pac-10 play and have 11 total shutouts this year. On the offensive end, USC has had a knack for pushing the limits with late-game scores. The Women of Troy scored in the final 10 minutes of play in four straight Pac-10 wins before falling to California. And their final two regular-season wins came even later -- first with a golden-goal score in the first overtime period against Arizona State, and then with the game-winner in the 88th minute of play against Arizona for USC's seventh straight home victory.

USC is led in scoring by freshman forward Amy Rodriguez, who scored both game-winners last weekend to improve her goal total to nine on the season. On the assists side, junior midfielder Rosa Anna Tantillo leads the way with 10 assists. Defensively, sophomore goalkeeper Veronica Simonton has had a hand in all 11 shutouts, thanks also to the Trojans' stubborn back line of defenders.

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