No. 20 USC Breaks Through Early In 2-0 Win Over Washington
Oct. 29, 2006
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 20-ranked USC women's soccer team closed down its 2006 home stand with its first Pac-10 win of the year at McAlister Field, having played nothing but frustrating overtime conference matches on home turf this season until Sunday's 2-0 breakthrough against visiting Washington. The Women of Troy were able to get on the board early this time with a goal in the eighth minute of play that stood strong thanks to yet another overwhelming defensive effort. The Trojans added a second goal in the 23rd minute, and then locked down to register the team's 13th shutout of the season to set a new program record. With the win, USC improves to 9-3-5 overall and 2-1-4 in Pac-10 play. Washington is now 6-12-0, 2-5-0.
On a day in which the Trojans began by honoring their four graduating seniors -- Jocelyn Hein, Tracy Lansing, Lindsay Parker and Rosa Anna Tantillo -- it was redshirt freshman Marihelen Tomer who came up big for the Women of Troy by punching in the game-winning goal and the first score of her career in the eighth minute of play. It was a team setup however, as Lansing had pushed the ball out wide for Nini Loucks. Loucks delivered a cross that was deflected but was met sharply by Tomer. Tomer's first shot was blocked by a Washington defender, but she gathered the rebound and fired in her shot to the left side of the goal to lift the Trojans ahead 1-0 in the eighth minute of play.
The Women of Troy were breathing easier after that. Only two teams have scored against the Trojans at McAlister Field this season, and USC's stubborn defense were determined not to let the Huskies take away its record-setting 13th shutout of the year. USC didn't allow a shot the entire first half, while the Trojan offense peppered the Washington goal and eventually broke through again in the 24th minute. Stacey Strong's shot attempt was blocked by a defender and ricocheted over the goal for a USC corner kick. Rosa Anna Tantillo lined up the corner and sailed a perfect ball into the box for an airborne Janessa Currier, who connected and nailed her header to get USC up 2-0. Currier then migrated back to her role in the defensive back line, and once more helped anchor the defense the rest of the way.
USC ended up matching its first-half shot count with another 11 shots in the second half, although a third goal remained out of reach. Washington, meanwhile, tacked up its first shot when Shannon Dillon got loose on the right side and took a high shot over charging USC goalkeeper Veronica Simonton in the 64th minute. Washington forward Katy Dowling tallied the Huskies' second shot with a try that went wide in the 89th minute.
USC finishes up Pac-10 play with a road trip to Oregon next week. The Trojans face Oregon State at 5 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 3) and then play at Oregon at 1 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 5).
USC 0, Washington 0
WASH 0 - 0 -- 0
USC 2 - 0 -- 0
Veronica Simonton (USC) 0; Kelsey Rasmussen (WASH) 4, Team (WASH) 1.