No. 17 USC Hosts Tournament This Week
Sept. 11, 2007
THIS WEEK: The No. 17 Women of Troy (3-1) return home to play host to the USC Tournament, which welcomes three out-of-state teams to McAlister Field for action this week. To open competition, Nebraska (2-0-2) and No. 15 Tennessee (3-1) face off first at 1 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 14), followed by the Trojans' clash with Georgia (4-0) at 4 p.m. at McAlister. Games continue on Sunday (Sept. 16), with Georgia and Nebraska facing at 10:30 a.m., and USC ending up against Nebraska at 1 p.m.
SUNDAY PARKING NOTE: Due to the Emmy's held on Sunday at the nearby Shrine Auditorium, parking will be very limited near McAlister Field for Sunday's games. Fans are asked to park on campus or try for possible street parking on Sunday.
RANKINGS: USC saw a drop in the national polls after suffering its first loss of the year. The Trojans' highest ranking of the week has them at No. 17 according to SoccerBuzz. The Trojans also sit at No. 24 in the NSCAA/adidas poll, while ranking No. 25 in SoccerTimes and No. 30 according to TopDrawer. Tennessee is ranked highest at No. 15 by NSCAA. Neither Georgia nor Nebraska are ranked this week
LAST WEEK: The Women of Troy return home from Indiana with a split, having endured two damp overtime matches over the weekend. Against Maryland on Friday, USC posted a comeback win, following up a lightning delay and an early Maryland score with a tying goal in the 80th minute from senior Lauren Brown to force overtime. Four minutes into overtime, freshman Alyssa Davila notched her first USC goal with the game-winner to get the Trojans their third straight win of the year with the 2-1 OT decision. On Sunday, USC squared off against host Indiana on a humid afternoon in Bloomington. The Trojans scored in the 19th minute with a counterattack strike from Amy Rodriguez off an Ashli Sandoval assist. Rodriguez's first goal of the year was nearly the game-winner, until a determined Indiana struck with six seconds left in regulation to tie it up. The Hoosiers rode that momentum into overtime and scored in the first minute to grab the 2-1 OT win and hand USC its first loss of 2007. For their solid efforts over the weekend, Brown, Davila and Rodriguez were named to the All-Tournament Team.
SCOUTING GEORGIA: Georgia enters the week undefeated at 4-0 after a pair of shutouts last week, beating Charlotte 2-0 and South Florida 3-0. Marah Falle scored in both games last week, and Caroline Simpson leads the Bulldogs in scoring overall with four goals and two assists so far. Head coach Patrick Baker enters his third season with the Bulldogs, who went 10-9 overall and 5-6 in SEC play last year. USC is 0-0-1 all-time against Georgia, as the teams tied 1-1 in a 2005 overtime battle held at LMU.
SCOUTING TENNESSEE: Tennessee enters the week ranked #15 with a 3-1 overall record after falling 2-1 to Virginia Tech and beating then-#24 Wake Forest 1-0 in overtime last week. Tennessee also upset then-#7 Penn State 2-1 to open the year. Devon Swaim scored the game-winning goal against Wake Forest, leading the Huskers with two goals so far this season. Head coach Angela Kelly is in her seventh season at Tennessee, which went 12-7-4 overall and 6-3-2 in SEC play last year. USC is 1-1 all-time against the Lady Vols, winning 1-0 in 2001 and falling 2-1 at Tennessee in 2004.
SCOUTING NEBRASKA: Nebraska is undefeated coming into this week's competition, holding a 2-0-2 record after beating Missouril State 2-1 and tying San Diego State 0-0 last week. Sari Raber and Shay Powell have each scored two goals for the Huskers this season. Head coach John Walker is in his 14th season at Nebraska, which went 10-7-3 overall and 4-5-1 in Big-12 play last year.
PEPPERING THE PAC: USC's goal-happy start to 2007 has lifted several Trojans into the Pac-10 rankings after the first week's action. Standing tall in the Pac-10 stats is freshman Ashli Sandoval with a league-best assists count (3). With a league-high two game-winning goals, fellow freshman Megan Ohai also is third in the conference in total goals (3), fifth in points (6), fourth in goals per game (0.75) and eighth in points per game (1.5). And with conference-high goals (10), assists (8) and points (28) marks through the first four games, other Trojans appearing on the stat sheets include senior Lauren Brown with two goals (t-7th) for a 0.50 average (t-9th). Sophomore goalie Kristin Olsen is fouth in saves (10) and fifth in goals against average (0.99).
FRESH START: The USC freshman class has wasted no time making an impact. Coach Ali Khosroshahin gave the starting nod to five freshmen for USC's first two games, and all five had a foot in Trojan goals during those opening wins. Megan Ohai topped them all with three goals in two games, including a historic back-to-back game-winner effort. She became the first USC player since 1998 to score three goals in USC's first two games of the year, and is the first-ever Trojan to notch back-to-back game-winning goals to open the season. Her first career goal was assisted by fellow freshman Karter Haug, and the remaining freshman starters also tallied assists in the wins. Alyssa Davila served up an assist in the 5-1 win over Weber State as well, and Kasey Johnson set up Ohai's third goal of the weekend in the 2-0 win over UC Santa Barbara. Both Trojan goals in the UCSB win were arranged by Ashli Sandoval, who notched assists with her first two corner kicks against the Gauchos. All told, USC freshmen have accumulated a combined 14 points, led by Ohai's six.
ON PACE: Junior forward Amy Rodriguez has made a home in the USC record books for career points (38), goals (14), assists (10) and game-winners (6), and she remains on the rise this season after tallying her first goal of the season against Indiana on Sept. 9. Within reach of joining Rodriguez in the history books is senior forward Lauren Brown, who holds nine career goals after last week's score, along with seven assists and three game-winners for a career count of 25 points.
SHUTDOWN STREET: Sophomore goalkeeper Kristin Olsen had a hand in two of USC's program-record 14 shutouts last season, but as the starting keeper for the Trojans' first two games of this year Olsen recently grabbed her first career solo shutout (Sept. 2 vs. UC Santa Barbara), and her first career wins in playing the full 90 against Weber State and UCSB.
2006 RECAP: The Women of Troy posted an 11-5-5 overall record with a repeat trip to the NCAA Second Round. To get there, USC managed a huge upset of perennial power Santa Clara with a 1-0 win over the host Broncos in the First Round. The Second Round saw the Trojans up against fellow Pac-10 team Stanford, and the Cardinal pulled out the win to cap off USC's NCAA run. USC set new program records in 2006, notching 14 shutouts, including a stretch of six straight shutout wins. USC allowed an all-time low mark of 13 goals against. Pac-10 play was marked with a series of ties, however, which left the Trojans with a fifth-place finish after four scoreless draws for a 3-2-4 record. Season honors went to senior midfielder Rosa Anna Tantillo, who earned All-Pac-10 First Team for the third straight year. Meagan Holmes and Stacey Strong were named to the Second Team, and Lauren Brown and Nini Loucks received honorable mention. Regionally, Tantillo and Janessa Currier earned nods to the SoccerBuzz All-West Region Second Team. All honorees except for Tantillo return for 2007.