No. 17 USC Locks Up With No. 15 Tennessee

Sept. 16, 2007

Box Score

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The No. 17 USC women's soccer team applied almost constant pressure to the No. 15 Tennessee defense, but was unable to tally a decision in Sunday's USC Tournament match at McAlister Field. The Women of Troy forced Lady Vol goalkeeper Jaimel Johnson to make some impressive saves, and clanged one hard shot off the crossbar in the match to hold a lopsided shot-count of 19-10 in the game. After a tense 90 minutes and two overtime periods, however, the final buzzer sounded on a scoreless tie between the two ranked teams, leaving USC with its first draw of the year at 0-0. USC now holds an overall mark of 4-1-1.

For the second game in a row, sophomore goalkeeper Kristin Olsen went the distance for the Trojans, helping the USC defense lock away back-to-back shutouts in the USC Tournament. Her back line was stubborn, turning away several Tennessee attacks and clearing out corner kicks. Janessa Currier was a solid anchor in the back, while also drilling three shots on goal at the other end. Keeping the left side clear was freshman Karter Haug, and junior transfer Amy Massey stepped in and was a reliable and effective defender on the right side. She replaced junior Meagan Holmes, who injured her knee on Friday and consequently was out of the lineup on Sunday for the first time in her USC career. Also sidelined by an injury on Friday was freshman defender Kasey Johnson, bringing in junior Kelley Finch to the starting lineup. Finch, too, was a versatile and solid member of the defense, generating a number of takeaways and clears to help USC shut down the Lady Vols.

The Trojans put forth a strong possession game, playing through junior midfielder Ashley Nick for the full 110 minutes of action, and with Ashli Sandoval, Stacey Strong, Marihelen Tomer, Lauren Brown, Megan Ohai and Nini Loucks all instrumental in USC's offensive surges. Forward Amy Rodriguez also went the distance, running circles around the Tennessee midfield and defense, and firing off four shots in the game. One of those was a brilliant ball played to the top corner of the goal, for which Johnson made a leaping save to bring down just under the crossbar with only six minutes remaining in regulation. Late in the first half, freshman Alyssa Davila came close to jamming in her second goal of the weekend when she slammed a hard shot off the crossbar. Currier took a shot off the rebound, but Johnson pulled it in.

USC's offensive pressure in the second half generated 11 shots. Currier knocked two shots on goal within two minutes of each other. The first was a high header off a Stacey Strong corner kick, but Johnson latched onto it in the corner of the box. Currier's next shot was saved at the goal line by a Tennessee defender. In the final 11 minutes of regulation, Finch blasted a bicycle kick shot right on goal, where Johnson again stepped up for the save. USC earned three straight corner kicks within a minute of each other, but those, too, resulted in near misses for the Trojans. The first overtime brought up a chance for a winner, with three USC shots and a pair of Tennessee shots on goal - marking Olsen's first true saves of the game. Still scoreless for the second 10-minute overtime, USC charged on a dangerous run in the final minute, but was whistled offsides, and the game was left at 0-0.

USC had three players named to the All-Tournament Team: Kristin Olsen, Alyssa Davila and Amy Rodriguez. The rest of the All-Tournament Team was: Carrie Patterson (Georgia), Kelli Corless (Georgia), Jaimel Johnson (Tennessee), Mick Ingram (Tennessee), Tanya Emerson (Tennessee), Brittany Goosen (Nebraska) and Aysha Jamani (Nebraska).

USC returns to action with a road trip to Michigan later this week. The Trojans first play at Oakland on Friday (Sept. 21) and then pay a visit to Michigan on Sunday (Sept. 23) as they continue nonconference action.

#17 USC 0, #15 Tennessee 0 (2OT)
UT 0 - 0 -- 0 - 0 -- 0
USC 0 - 0 -- 0 - 0 -- 0

SAVES: Kristin Olsen (USC) 2, Jaimel Johnson (UT) 8, Team (UT) 1.

SHOTS: USC 19, UT 10