No. 14 USC Outpaces No. 2 Portland For 2-1 Upset Win
Sept. 30, 2007
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The No. 14 USC women's soccer team may have come up short of a sixth straight shutout effort on Sunday, but the Women of Troy aren't too bent out of shape about it. After all, the numbers that mattered were solidly in the Trojans' favor, as the No. 14 USC squad handed No. 2 Portland a 2-1 loss at McAlister Field. USC put forth a composed and consistent effort against the Pilots, and broke out of a 1-1 halftime draw with a score from junior Amy Rodriguez in the 69th minute of play. The goal stands as Rodriguez' seventh career game-winner, lifting her to No. 6 all-time at USC. Perhaps more importantly, it marks USC's eighth win of the season, giving the Trojans an 8-1-1 overall record as Pac-10 play approaches. USC now takes a six-game unbeaten streak into conference action. Portland is now 7-3 overall.
USC seemed to manage the game well throughout, generating several balanced attacks and maintaining control in the midfield. Meanwhile, the Trojan back line was effective in making clears and turning away some dangerous Portland opportunities. USC goalkeeper Kristin Olsen made an early stop on an attack from Portland's Kendra Chandhoke. USC staged a series of strong strikes next, as Megan Ohai fed a ball up to Amy Rodriguez, who took on the Portland keeper but shot wide in the 18th minute. Three minutes later Ashley Nick worked the ball deep into the box, where Lauren Brown flipped a pass back for Ohai, but her shot went high and wide. In the 26th minute, defender Kasey Johnson came up with a clutch takeaway and clear on a Pilot strike to help keep things quiet at that end. Then, in the 31st minute of the game, Johnson sailed a long ball up to Ohai, who headed the ball swiftly down to the feet of Alyssa Davila on the run. Davila promptly deposited the ball past the Portland keeper, lifting the Trojans into a 1-0 lead.
Portland would find an answer, however, snapping USC's streak of five straight shutouts with a score off a corner kick in the 42nd minute. Kelli Cronkrite took the corner for the Pilots, sending a ball that made its way through to the right side of the field. Michelle Enyeart got to it, and delivered a low centering pass in, where Angie Woznuk was able to slip in the tying goal for Portland just minutes before halftime.
Rodriguez cleared away the next Portland corner kick opportunity early in the second half, and USC got on the attack soon after. Stacey Strong got loose in the box and was taken down, but with no whistle blown the play went on, and Portland was able to clear the ball back out in the 60th minute. Three minutes later, Portland was awarded a free kick about 25 yards out. Cronkrite blasted a hard shot on goal, but Olsen made the leaping save for the Trojans. It was another well-timed series that generated USC's second goal. Ohai again was key in the set-up, as she knocked a ball up the middle for Rodriguez. Rodriguez found another gear and blazed her way to the ball just ahead of the oncoming keeper, slotting the ball over her head and into the back of the net to lift the Trojans back on top 2-1 at 68:26.
Portland would stage a few more strikes down the stretch, first on a corner kick that Janessa Currier headed clear and then on another corner that saw Sophie Schmidt miss her header wide. USC countered from that miss, as Nini Loucks got another dangerous ball up to Rodriguez, but Rodriguez's powerful strike clanged off the crossbar with just 2:15 left in regulation. Portland's last look on goal was once more stopped by a save from Olsen, who finished the match with five saves.
Now with nonconference action complete, USC turns to Pac-10 competition with a pair of games at McAlister Field. The Trojans host Oregon at 3 p.m. on Oct. 12, and then face Oregon State at 1 p.m. on Oct. 14.
#14 USC 2, #2 Portland 1
POR 1 - 0 -- 1
USC 1 - 1 -- 2
SAVES: Kristin Olsen (USC) 5, Hailee DeYoung (POR) 4.
SHOTS: USC 14, Portland 13
CORNER KICKS: USC 4, Portland 5