No. 2 USC Falls 2-0 To Top-Ranked UCLA
Oct. 26, 2007
WESTWOOD, CALIF. - The No. 2 USC women's soccer team came up short of the nation's top squad on Friday night, falling 2-0 to No. 1 UCLA to interrupt a 10-game unbeaten streak for the Trojans. After a scoreless first half, the host Bruins managed two sharp goals in the second half to get into the lead. The loss moves the Women of Troy to an 11-2-2 overall record and a 3-1-1 mark in Pac-10 play, while UCLA remains undefeated in Pac-10 action to sit 12-1-2, 5-0.
No. 1 UCLA presented the third straight ranked opponent for the Trojans, who topped No. 14 Cal 3-0 and tied No. 2 Stanford 1-1 last weekend. USC's only other loss this season was an overtime slip to No. 24 Indiana on Sept. 9.
Against UCLA in Westwood on Friday, USC put forth a solid effort in the first half, maintaining strong possession and allowing the Bruins just one shot on goal. Ashli Sandoval was working hard in the midfield and got off the first shot of the game in the seventh minute of action, but it was saved by UCLA goalkeeper Val Henderson. USC got another look when Megan Ohai was fouled and Sandoval sent in the free kick. Kasey Johnson went up for the header, but Henderson knocked the ball clear. Kristin Olsen smothered a dangerous UCLA opportunity with Kara Lang closing in, and defenders Karter Haug and Johnson both made stops against UCLA strikes. That fed into a USC counterattack that Lauren Brown finished off with a shot, but that too was tracked down by Henderson. The remainder of the half remained scoreless, leaving the teams locked up going into halftime.
The USC defensive back line turned away another UCLA strike early in the second half, as Haug and Johnson closed in on UCLA's Danesha Adams for the takeaway that Janessa Currier knocked clear. But in the 51st minute, UCLA got deep when Adams chipped a ball to the right where Lauren Cheney drove a strong shot crosscage for a 1-0 UCLA lead.
USC made a surge next, with Stacey Strong coming fast up the wing and getting the ball in for Marihelen Tomer to push through a cross that was cleared by the Bruins in the 63rd minute. At 63:02, however, UCLA worked its way dangerously deep once again, and the Bruins were able to get another shot off from near that same spot on the right. This one came from Kara Lang, who slotted her opportunity to the left side of the goal to push UCLA ahead 2-0.
In the 70th minute, USC's Amy Rodriguez was taken down just outside the penalty box. She lined up for the strike, and nailed a powerful curving ball on goal, but Henderson got to it for the save. Brown buzzed close for another USC chance later, and again Henderson got to the ball first. The Trojans managed to keep pressure on the Bruins through the late stages of the game, but were unable to break through. In the final minute, Rodriguez centered the ball, where Megan Ohai redirected it for Ashley Nick, who took a strike that went wide.
USC's next Pac-10 clashes come next weekend when the Arizona schools come to town. The Trojans first host Arizona at 3 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 2) at McAlister Field. On Sunday (Nov. 4), USC hosts Arizona State for a 1 p.m. match.
#1 UCLA 2, #2 USC 0
USC 0 - 0 -- 0
UCLA 0 - 2 -- 2
50:31 - UCLA: Lauren Cheney (Danesha Adams)
64:02 - UCLA: Kara Lang (Cheney)
SAVES: Kristin Olsen (USC) 5, Val Henderson (UCLA) 5.
SHOTS: USC 13, UCLA 14.
CORNER KICKS: USC 7, UCLA 5.