Sandoval Strikes Late For USC's 2-1 Win At Washington

Nov. 9, 2007

SEATTLE, WASH. - The No. 4 USC women's soccer team scored early and then got a late game-winner to notch an important 2-1 win over host Washington in the final weekend of Pac-10 competition on Friday. Freshman midfielder Ashli Sandoval served up an early assist and then went on to slot a winner in the 86th minute of action to bust up a long 1-1 tie and secure USC's 14th win of the year. The Women of Troy are now 14-2-2 overall and sit at 6-1-1 in Pac-10 play as they turn to play their final regular-season match at Washington State on Sunday. Washington moves to 5-12-1, 2-5-1 with the loss.

USC are in second place in the Pac-10 standings behind undefeated UCLA, holding a record powerful enough to push the Trojans into a third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Selection Show is scheduled to air on Monday (Nov. 12) at 5 p.m. PT on ESPNews. The Women of Troy are now two wins away from tying the all-time best win total in USC program history, and can set a new record if the Trojans can also make their first-ever trip to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

Against the Huskies in the first half, the Women of Troy tallied their quickest goal of the year when Janessa Currier struck off an Ashli Sandoval corner kick at the 1:58 mark of the match, but the Trojans were then slapped with the fastest goal allowed this season. Washington's Katy Dowling had her initial shot blocked, but gathered the rebound and put it away at 10:41 to pull the game back even at 1-1. USC had come close to taking a 2-0 lead before that Washington strike, only to have Lauren Brown's shot in the seventh minute nailed the post.

After the Huskies tied things, USC kept pushing. Freshmen Sandoval and Alyssa Dávila both got off shots to force saves out of Washington goalkeeper Alex Phillips. The Trojans rattled off a few more shots during the half. Megan Ohai knocked a header wide, and Sandoval lined up for another corner kick in the 40th minute. Kelley Finch was there for a shot, but that also went wide. Sandoval drilled one before the close of the half, though it went high of the goal.

After a series of Washington corner kicks were cleared out by the Trojans, USC goalkeeper Kristin Olsen was forced into her first save of the match in the 59th minute as she stopped a strike from Veronica Perez-Murillo. The Huskies stayed even with the Trojans on the shot count in the second half as the teams had six shots apiece. As overtime threatened in the late stages of the game, USC pulled within striking distance thanks to the sure foot of Sandoval. After Amy Rodriguez was fouled 30 yards out, Sandoval lined up for the free kick from the left side. The freshman laced her powerful kick on goal, sneaking it inside the near post in the 86th minute of play and stood up as the winning strike. The freshman midfielder now holds two goals and eight assists this season to stand tied with the Pac-10's top assists mark on the year.

USC now heads to Pullman, Wash., to close out Pac-10 competition against Washington State at 12 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 11).

SCORING:
1:58 - USC: Janessa Currier (Ashli Sandoval)
10:41 - WASH: Katy Dowling (unassisted)
85:56 - USC: Sandoval (unassisted)

SAVES: Kristin Olsen (USC) 2, Alex Phillips (WASH) 4.

SHOTS: USC 16, WASH 8.

CORNER KICKS: USC 3, WASH 5.

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