No. 1 USC Soccer Nets 2-1 Win Over No. 12 Santa Clara
Sept. 5, 2008
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- A scoreless first half of play at McAlister Field later gave way to a 10-minute stretch of scoring, as the top-ranked USC women's soccer team wrapped two goals around a lone Santa Clara score to lift the Trojans to a 2-1 win over the visiting No. 12 Broncos. Playing in their home opener, the Women of Troy improved their home unbeaten streak to 12 straight. Notching goals for USC was freshman Ashley Freyer and sophomore Alyssa Dávila, whose score marked her fifth career game-winning goal for the Trojans. With the win, USC moves to 3-1-0 overall on the year, while Santa Clara goes to 2-2-0.
USC held Santa Clara without a single shot until the 34th minute of play and then another came in the 35th. Kristin Olsen turned away both, while the USC offense placed four shots against the Bronco back line. USC's attack heated up in the second half and kept solid pressure on Santa Clara. In the 50th minute, 2008 Olympic gold-medalist Amy Rodriguez broke loose and was taken down just outside the box. Ashley Nick lined up for the kick and curved a good ball on frame, only to have it saved by Santa Clara keeper Meagan McCray. In the 63rd, Marihelen Tomer put the ball in and had it settled by Stacey Strong. Strong got it to Ashli Sandoval, who took a hard strike that drilled the crossbar. Freyer was there to put in the rebound, but an offsides call negated the attack to keep things scoreless.
USC's pressure continued, with Tomer getting a look that sailed high and Sandoval cracking another one off the crossbar. Finally, in the 71st minute, Sandoval sent the ball up to Tomer. Tomer headed the ball down to a streaking Freyer, and Freyer beat her defender to go one-on-one with the keeper, slotting a low shot under McCray to tally the freshman's first career goal as a Trojan. Three minutes later, however, Santa Clara would mount an answering attack. A shot toward the right post by Anessa Patton was knocked away by a diving Olsen, but the ball stayed loose near the post and Kendra Perry got to it to punch in the equalizer at 72:38.
In the 79th minute of play, USC's offensive onslaught broke through for good. Meagan Holmes blasted a shot off a Sandoval corner, only to have McCray nudge the shot over the bar. Sandoval's next corner was cleared out, but made its way back to Sandoval for a low cross that scooted across the frame, where Dávila met it and knocked in her first goal of the year to lift USC ahead 2-1. The assist from Sandoval pushes the sophomore up to 13 career assists, ranking her at No. 6 all-time at USC alongside Rodriguez.
USC's next match puts the Trojans up against Alabama for a 1 p.m. start at McAlister Field on Sunday (Sept. 7).
#1 USC 2, #12 Santa Clara 1
USC 0 - 2 -- 2
SCU 0 - 1 -- 1
SAVES: Kristin Olsen (USC) 4, Meagan McCray (SCU) 5.
SHOTS: USC 17, Santa Clara 6
CORNER KICKS: USC 7, Santa Clara 2