No. 4 USC Grabs Another Home Win, Tops SMU 4-0

Sept. 21, 2008

Box Score

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LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 4 USC women's soccer tacked up got another game-winning goal from Marihelen Tomer and another home win on Sunday, firing off a 4-0 victory over visiting SMU at McAlister Field. The win pushed the Trojans' home unbeaten streak up to 14 straight, tying a program record as USC turns to host five more opponents in the next three weeks. In today's win over the Mustangs, USC also notched its fastest goal of the year to date, as Tomer struck on an assist from Amy Rodriguez during the fourth minute of play. USC improves to 7-1-0 with the win, while SMU moves to 2-5-1.

With 25 goals scored in their first eight games of 2008, the Trojans already have bettered total scoring marks set in three separate seasons (1993, 2001, 2002). Marihelen Tomer got the scoring movement underway for the Women of Troy at the 3:36 mark of the match. Ashley Nick had sent the ball up for Amy Rodriguez, and Rodriguez served in a cross for Tomer to finish off, giving USC a 1-0 lead in the game. Tomer's score stood as the game-winner, giving the redshirt junior two this year and eight in her career, placing her just a spot behind Rodriguez in the history books. Rodriguez sits at No. 4 all-time with nine career game-winners, and moves up to No. 5 all-time in career assists (16) and points (64) with today's assist.

With almost constant pressure on the SMU defense, USC later broke through with two goals in under three minutes. At 11:20, Stacey Strong sent in a ball from the right sideline. Rodriguez made the fake, and Megan Ohai slammed in a one-touch shot to the back of the net to take USC to a 2-0 advantage. At 13:40, the Trojans grabbed another goal. This time, Ashli Sandoval sailed a corner kick in to the top of the box, where Ashley Nick was ready and waiting to drive in the score that put USC ahead 3-0. That goal made Nick the 10th Trojan to score a goal this season, and pumped Sandoval's career assists tally to 15, just a step behind Rodriguez.

Before the close of the half, USC would tally one more goal. This one, too, was set up off a Sandoval corner kick. Kasey Johnson got a head on the ball and drove the shot off the post. Rodriguez took a stab at the loose ball, but the shot was saved, yet still loose. Nini Loucks was there to put away the rebound, blasting the senior's fourth goal of the year to match her previous season best and lift USC to a 4-0 halftime lead.

The second half saw the Trojans pepper the SMU defense with 18 more shots, but no more goals would be registered for USC. The Mustangs were able to generate their first looks on goal during the second half, getting three shots off. But USC's pressure was decisive on the day, as the Trojans ended up out-shooting SMU 37-3 in the match, while USC goalkeepers Kristin Olsen and Brittany Massro earned the shared shutout backing up the Trojan back line.

USC returns to action with its second of a six-game home stretch, as the Trojans host Loyola Marymount for a 3 p.m. match on Friday (Sept. 26).

#4 USC 4, SMU 0
SMU 0 - 0 -- 0
USC 4 - 0 -- 0

SCORING:
3:36 - USC: Marihelen Tomer (Amy Rodriguez)
11:20 - USC: Megan Ohai (Stacey Strong)
13:40 - USC: Ashley Nick (Ashli Sandoval)
37:24 - USC: Nini Loucks (unassisted)

SAVES: Kristin Olsen (USC) 0, Brittany Massro (USC) 1, Ashley Gunter (SMU) 7, Courtney Webb (SMU) 11.

SHOTS: USC 37, SMU 3

CORNER KICKS: USC 13, SMU 0

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