Record Crowd At Coliseum As No. 3 UCLA Edges No. 9 USC 2-1
Oct. 24, 2008
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 9 USC women's soccer team hauled in a record crowd to the Los Angeles Coliseum on Friday night, as the Trojans went up against No. 3-ranked UCLA in a Pac-10 battle. With 7,804 fans in attendance, the visiting Bruins got two goals from Kristina Larsen to edge out the Trojans 2-1. USC sophomore Megan Ohai had equalized the game early in the second half, but Larsen's second came on a header to boost UCLA ahead and help hold the Bruins undefeated on the season. USC moves to 12-3-1 and is now 2-2-1 in Pac-10 play after the loss, while UCLA goes to 14-0-2, 5-0-0.
The Coliseum crowd of 7,804 marked the largest attendance ever at a USC-UCLA women's soccer match -- beating the crowd that saw USC's 2-1 victory over UCLA in College Station, Texas, last year at the 2007 NCAA semifinal -- and obliterated the previous USC record for attendance at a soccer game. A total of 1,469 fans attended USC's NCAA Third Round match last season in the Coliseum.
In tonight's match with the Bruins, USC set an aggressive tone from the start, and was successful in putting pressure on the UCLA defense throughout. The Trojans wound up out-shooting the Bruins 17-13 in the match, but it was UCLA that broke through first. In the 27th minute, Christina DiMartino slipped a pass up to Larsen. The ball got through the USC defense and Larsen put away the opportunity with a shot to the far post to get UCLA up 1-0.
The score would stand through the half, despite some good looks from the Trojans on the attack. Early in the second half, however, USC's pressure cracked the UCLA back line. Stacey Strong knocked a pass across to Nini Loucks on the left side or the goal, and Loucks punched a centering pass back into the box. Megan Ohai got a strong head on the ball, driving in the goal to level the game 1-1 and register just the third goal scored against the Bruins all season.
UCLA later got deep in Trojan territory and earned a series of corner kicks. In the 61st minute, USC goalkeeper Kristin Olsen made a nice save over the goal on a Kara Lang shot. UCLA lined up for the ensuing corner, and Lauren Wilmouth sent the ball in and found Larsen for a header that went in to lift UCLA back on top 2-1 with just under 30 minutes remaining in regulation. This time, USC's chances at equalizing again were just off. Late in the game, Ashley Nick sent a long ball into the box where Ohai came close to slamming another header, but the UCLA keeper managed to snag the ball first.
USC will return to action next week with two more home Pac-10 games. The Trojans first host California at McAlister Field at 3 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 31) and then return to the Coliseum to take on Stanford in a 1 p.m. match on Sunday (Nov. 2).
#2 UCLA 2, #9 USC 1
UCLA 1 - 1 -- 2
USC 0 - 1 -- 1
SAVES: Kristin Olsen (USC) 5, Ashley Thompson (UCLA) 3.
SHOTS: USC 17, UCLA 13
CORNER KICKS: USC 3, UCLA 6