No. 10 USC Shuts Out No. 25 Cal 2-0
Oct. 31, 2008
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The No. 10 USC women's soccer team tacked up an important Pac-10 win on Friday afternoon, serving up a 2-0 victory over visiting No. 25 California at McAlister Field. Playing in her final match at McAlister, senior midfielder Ashley Nick knocked in the game-winner in the 26th minute of play, bending her free kick around the Bears' wall and past the keeper. Sophomore Ashli Sandoval blasted USC's second score off a deep free kick in the second half to take the Trojans ahead 2-0 on the way to USC's eighth shutout of the season. USC improves to 13-2-1 overall and is now 3-2-1 in Pac-10 play with today's win, while California moves to 10-6-1, 3-3-1.
USC goalkeeper Kristin Olsen made a big early move toward notching her 17th career shutout with a big stop in the 24th minute of play. She had already made one save against a shot from Cal's Alex Morgan in the half, and in the 24th minute Morgan came charging on the attack again. Olsen came out to challenge and dove to take the ball right off Morgan's foot near the 6-yard box. Olsen finished the match with a season-high seven saves to help anchor the Women of Troy to the Pac-10 win.
Offensively, USC provided solid pressure on the Bears' back line. A minute after Olsen's takeaway, the Trojans were surging back. Amy Rodriguez was fouled just outside the top of the penalty box, setting up USC for a free kick from about 19 yards out. Ashley Nick took the kick with her left, curving the ball around the Cal wall and through before Cal goalkeeper Jordan Kussmann could get a read on the shot. Up 1-0, USC kept good control through the rest of the half and turned away a late-half corner kick opportunity by the Bears.
USC's insulation goal almost came in the 51st minute when Alyssa Davila centered the ball for Rodriguez, who one-timed a blast that went just wide of the goal. Two minutes later, however, Nick was fouled about 40 yards out, setting up another free kick for the Trojans. Ashli Sandoval lined up for the long one this time, and the sophomore midfielder rocketed the ball on goal, burying the shot in the top right corner to lift USC ahead 2-0 in the 54th minute. Olsen would come up with five saves in the second half, including stops against a series of Cal corner kicks late in the game. All told, the Trojans out-shot the Bears 13-8 in the match, while Cal came up ahead with six corner kicks to USC's four.
The Women of Troy now turn to host No. 2 Stanford in a Senior Day celebration at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Trojans' final regular-season home game is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 2) at the Coliseum.
Today's USC-Cal match is set to be broadcast Saturday (Nov. 1) at 1 p.m. on Fox Sports West and will air on Prime Ticket on Sunday (Nov. 2) at 11 a.m. and on Monday (Nov. 3) at 10 a.m.
#10 USC 2, #25 California 0
CAL 0 - 0 -- 0
USC 1 - 1 -- 2
SAVES: Kristin Olsen (USC) 7, Jordan Kussmann (CAL) 2, Gina Pellegrini (CAL) 0.
SHOTS: USC 13, CAL 8
CORNER KICKS: USC 4, CAL 6