Ohai's Strike Snags USC's Eighth Straight Win
Oct. 9, 2009
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The No. 14 USC women' soccer team opened Pac-10 play with a win and ran the Trojans' overall win streak up to eight straight with a 1-0 victory over No. 20 Arizona State today at McAlister Field. A second-half goal from Megan Ohai stood strong thanks to another shutout effort by USC goalkeeper Kristin Olsen and her defense. The shutout effort also registered Olsen's 25th solo shutout of her career at USC, pulling her into a tie for the lead in the Trojan history books. Today's win gets the Women of Troy out to a 1-0 start in Pac-10 play as USC improves to 9-3-0 overall. The Sun Devils saw their seven-game unbeaten streak snapped by the Trojans' victory, as ASU moves to 7-2-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
The Sun Devils actually opened the game with the advantage, earning a string of corner kicks in Trojan territory to put pressure on the USC back line. Mid-way through the half, however, USC began to find its rhythm and managed to regain control of the possession game. Still, the game stayed largely quiet on both ends, with Olsen forced into a pair of saves against there ASU shots, and Sun Devil goalkeeper Alyssa Gillmore had three saves in facing five Trojan shots in the half.
In the second half, USC stayed persistent, winning balls and creating opportunities on goal. Brittany Kerridge set up a couple USC chances with free kicks, but it was a breakaway not long after than got USC on the board. The play started from the Trojan back line, as USC defender Claire Schloemer booted a long ball downfield for Ashley Freyer. Freyer collected the ball and turned, pushing it over to Megan Ohai on the attack. Ohai beat her defender with a turn to face Gillmore advancing from the goal, and Ohai blasted her shot to the low left post and in to make it 1-0 USC in the 57th minute of play.
Olsen's truest test in the match came late in the game as ASU pushed to equalize. A long free ball made its way to ASU's Alexandra Elston, but Olsen made an impressive save on the header to silence the Sun Devils and secure the senior's fifth shutout of the season and 25th in her career. The USC shutout also secured Ohai's goal as the game-winner, as the junior now holds six career game-winning goals and 14 total goals in her Trojan career.
USC now turns to face Arizona in another Pac-10 clash at McAlister Field on Sunday (Oct. 11). The Trojans will face the Wildcats at 1 p.m. as USC looks to extend its win streak out to nine straight.
#14 USC 1, #20 Arizona State 0
USC 0 - 1 = 1
ASU 0 - 0 = 0
SAVES: Kristin Olsen (USC) 4, Alyssa Gillmore (ASU) 6.
SHOTS: USC 15, ASU 7
CORNER KICKS: USC 5, ASU 5