No. 3 UCLA Edges No. 18 USC 2-1
Oct. 30, 2009
WESTWOOD, CALIF. - The No. 18 USC women's soccer team came away with another frustrating loss at UCLA's Drake Stadium, as the No. 3 Bruins answered a Trojan equalizer with a winning score to claim a 2-1 Pac-10 win over the visiting Trojans on Friday night in Westwood. USC moves to 12-6-0 overall and 4-3 in Pac-10 play with tonight's loss, while UCLA goes to 15-2-1, 6-1.
USC goalkeeper Kristin Olsen had another impressive outing in goal for the Women of Troy, collecting eight saves - many of which were rangy, diving stops on Bruin attacks. The entire Trojan back line also did a strong job of interrupting the UCLA offense, as Meagan Holmes, Chelsea Buehning, Claire Schloemer and Karter Haug all came up with key takeaways for the Trojans. It was Haug, in fact, who fed into USC's second-half goal. The junior back won the ball just past midfield and curved a long pass up the right sideline to kickstart the Trojans' equalizing push. Ashley Freyer collected the pass, and shoved it over to Samantha Johnson also on the right side. Johnson whipped in a cross for fellow freshman Courtney Garcia, who beat her defender and blasted in her fourth goal of the season to make it 1-1 in the 73rd minute.
Garcia's goal pulled USC even with UCLA after the Trojans had fallen in a 1-0 hole during the first half. USC cleared out a UCLA corner kick, only to have UCLA's Jenna Belcher pull the ball back in and launch it back into the box. It seemed as if UCLA's Lauren Cheney was going to get a strike on the ball for a shot, but it got past Cheney and instead made its own way through the mess of bodies in the box and into the goal at the far post as the Bruins went up 1-0 in the 44th minute.
The Women of Troy put together a stronger second-half effort and turned the momentum in their favor on the way into Garcia's tying goal in the 73rd minute. However, the Bruins got possession minutes later. Rough play near midfield was overlooked as the Bruins held onto the ball and pushed farther forward. The USC back line anticipated an offsides call against charging UCLA strikers, but no whistle came as Chelsea Cline managed a centering pass that Cheney finished off to put the Bruins back ahead 2-1 in the early 78th minute. That goal would hold down the stretch, leaving UCLA with the Pac-10 win.
USC's final weekend of Pac-10 competition comes next week with a trip through Washington. The Women of Troy first visit Washington State for a 2 p.m. game on Friday (Nov. 6) and then go to face Washington at 11 a.m. on Sunday (Nov. 8).
#3 UCLA 2, #18 USC 1
USC 0 - 1 = 1
UCLA 1 - 1 = 2
SAVES: Kristin Olsen (USC) 8, Chante' Sandiford (UCLA 3, Team (UCLA) 1.
SHOTS: USC 7, UCLA 19
CORNER KICKS: USC 7, UCLA 3