NO. 21 USC Gets It Done In Overtime With 1-0 Win Over Arizona State

Nov. 4, 2005

For Release: Nov. 4, 2005

LOS ANGELES -- The No. 21-ranked USC women's soccer team has had a knack for scoring late goals this season, but the Women of Troy pushed the limits on Friday afternoon at McAlister Field, pinning up a goal in the first overtime period for a 1-0 win over Arizona State. The victory marks the Trojans' first in overtime win of the season, and -- more importantly -- broke the Women of Troy out of a three-way tie with ASU and Arizona at third place in the Pac-10 standings coming into Friday's matches. With only one more Pac-10 game to play, the Trojans are within reach of a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The victory improves USC to 11-5-2 overall and 5-2-1 in Pac-10 action, while Arizona State moves to 9-7-3 and 4-3-1. USC closes out the regular season at home with a conference game against No. 23 Arizona at 12:45 p.m. at McAlister Field.

Before last week's 2-1 loss to UCLA, the Women of Troy had scored within the final six minutes of play for four straight games. Although a late-game score during regulation eluded the Trojans against Arizona State, the Trojans used the frustration of earlier missed opportunities to feed into several overtime strikes. On the third shot attempt, USC made good. In the 96th minute of play, three freshmen teamed up on the front lines to help claim the win. Forward Nini Loucks (Canyon Country, Calif./Canyon HS) centered the ball to midfielder Stacey Strong (Santa Rosa, Calif./Montgomery HS), and Strong knocked the ball to forward Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif./Santa Margarita HS) on the left side of the goal. Rodriguez slipped the ball crosscage for the score, locking down her team-best eighth goal of the season and securing USC's 10th shutout. Now with 23 points on the year, Rodriguez has moved into the top-10 all-time for single-season points at USC.

Credit sophomore goalkeeper Veronica Simonton (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS) and her stubborn defensive lines with another shutout -- Simonton's ninth complete-game effort. The back line turned away eight shot attempts and several other offensive strikes by the Sun Devils, and Simonton picked up a pair of saves.

USC finishes up Pac-10 action on Sunday (Nov. 6) against visiting No. 23 Arizona at 12:45 p.m. at McAlister Field.

ASU (9-7-3, 4-3-1)	0	0	--	0	--	0USC (11-5-2, 5-2-1)	0	0	­--	1	--	1

Scoring Summary:USC 96:07 Amy Rodriguez (Stacey Strong, Nini Loucks)

Shots: USC 8, ASU 8Corners: USC 5, ASU 9Fouls: USC 12, ASU 6Saves: Veronica Simonton (USC) 2; Kim Bingham (ASU) 3

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