No. 16 USC Moves On In NCAA Action With 1-0 Win Over No. 18 Gonzaga
Nov. 11, 2005
FULLERTON, CALIF. -- The No. 16-ranked USC women's soccer team posted its third straight 1-0 victory thanks to senior forward Leah Gallegos' game-winning goal in the second half of the Trojans' NCAA First Round match against No. 18 Gonzaga, held Friday night at Cal State Fullerton. The win earned USC its fourth trip to the NCAA Second Round, where the Women of Troy will face host Cal State Fullerton at 1 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 13). The victory improves USC to a 13-5-2 overall record, while Gonzaga's 2005 season ends with a 12-4-4 record.
In a break from tradition after USC's last two 1-0 wins on extremely late scores, the Women of Troy broke through the scoring silence just four minutes into the second half of play. After freshman forward Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif./Santa Margarita HS) was fouled outside the box deep on the left side of the field, junior midfielder Rosa Anna Tantillo (San Diego, Calif./La Jolla HS) lined up to take the free kick. She sailed a perfect ball to the face of the goal, where Gallegos (Los Angeles, Calif./Franklin HS/FSU) got a solid head on it to drill it into the back of the goal for a 1-0 lead at the 48:38 mark in the game. Tantillo's assist on the game-winner balloons her season assist tally to 11, moving her into a tie with current assistant coach Isabelle Harvey at No. 3 on the all-time single-season assists chart.
From there, USC's offense kept firing, creating a number of scoring opportunities that ended up just off the mark. Meanwhile, the Trojans' stalwart defense buckled down and kept things fairly quiet, clearing a couple late Gonzaga corner kicks to hold onto USC's 12th shutout of the season. Sophomore goalkeeper Veronica Simonton (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS) now has 11 solo shutouts this year. Simonton came up big for the Women of Troy on Friday night, stuffing two dangerous Bulldog attacks by going one-on-one with Gonzaga strikers and knocking the ball out of danger. Her defensive back line also stood strong, especially in the second half, when the Trojans kept the ball largely on the Gonzaga half of the field to out-shoot the Bulldogs 9-3 in the half.
USC has made seven trips to the NCAA Tournament in program history, and has now won a total of four first-round games. The Trojans have yet to win in the second round, giving the Women of Troy a 4-6 record in NCAA action. Cal State Fullerton beat UNLV 1-0 in overtime on Friday to earn its place against USC in this year's NCAA Second Round match, to be played at 1 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 13) in Fullerton, Calif. The Titans are now 18-3-0 overall.
Gonzaga (12-4-4) 0 0 -- 0USC (13-5-2) 0 1 -- 1
Shots: USC 12, GON 8 Corners: USC 3, GON 2 Fouls: USC 8, GON 10Saves: Veronica Simonton (USC) 3; Ashley Haugen (GON) 3