Seventh Straight Eludes No. 16 USC With 2-1 Loss To LMU
Sept. 24, 2006
WESTCHESTER, CALIF. -- The USC women's soccer team was seven minutes away from registering its seventh straight shutout victory of the year, only to have Sunday's host Loyola Marymount make two quick strikes on goal to rob the Trojans of a win with a 2-1 desicion. The loss is just USC's second of the year, as the Trojans last fell to then-No. 1 Notre Dame on Sept. 1. USC is now 7-2-1 on the year, while LMU improves to 5-1-2.
The Trojans outlasted several dangerous Lion chances on goal early in the game, with junior goalkeeper Veronica Simonton rising to the occasion for a pair of big saves in the half. Two offsides calls also put a stop to LMU attacks, and then in the 23rd minute of play the Trojans were able to mount a strike of their own. Rosa Anna Tantillo busted a move on her Lion defender and slipped a pass to Lauren Brown in front of the goal. Brown also worked her magic to get the ball out to Nini Loucks on the right side, and Loucks ripped in a crosscage goal for the Women of Troy to put USC ahead 1-0 and record her fourth goals of the year.
In the second half, the teams traded opportunities on goal, but the Trojans were still unable to get deep enough to earn a corner kick in the game. It was the first time all season that USC has gone without a corner kick chance, and the setback proved an obstacle to the Trojans' offense. USC was unable to get more than one shot off against LMU in the second half, while the Lions turned up their pressure late in the game. The pressure paid off with just seven minutes left on the clock, when Tana Smothermon served up a cross that Stefanie Baduria was able to get a head on and knock over Simonton to the back of the net for the tying score.
Less than two minutes later, USC was called for a foul near the sidelines, and LMU's Whitney Temple lined up for the free kick about 40 yards away from the goal. Her kick sailed perfectly, spinning just over Simonton's outstretched hand to tuck under the crossbar and in to get the Lions up 2-1 in the 85th minute of play.
USC was unable to mount an answering strike in the remaining time, leaving the Trojans with their first loss in seven games.
The Women of Troy next head into Pac-10 play with a home series that brings Stanford and California to town after a bye week. USC faces the Cardinal at 3 p.m. on Oct. 6, and then play California at 1 p.m. on Oct. 8 at McAlister Field.
Loyola Marymount 2, USC 1
USC 1 - 0 -- 1
LMU 0 - 2 -- 2
Veronica Simonton (USC) 2; Joslyn Slovek (LMU) 1.