Huskies Edged By No. 5 USC, 3-2, In Overtime
Oct. 10, 2008
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - For the second-consecutive week, the No. 16 Washington women's soccer team pushed a top-five opponent to overtime on the road, but the result was the same as the Huskies fell just short, 3-2, to the No. 5 USC Women of Troy Friday at McAlister Field in the Pac-10 opener for both teams.
After starting the season 9-1, UW fell, 1-0, in overtime last Friday at No. 3 Portland in their final non-conference match. They are now 9-3 overall and 0-1 in Pac-10 play, but showed once again they could compete with the top teams in the country.
UW got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute on junior Veronica Perez's team-leading eighth goal of the season. Perez took a pass from sophomore Kellye Joswick and rifled a shot from the left side into the upper right corner of the net, giving UW the early lead.
The Women of Troy responded in the 24th minute when USA national team player and Olympic gold medalist Amy Rodriguez fired a shot from the top of the box far post past UW goalkeeper Alex Phillips to equal the match.
The score remained tied until the 60th minute when senior Melissa Beal gave the Huskies the lead back, taking a pass from Perez and breaking away from the defense for her fifth goal of the season.
USC stormed right back again, however, this time getting a goal from Carly Butcher - her fifth of the season - which bounced off Phillips and the cross bar before trickling in.
UW had a chance to score the game-winner late in regulation. In the 89th minute, Nikki Murray's free kick nearly snuck in, but the ball hit the post and Sarah Martinez's shot off the rebound went just wide and the Huskies went to their third-consecutive overtime.
The Women of Troy got the game-winner midway through the overtime when Rodriguez struck again, netting her seventh goal of the season to help USC improve to 11-1 (1-0 Pac-10) on the season.
'I couldn't be more proud of our team and how we've played against two tough teams on the road,' UW head coach Lesle Gallimore said. 'Amy Rodriguez is very good and she showed it today. I thought Alex Phillips was brilliant in goal. She didn't give up any soft goals, they had to earn it.'
Phillips made five saves in the game and held off a strong USC attack for most of the match. The Women of Troy managed 22 shots to just six by the Huskies, two coming off the foot of Perez. USC's All-American goalkeeper Kristin Olson made one save in the contest.
'They have a lot of great players on that team. I thought we did a great job defensively but they just finished terrifically,' Gallimore said. 'I thought Kellye Joswick played one of her better games, Alex Phillips played very well and Veronica really stood out.'
The hits just keep on coming for UW in a brutal stretch of games as they play No. 4 UCLA on Sunday. The contest against the Bruins will mark the third of four-consecutive games for UW against top-five foes and their third of five consecutive against ranked teams. Following Sunday's match, UW hosts No. 2 Stanford on Oct. 17 and No. 19 California on Oct. 19.
'If you're on this team right now you have to believe we can compete with anyone,' Gallimore said. 'At some point things will turn our way.'
NCAA Women's Soccer
Friday, Oct. 10, 2008
USC 3, Washington 2 (OT)
Scoring - 1, UW, Veronica Perez (Kellye Joswick), 10:51. 2, USC, Amy Rodriguez (Stacey Strong), 23:43. 3, UW, Melissa Beal (Veronica Perez), 59.23. 4, USC, Carly Butcher (unassisted), 77:29. 5, USC, Amy Rodriguez (Ashley Freyer, Carly Butcher), 94:21.
Shots - UW 6, USC 22
Corners - UW 1, USC 7
Saves - UW 5 (Alex Phillips) USC 1 (Kristin Olson)
Fouls - UW 13, USC 20
Offsides - UW 2, USC 3