USC brings home Pac-12 Women’s Lacrosse Tournament crown
Eugene, Ore. – Regular-season champion and top-seeded USC continues its dominant season by claiming the 2019 Pac-12 Women’s Lacrosse Tournament crown with a 12-3 victory over second-seed COLORADO. The Trojans captured the second-ever tournament title in a thrilling match to earn the Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Ranked No. 17 in the latest IWLCA national poll, USC improved to 16-3 overall and will make its fourth all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament after earning three-straight bids from 2015-2017. USC entered the game with the eighth-best scoring defense (8.47) in the country and ranked ninth in save percentage (.502).
“It gives you the right to keep playing. We know that we’re making the NCAA Tournament. The regular-season was great, but we really wanted them focused on this and making sure that we know that we have a chance to play again,” said head coach Lindsey Munday on winning the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. “At this time in the season, it’s earning your right to continue to play with the group that you have. This was a different team this weekend than we’ve been all year and I’m really proud of them.”
USC executed its game plan, playing confident on defense and staying composed on the attack, which ultimately led to its Conference title. Kelsey Huff made her presence known as the sophomore controlled the attack with three goals off eight shots while goalie Riley Hertford was relentless in net makings 11 saves.
USC struck first with a goal from All-American Kerrigan Miller and continued its momentum with another tally from Huff. The teams went back-and-fourth in a fast-pace game when senior Emily Concialdi collected her 30th goal of the season on a free position shot to extend the Trojans’ 3-0 lead.
Huff and captain Izzy McMahon went back-to-back, scoring only 56 seconds apart with both assists credited to Miller. Huff then tallied a hat trick with 8:40 left in the half. Colorado senior Miranda Stinson got on the board with a quick move in the corner to score her team-leading 58th goal of the season. Colorado had several opportunities and a well-positioned offense that couldn’t get passed USC’s solid defense.
“It’s huge for us, we’re absolutely ecstatic just to have another chance to play and be with each other and not have to say goodbye to our seniors yet. It’s the most amazing feeling ever,” said Pac-12 Tournament MVP Kerrigan Miller on winning the Conference crown. “Most Valuable Player could have gone to literally anyone on my team right now. I think we played a full 60 (minutes) and everyone contributed so really could have gone to anyone.”
The Trojans topped Colorado in shots with 34 and saves with 11 compared to CU’s 20 and nine, respectively. USC continued to dominate offensively, scoring a total of five goals in the second half, which started with Katie Ramsay’s coast-to-coast run that marked its 10th tally of the match.
Colorado found some success late in the game with a goal from Chloe Willard followed up by Stinson’s second tally with seven minutes remaining. Despite the Buffs effort to diminish the scoring gap, the Trojans ended victorious.
The 2019 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship selection show is next Sunday, May 5 at 6 p.m. PT. Opening-round games will be conducted at non-predetermined campus sites from May 7-8 while the championship will be hosted at Johns Hopkins University on Friday, May 24.
Pac-12 Women’s Lacrosse All-Tournament Team
Olivia Aschman, Colorado
Eliza Christman, California
Emily Glagolev, Arizona State
Katherine Gjertsen, Stanford
Rachel Hall, Oregon
Kelsey Huff, USC
Julia Lisella, Colorado
Genesis Lucero, Stanford
Kerrigan Miller (MVP), USC
Izzy Mcmahon, USC
Miranda Stinson, Colorado
Kirsten Swanson, California
Lizzy Wagner, USC