Jennifer Westendorf's Golden Goal Lifts No. 14 USC Soccer Past No. 10 BYU, 4-3
LOS ANGELES – After waiting nearly 15 months since their last game, the No. 14 USC women's soccer team milked every ounce of drama from their return to the pitch on Monday, beating No. 10 BYU 4-3 on Jennifer Westendorf's golden goal in the 97th minute.
The teams fought back and forth all afternoon, with BYU finding eaqualizers on three different occasions. Tara McKeown scored twice for USC and Penelope Hocking found the back of the net once and drew a PK on the day. The Cougar's Bella Folino scored twice for the visitors and Rachel McCarthy scored once.
McKeown put USC ahead early in the first half, netting her first strike of the season in the 11th minute. The USC defense held strong through the first 45 minutes as well, as the teams looked to be possibly heading to a low scoring final.
But the action picked up drastically in the second half, with the teams combining for five goals in just about 20 minutes. BYU's McCarthy netted the equalizer in the 57th minute and just two minutes later, Hocking broke free and put USC back on top. It would be Folino on an assist from McCarthy in the 68th minute, evening the score at 2-2. Again, just two minutes later, Hocking was taken down in the box and McKeown netted the penalty kick to regain the lead for the Trojans. Folino's second goal of the day came in the 77th minute, as McCarthy and Cameron Tucker combined to set her up for the 3-3 score.
BYU had an early chance in overtime, but Tucker's shot was blocked by a USC defender in the box. Westendorf then came through to end it for the home team, getting a feed from Croix Bethune and sending home the game-winner from outside the penalty area.
Bethune ended up with two assists on the day to lead USC.
Jen Westendorf ends it in OT on the feed from Croix Bethune!
— USC Women's Soccer (@USC_WSoccer) February 15, 2021
11' – USC: Tara McKeown (assisted by Croix Bethune) – Bethune played a perfectly weighted ball ahead and McKeown beat the keeper to it, took a touch to her right and slotted the ball inside the far post.
57' – BYU: Rachel McCarthy (assisted by Cameron Tucker, Brecken Mozingo) – Mozingo played the ball forward and Tucker popped it up over the USC keeper, allowing McCarthy to beat the USC defenders to the ball and punch it home just in front of the goal line.
59' – USC: Penelope Hocking (assisted by Jennifer Westendorf) – Westendorf slid a pass ahead to Hocking, who took a few touches into the box and sent a shot home through the BYU keeper's legs.
68' – BYU: Bella Folino (assisted by Rachel McCarthy) – McCarthy launched a long throw-in into the box and Folino volleyed it home off the bounce.
70' – USC: Tara McKeown (PK, no assist) – Hocking was taken down in the box to draw the PK and McKeown converted.
78' – BYU: Bella Folino (assisted by Cameron Tucker, Rachel McCarthy) – McCarthy launched another throw into the box, Tucker flicked a pass to Folino on the far side of the box and Folino sent it home.
97' – USC: Jennifer Westendorf (assisted by Croix Bethune, Savannah DeMelo) – DeMelo played the ball ahead to Bethune on a run up the right side, Bethune cut it back towards the middle and found Westendorf near the top of the penalty area, and Westendorf sent a low shot inside the right post.
The Trojans hit the road to open Pac-12 on Feb. 26 at Arizona State.