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USC Women's Soccer Heads to UC Santa Barbara, Hosts CSUN

Sep 14, 2021

THIS WEEK - The USC women's soccer team returns to Southern California this week, heading to UC Santa Barbara on Thursday and then hosting CSUN on Sunday. Sunday's game will be Senior Day for the Trojans as they close out non-conference play.
HOW TO FOLLOW - Thursday's match at UCSB will be streamed live on the WCC Network and Sunday's home game will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network. Links for the broadcasts and live stats can be found on the women's soccer schedule page at In-game updates will also be available on Twitter by following @USC_Wsoccer.
SOCIAL MEDIA - Keep up with everything USC women's soccer this year by following the Trojans on all of their social media platforms. You can follow @USCWsoccer on Instagram and @USC_Wsoccer on Twitter, and like USC Women's Soccer on Facebook.
SERIES VS. UCSB - USC owns a 5-1-1 record against the Gauchos since the teams first played in 1993. The teams last played in 2007, with the Trojans picking up a 2-0 win on the road.
SERIES VS. CSUN - USC is 4-0-1 all-time against CSUN. The teams last played in 2013, with the Trojans winning 4-1 at home.
LAST TIME OUT - The Trojans had a bye week last week, but prior to that were on the road in Michigan, going 2-0 with victories over the 16th-ranked Wolverines and Western Michigan Broncos. USC beat Michigan 1-0 in overtime, getting a golden goal header from Aaliyah Farmer in the 94th minute. Anna Smith also saved a penalty kick in the first half of the contest in Ann Arbor. The Trojans then put up a season-high five goals in a 5-0 win over Western Michigan, getting a pair of goals from Penelope Hocking in the game.
SENIOR DAY - USC will honor its senior class prior to Sunday's home game, the final non-conference contest of the regular season. The Trojans have seven graduating seniors on the roster: Savannah DeMelo, Penelope Hocking, Kaylin Martin, Lily Perryman, Anna Smith, Jada Talley, Madeline Vergura and Jennifer Westendorf.
ACFC IN THE HOUSE - Angel City FC will be out in force at McAlister Field on Sunday, with the NWSL side's supporter group and street team at the match. The club, which will play its first season in 2022, will have a tent with promotions at the game.
CROIX BETHUNE - Bethune, who was named to the All-Pac-12 first team in her inaugural season this past fall, leads USC in goals and points so far this year. Bethune has scored against No. 22 BYU, Utah Valley and Western Michigan on the road, converting a PK against the Cougars and then putting the exclamation point on USC's four-goal day at Utah Valley with an 86th minute strike. She scored the team's third goal in a 5-0 win over the Broncos. The Trojan midfielder also assisted on the first goal of the game at Utah Valley to give her 7 total points so far this season.
PENELOPE HOCKING - Despite missing some time early in the year, Hocking sits third on the team in points after scoring twice against Western Michigan in her first start of the season. In her senior year, Hocking is in position to rewrite the USC record books. She sits 2nd all-time in goals with 44 (leader: 48), 2nd in career points with 104 (leader: 135), 2nd in game-winning goals with 14 (leader: 21), tied-10th in assists with 16 (leader: 39) and 6th in career shots with 229 (leader: 252). Last season, Hocking was named to the All-America first team, a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy and the Pac-12 Forward of the Year, in addition to being an Academic All-American. She is the only USC player to ever have at least 10 goals in each of her first three collegiate seasons, has been named to the All-Pac-12 team each of the last three years, and was also a Freshman All-American and the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2018.
SAVANNAH DeMELO - DeMelo enters the 2021 season as a 5th-year senior, looking to close out a career that has already seen her earn All-Pac-12 honors three times and All-American recognition once. DeMelo is currently 6th on the USC career assists list with 22 (leader: 39) and owns the 6th best single-season assist total in program history with 10 helpers in 2018. She scored USC's first goal in the run of play this season, posting an 11th-minute strike against Utah Valley. She also has one assist.
ANNA SMITH - After battling for the starting job with All-American Kaylie Collins for the last three years, Smith enters the season as the Trojans' starting keeper and the only goalie on the USC roster with any collegiate experience. She has made 19 career appearances in goal for the Trojans and has 15 starts and three solo-shutouts under her belt coming into the season. She is the only USC keeper to have played a collegiate minute prior to this season. So far this year, Smith has played every minute in goal, posting shutouts in the Trojans last two contests. She was named the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week after the two clean sheets and a PK save against No. 16 Michigan. Smith has two PK saves this year.
- Freshman Aaliyah Farmer has started every game as the Trojans' holding midfielder, helping the team to two shutouts while also sitting second in points. She headed home her first career goal against Utah Valley and then headed home the winner in OT against No. 16 Michigan. Farmer has two goals and an assist (5 points).
- Freshman Brooklyn Courtnall has started and played every minute as a center back for the Trojans so far this year. She is the only player other than GK Anna Smith to have played every minute for USC.
- Freshman Simone Jackson, the No. 3 recruit in the country this past recruiting cycle, scored her first career goal against Utah Valley earlier this year.
- Junior Hannah White and freshman Simi Awujo each scored their first collegiate goals in USC's 5-0 victory over Western Michigan.
2021 SCHEDULE - The Trojans once again play one of the toughest schedules in the country this year. The 18-game slate features seven homes games and 11 road games, with USC facing seven opponents who made the NCAA Tournament last year and nine who are currently ranked or receiving votes in the preseason coaches poll.
ROSTER DEPTH - The Trojans enter the season with a 35-player roster. USC returns 20 letterwinners from last season, heading into the year with four All-Pac-12 honorees, three All-Region players and one First-Team All-American. The Trojans also brought in the No. 4 recruiting class in the nation and added All-Pac-12 transfer Jada Talley.
HERMANN WATCH - USC's Penelope Hocking and Savannah DeMelo were both named to the preseason watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy, college soccer's top award. Both players are no stranger to the Hermann Trophy radar, with Hocking being named a semifinalist for the award last season and DeMelo being on the watch list each of the last three seasons.
LAST SEASON - The 2020 season was delayed until the spring of 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Trojans finished 7-3-4 overall and 6-3-2 in Pac-12 play, grabbing 2nd in the conference standings. USC made its 7th straight postseason appearance, continuing a streak that started when Head Coach Keidane McAlpine arrived in 2014. USC was bounced from the postseason in its opening game (2nd round/1st round bye) falling to Ole Miss in PK's.