Croix Bethune, Penelope Hocking Lead USC Women's Soccer Past Oregon State in Pac-12 Opener
LOS ANGELES – Croix Bethune ran down a ball in the box and found Penelope Hocking for an 85th minute goal to lead the USC women's soccer team to a 2-1 win over previously undefeated Oregon State in the team's Pac-12 opener on Friday afternoon.
Bethune also scored the equalizer in the first half as the Trojans move to 6-2 overall on the year and 1-0 in conference play. Oregon State falls to 8-1, 0-1.
The Beavers struck first on the day, capitalizing on a USC turnover to go up 1-0 in the 15th minute. That lead would only last until the 23rd minute, when Bethune stole an outlet pass, beat an OSU defender and finished with her left foot inside the right post for her sixth goal of the year.
The teams would stay even until late in the second half when Bethune ran down a long ball in the 18 yard box, stole it from a defender and slid a pass to Hocking, who collected and finished off the diving keeper for the game-winner.
Bethune's first half goal was her team-leading sixth of the year and Hocking's was her fifth. For Hocking, the game-winning strike gives her 47 career goals, one away from tying USC's all-time scoring record of 48 goals, held by Isabelle Harvey.
The first half goal scored by the Beavers was the first the USC defense has given up since August 28, a streak of 377 minutes. The Trojans regrouped and only allowed the visiting Beavers two shots in the second half and seven total for the game. Anna Smith made three saves in the game, including a diving stop early in the second half.
15' – OSU: Abby Schwartz (assisted by Amber Jackson, McKenna Martinez) – Martinez poked a ball away from a USC defender and right to Jackson, who slid a pass to a cutting Schwartz, who finished on the move past Smith.
23' – USC: Croix Bethune (no assist) – Bethune stole and outlet attempt and drove into the penalty area, taking a touch around the defender and finishing with her left foot inside the far right post.
85' – USC: Penelope Hocking (assisted by Croix Bethune) – Jaelyn Eisenhart played a long ball forward that the OSU defender got to first, but Bethune immediately took it away and poked it over to Hocking at the penalty spot. Hocking took a touch to collect herself and fired a shot off the hand of the diving keeper and in.
The Trojans continue Pac-12 play on the road, heading to Arizona for matchups with the Sun Devils on Thursday and Wildcats on Sunday. Both games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
— USC Women's Soccer (@USC_WSoccer) September 25, 2021