Stunned in SoCal
LOS ANGELES – Two first-half goals were not enough on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles, as No. 10 USC (13-2-2 / 8-0-2 Pac-12) scored twice in the second half and the game-winner in overtime to post a 3-2 victory over No. 9 Stanford (12-5-1 / 6-3-1 Pac-12) from USC's Soni McAlister Field.
The Cardinal jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute as USC took a short goal kick that was immediately pressured by Stanford. Trojan goalkeeper Anna Smith tried to clear the ball out of danger, but it fell to the foot of Maya Doms who laced a shot off a defender and in for an own goal.
With the clock ticking down on the close of the first half, Stanford extended the lead to 2-0 on a free-kick opportunity. Katie Duong sent a ball into the box where it was tapped on by Nya Harrison to Naomi Girma. GIrma fired off a shot with eight seconds remaining, beating the keeper for her fourth goal of the year.
USC, which entered the match atop the Pac-12 standings, regrouped in the second half, scoring a pair of quick goals in the 53rd and 55th minutes to draw even. Simone Jackson got the momentum started by beating her defender and working the ball onto her right foot where she unleashed a shot past Katie Meyer in goal for her fourth goal of the season.
Croix Bethune brought the Trojans even two minutes later as Savannah DeMelo made a run down the right sideline before sending a pass to Jackson who heel-flicked it on to Bethune who one-timed the equalizer.
Playing in overtime for the third time this season, Stanford saw Bethune strike again in the 93rd minute – running her season total to 13 goals. DeMelo stole a pass near midfield, dribbled toward goal and played a pass in to Bethune sprinting behind the back line who made a move past Meyer and shot into the open net.
Both goalkeepers managed one save in the match. Stanford finished with fewer shots than an opponent for just the third time this season as USC managed an 11-10 advantage.
The Cardinal has now lost back-to-back matches for just the second time this year after dropping matches to Duke and North Carolina earlier this season. This season also marks the first since 2013 that Stanford has dropped matches to both UCLA and USC.
Stanford will look to rebound and finish the regular season with a victory when it hosts California on Saturday, November 6 at 3:30 p.m.