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Nicole Payne's Brace Leads USC Women's Soccer Past No. 19 Stanford, 2-1

Sep 23, 2022

LOS ANGELES – The USC women's soccer team opened Pac-12 play with a big win over No. 19 Stanford at home on Thursday, getting two goals from Nicole Payne in a 2-1 victory.
USC improves to 5-1-1 overall and starts conference action 1-0, while Stanford falls to 7-2-1, 0-1. The Trojans are now 2-0-1 in their last three meeting with the perennial powerhouse Cardinal.
The Trojans had to erase an early deficit as Stanford struck first in the 20th minute. Payne picked up her first goal of the day in the 36th minute, scoring the equalizer off a beautiful through ball from Simi Awujo. Payne sent home the go-ahead strike in the 59th minute, this time collecting a failed clearance and making the visiting Cardinal pay.
After Stanford scored the early goal, the USC defense settled in and held the Cardinal in check the rest of the afternoon. Anna Smith made a season-high nine saves in goal as the Trojans move to 3-0 at home this year.
20' – STAN: Lumi Kostmayer (unassisted) – Kostmayer collected a failed clearance by the Trojan defense and curled a shot into the upper right corner.
36' – USC: Nicole Payne (assisted by Simi Awujo) – Awujo played a perfectly weighted through ball ahead for Payne and Payne ran onto it near the right side of the box, sliding a one-touch shot to the left of the keeper and inside the far post.
59' – USC: Nicole Payne (unassisted) – Payne collected a failed Stanford clearance near the top of the area and floated a shot over the keeper and just under the crossbar.
The Trojans continue Pac-12 play on the road next week, heading north to face Oregon State on Thursday (9/29) and Oregon on Sunday (10/2). Both games will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network.