No. 4 USC Glides Past Gaels For 20-2 Victory

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    Feb. 11, 2017

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    LOS ANGELES -- The No. 4-ranked USC lacrosse team (1-0, 1-0 MPSF) took down Saint Mary's College (0-1, 0-1) by a 20-2 count to open the 2017 season at McAlister Field on Saturday, Feb. 11. The Women of Troy won their second straight season opener and improved to 5-0 against the Gaels; outscoring SMC, 95-24, in the all-time series.

    Senior attacker Michaela Michael dominated the center circle with 12 draw controls and scored a hat trick to top all 12 of USC's scorers. Michael also had an assist to finish with four points. It was her 27th-career game with three goals or more, the most in program history. Senior attackers Gabby McMahon and Cynthia Del Core each picked up four points with two goals and two assists apiece. McMahon also had a draw control and a ground ball.

    The Women of Troy won their 18th consecutive home game; the 16th straight at McAlister Field. USC out-shot Saint Mary's, 29-7, in the game, which included a 20-3 edge in the first half alone. The Trojans' aggressive ride forced the Gaels into 19 turnovers (13 credited as caused turnovers), which included a 5-for-14 clearance rate. The Trojans also picked up more ground balls, 20-13, and won the center circle by a 16-8 count.

    In goal, junior Gussie Johns allowed just one goal had one save to earn the win. Freshman Hannah Upshaw played the second half and also allowed just one goal to her three saves. Upshaw also led the Trojans with three ground balls and had two caused turnovers to her credit. Junior Lydia Sutton led the Trojan defense with two caused turnovers and a ground ball.

    Senior midfielder Drew Jackson added a pair of goals and had an assist and freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller had two goals and an assist for three points each. Sophomore attacker Gabbi Klein dished out three assists for game-high honors and scored a goal late in the second half. Off the bench, junior attacker Alexis Kardias and freshman Sarah Larkin each scored a pair of goals. Sophomore midfielders Allie Gershman and Amanda Flayhan, senior attacker Kylie Drexel, and freshman midfielder Kaeli Huff each scored one goal in the game.

    For the Gaels, Jocelyn Lubert and Jill Dunlap had the goals while Meagan Bennett picked up four draw controls in the second half. Claire Healy was SMC's defensive standout with three ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers.

    The Trojan attack was unrelenting and scored the first goal of the game just over a minute into the first half when McMahon dished out of her free position to get Michael a clear look at the net. USC then scored four goals in a matter of 33 seconds to go up, 5-0. The Trojans reached 10 goals when Flayhan found the back of the net with 11 minutes off the clock. USC went up, 13-0, on a goal by Miller before Lubert put the Gaels on the board. Kardias took a pass from Miller for the goal at 2:10 to give USC a 14-1 lead at halftime.

    USC slowed down the offense, but remained aggressive to score six goals in the second half for a 20-1 lead when Klein found Huff for the final bell-ringer with 6:27 left to play. Dunlap put one more goal on the board for SMC with just under three minutes to play before time ran out for the Gaels.

    The Trojans remain home to host No. 9-ranked Northwestern (2-0) next Saturday (Feb. 18) at McAlister Field. First draw is set for noon PT. USC defeated the Wildcats, 14-11, in Evanston, Ill., last season (April 15).

    For more information on the USC women's lacrosse team, a complete schedule, and results, please visit USCTrojans.com. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow the team on Instagram and on Twitter @USCTrojansLax.

    GAME NOTES

    • USC improved to 5-0 all-time against Saint Mary's College. The Trojans have outscored the Gaels, 95-24, in the five games.
    • The Gaels' loss extended SMC's losing streak to 31 consecutive games dating back to the end of the 2014 season.
    • The Trojans improved to 2-3 in season openers and won their second opener in a row. USC also improved to 5-0 in MPSF openers and 5-0 in MPSF home openers.
    • The win was USC's 18th straight home victory (16 at McAlister Field). The Trojans are 24-8 all-time at McAlister Field.
    • The Trojans faced a conference opponent in their first game of the season for the first time and started a season on McAlister Field for only the second time.
    • USC's 18-goal margin of victory matches the third-highest margin in program history. The Trojans also won by 18 against Fresno State (April 20, 2013) and LIU Brooklyn (March 9, 2014). USC won by 19 (vs. Stetson; Feb. 13, 2016) and by 20 (vs. Presbyterian; Feb. 15, 2013) for the two largest margins in the school record books.
    • Senior attacker Michaela Michael scored three goals for her 27th-career game with three goals or more; the most by any player in program history. She was previously tied with Caroline deLyra with 26 each.
    • Michael also scored her 159th-career goal to move into first (ahead of deLyra) for most in USC career history.
    • 12 different Trojans scored goals against Saint Mary's College. It was the third time in program history that USC has had at least 12 players score in the same game. The Trojans also had 12 scorers against SMC on March 20, 2015. The program record is 13 scorers when USC defeated LIU Brooklyn, 22-4, on March 9, 2014.
    • USC scored four goals in 33 seconds between 26:36 and 26:03 to build a 5-0 lead. The time between USC's second and third goals was just nine seconds (26:36 and 26:27). The time between the third and fourth goal was another 13 seconds (26:27 to 26:14). And the time between the fourth and fifth goals of the game was 11 seconds (26:14 to 26:03).