Trojan Defense Suffocates Stetson For 21-2 Victory

    Junior attacker Michaela Michael scored six goals in USC's 21-2 win over Stetson.

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    Feb. 13, 2016

    Final Stats |  Notes

    LOS ANGELES -- The 19th-ranked USC lacrosse team (1-0) steamrolled Stetson (0-2) for a 21-2 season-opening victory on McAlister Field on Saturday, Feb. 13. It was the first-ever win in a season opener for the Women of Troy who began their fourth season overall.

    Junior attacker Michaela Michael powered the Trojan offense with seven points and had six goals; all in the first half. Michael also produced 12 draw controls and caused one turnover in the game. The USC defense was relentless as it stifled the Hatter attack to allow just four shots all game. The Trojans held Stetson to a 4-for-16 ratio on clear attempts and forced the Hatters to turn the ball over 18 times.

    USC out-shot Stetson, 37-4; won the center circle, 20-6; and had a decisive edge in ground balls, 20-9. In all, 11 different Trojans scored goals. Outside of Michael, junior attacker Annie Ruland and junior midfielder Drew Jackson each produced hat tricks with three goals apiece. Jackson also dished out an assist and caused two turnovers. Senior midfielder Amanda Johansen scored two and had two assists while senior attacker Caroline de Lyra finished with a goal and two helpers.

    Defensively, 11 players caused turnovers for USC with freshman Gabbi Klein, Ruland, Jackson, and senior Jacky Hennegan with two each. In the net, sophomore Gussie Johns surrendered just one goal in 30 minutes of action. Seniors Liz Shaeffer and Cassandra Collins also saw action in the cage with Collins picking up the lone USC save.

    For the Hatters, Maddie Holvey and Hallie Merz each scored goals. Taylor Patrizi earned the assist on Merzs' goal in the first half. Whitney Meyers played all 60 minutes and had 12 saves but took the loss with 21 goals against her.

    The Trojans needed just 10 minutes to build a 10-0 lead in the first half. Johansen scored first just 90 seconds into the game, off a pass from Michael. De Lyra, Ruland, and junior attacker Kylie Drexel followed with goals in the next two minutes. Michael then took over and scored the next four goals to put USC up, 8-0. Ruland's second goal put the Trojans up by a dime. Merz scored to put the Hatters on the board at the 16:13 mark in the first half, but 15 seconds later, Michael went to goal and scored unassisted to put USC back up by 10. Junior attacker Gabby McMahon took a pass from Johansen to score the final Trojan goal of the first frame with 3:43 left to the half and set USC up with a 15-1 lead heading into the break.

    Freshman Allie Gershman opened up the second half with a goal just 1:12 into the action. Jackson scored unassisted to put USC up, 17-1, but Stetson got its next goal just minutes later. Junior Shannon Nugent, who had lost most of 2015 due to a leg injury, was back in action and scored USC's 18th goal on a free-position attempt. Jackson scored two more times under the six-minute mark before Klein took a pass from Jackson to put the final hash mark on the board for a 21-2 win.

    USC returns to action in one week as it heads to Orange County to face No. 5-ranked Duke at Lebard Stadium in Costa Mesa, Calif. The game is produced and presented by the Orange County Chapter of U.S. Lacrosse. Opening draw is set for 7 p.m. PT on Saturday, Feb. 20. Tickets are available at www.OCD1lacrosse.com.

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

    GAME NOTES

    • USC won its season opener for the first time in four tries. The Trojans are 1-0 for the first time in program history.
    • The Trojans played their season opener on McAlister Field for the first time and won to improve to 16-8 all-time at McAlister. USC has won eight straight games on the field and has not lost there since April 18, 2014 (10-8 to Oregon).
    • The Trojans met and defeated Stetson for the first time.
    • Junior attacker Michaela Michael's 12 draw controls is her second-highest career output. She holds the MPSF single-game record of 15 draw controls (vs. Fresno State, Feb. 24, 2015).
    • Michael matched her career high with six goals. She also had six against Colorado (April 10, 2015).
    • Junior attacker Annie Ruland produced her fifth-career hat trick with three goals against the Hatters.
    • Junior midfielder Drew Jackson scored her first-career hat trick.