Women of Troy Blast Blackbirds for First Win of the Season

    USC sophomore attacker Caroline Cordrey led the Trojans with four goals against LIU Brooklyn.

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    March 9, 2014

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    LOS ANGELES - The USC women's lacrosse team put together a complete game to post a 22-4 victory over LIU Brooklyn on Sunday (March 9) at McAlister Field. The Women of Troy recorded their first win of the season and improved to 1-2 while the Blackbirds dropped their 22nd straight game and remained winless (0-6) on the year.

    Sophomore attacker Caroline Cordrey led all scorers with four goals and did it on just four shots; one from the eight-meter arc. Cordrey also grabbed a pair of draw controls and had a caused turnover in the contest. Freshman midfielder Alex Moore had three goals for USC and also had two draw controls.

    Four other Trojans scored at least two goals each including freshman attackers Annie Ruland, Gabby McMahon, and Kylie Drexel as well as sophomore Kelsey Dreyer. Seven more Trojans each found the back of the net at least once: freshmen Michaela Michael, Shannon Nugent, and Kate Pederson, and sophomores Amanda Johansen, Olivia Gerton, Haleigh Dalmass, and Maggie Mawhinney.

    USC played a suffocating defensive game and out-shot the Blackbirds, 40-10. Trojans caused 11 of LIU Brooklyn's 23 turnovers and had 21 ground balls. Johansen and sophomore defender Courtney Tarleton each had three ground balls as did freshman midfielder Danielle Doherty who also had three draw controls and a caused turnover. Dreyer added two ground balls as did sophomore midfielder Eggy Plastaras who had the pair and a caused turnover of her own.

    In the net, sophomore goalie Liz Shaeffer posted two saves and had a ground ball and a caused turnover in 50 minutes of action. Sophomore Cassandra Collins entered the game for the last 10 minutes but did not face any shots. Danita Stroup had two goals for the Blackbirds while Jenn Peters and Kimberly Kovar each scored once. LIU Brooklyn did all of its scoring in the first half and shot only twice in the second frame. Brittany Rader had four of the Birds' 12 draw controls while Alexi Maldonado produced seven saves in the goal and picked up a game-high four ground balls.

    Cordrey opened the books by grabbing the opening draw control before she raced through the Blackbird defense to score the first goal of the game just 18 seconds in. Kovar had the answer just two minutes later to knot the score up at one-all, but the Trojans scored on back-to-back free-position shots by McMahon and Dreyer to pull out to a 3-1 lead. Peters got the goal at 23:58 left in the first to keep LIU Brooklyn within striking distance, but Cordrey's goal one minute later was just the beginning of a 6-0 USC run which she bookended with a free-position goal for a 9-2 lead.

    The Blackbirds put a stop to the runaway Trojan train as Stroup scored her two goals less than two minutes apart. That was as close as LIU Brooklyn would get though as the Trojans put up the next 13 goals to close out the 22-4 victory. USC was 7-of-13 on free-position shots in the game and got three with one each from Moore, Drexel, and Dreyer to close out the first half. With just 20 seconds remaining, de Lyra found Michael crashing the crease and hit her in stride for the goal and a 14-4 lead at the half.

    Like she did in the first half, Cordrey started things off in the second half as she scored unassisted to extend the Trojan lead to 15-4. De Lyra dropped off another perfect pass to Drexel for a shot and a goal with 26:27 left in the game. Dalmass and Ruland each scored unassisted before Mawhinney put one through for a 19-4 lead on her free-position shot with under seven minutes to go. Shannon Nugent went into the record books with the first shot and first goal of her collegiate career before Gerton and Pederson closed out the game with their goals.

    The Trojans remain home and open the MPSF schedule with a visit from UC Davis (3-0) on Friday, March 14. Last season, USC posted a 12-7 win over the Aggies in Davis, Calif., and went 5-3 in conference games. The game is set for 4 p.m. PT and will be streamed live on USCTrojans.com.


    • USC improved to 2-0 in all-time games against LIU Brooklyn. The Trojans defeated the Blackbirds, 23-8, last season in Brooklyn, N.Y.
    • The Trojans' 22 goals is the third most in a game in program history. USC scored 24 against Presbyterian and 23 against LIU Brooklyn in 2013.
    • The Blackbirds' four goals match the second-fewest that USC has given up in a game. The Trojans held Presbyterian to four goals in 2013 and held Fresno State to just one goal in 2013. 



    On getting the first win of the season
    "We're really excited. This is a total team effort. We're really proud of the girls and now we've just got to focus on getting better every single game and we've been on a really great road of focusing on improving and really just focusing on ourselves. But it's always great to get the win and to get it in a team way, the we did today."

    On what the Trojans did well against LIU Brooklyn
    "I think it was just a matter of us sharing the ball. Offensively, we had some really unselfish plays and you can see the end result when someone scores the goal. We did a great job with people clearing space and making the end play look easy."

    On USC's defense against the Blackbirds
    "We just came out really aggressive. That was our game plan and we just wanted to go out and set the tone for the pace of the game and our defenders really bought into it, had each other's backs, and came out super, super aggressive."

    On preparing for the next game
    "[Getting this win] is great, but like I said, we are focused on getting better every single day. This is a great starting point, but we have a couple days to get ready for a really tough conference opponent in UC Davis."

    Caroline Cordrey, So. Attacker

    On leading the team in scoring
    "I think, honestly, it was just a whole team effort. Everybody was really working well for each other and cutting through for each other and we moved the ball with pace, which helped me get my opportunities. People really worked well cutting through and it was all about my teammates helping me get them. Nothing was a solo effort.

    On slowing down the pace of the game in the second half
    "We definitely wanted to hold the ball a little bit longer, be in possession of it, and just take our time with our opportunities. Our shot selection was really important. We tried to make sure we could posses the ball and get longer possessions in order to get layup goals and assisted goals and just really work the ball around and move and make the defense work."

    On what this first win does for her as a player
    "It's obviously the first win of our season, so it's really big. It's good to get rolling on the wins. Hopefully, we can just use this as momentum moving into our next game and keep the winning going, but the most important thing is that we improved today as a team. Win or loss, it's always important to see improvements on the field and I think as a whole unit, every single person really improved as a person and a player, so that was really special to see."