Trojans Topple UC Davis in 15-10 Victory

    USC freshman Michaela Michael led the Trojans with four goals against UC Davis.

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    March 14, 2014

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    LOS ANGELES - The USC women's lacrosse team (2-2, 1-0 MPSF) knocked off previously undefeated UC Davis (5-1, 1-1 MPSF) and won its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener in a dramatic 15-10 victory against the Aggies at McAlister Field on Friday, March 14. The Women of Troy improved to 2-0 in conference openers and did so on a pair of impressive performances by freshmen Annie Ruland and Michaela Michael who each recorded hat tricks.

    Michael led all players with four goals and added an assist to go with four draw controls and two ground balls. She was also 2-for-2 on free-position shots. Ruland scored three goals, one from the eight-meter arc, and picked up one ground ball. The Trojans also got a pair of goals each from sophomore attacker Caroline Cordrey, freshman midfielder Danielle Doherty, and sophomore attacker Caroline de Lyra. Cordrey also notched three draw controls while de Lyra dished out a season-high four assists for a total of six points on the day.

    The Trojans were highly effective on offense and scored more goals in the first half (11) than the Aggies finished with. USC out-shot UC Davis, 16-3, in the first half and finished with a 25-17 margin. The Trojans caused four Aggie turnovers but put enough pressure to force UC Davis to lose the ball 15 times. USC picked up 17 ground balls on the day led by sophomore goalie Liz Shaeffer's four ground balls. Sophomore midfielder Amanda Johansen did a little of everything for the Trojans and finished with a goal, three draw controls, three ground balls, and a pair of caused turnovers.

    For UC Davis, Kai Murphy suffered her first loss of the season and was pulled from the goal with just 12 minutes of action after the Trojans went up, 5-0. Four Aggies scored two goals apiece: Courtney Neff, Melissa Kellan, Elizabeth Landry, and Ellie Delich. UC Davis also got a goal each from Meghan Jordan and Carly Voris. Substitute goaltender Jordan Majka had three saves but gave up 10 goals in 48 minutes of action. She led the Aggies with three ground balls. Though the Trojans outdrew UC Davis, 10-4, in the first half, the Aggies came back and won the battle in the center circle, 8-5, in the second half. Mary Doyle and Sara Quero each had three draw controls to lead their team.

    After nearly five minutes of scoreless action to open the game, Johansen opened things up with a free-position goal at the 25:08 mark. Just 40 seconds later, Cordrey dodged her way to an unassisted goal to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead. Not to be outdone, Michael took a pass from Cordrey and went to the goal to win a free-position attempt. Just 25 seconds after Cordrey scored, Michael's goal put USC up, 3-0.

    Ruland posted her trifecta as she went unassisted (22:46), then scored on a free-position shot (18:09), and took a pass from Doherty (17:24) for three straight unanswered goals and a dominating 6-0 Trojan lead. De Lyra scored her goal on a pass from Michael before Doherty took a pass from de Lyra for a goal at 5:36 left in the first half with an 8-0 USC lead.

    Michael came to life down the stretch of the first half as she scored three times within 140 seconds. The first came on a free-position shot (5:05) before de Lyra dished to her on cuts to the net for goals at 4:07 and 2:53. Michael's last goal put the Trojans up, 11-0. The Aggies won the next draw and raced down to score as Kellan found Delich for the goal. Landry hit Voris with a pass for a goal with 51 seconds left to cut the deficit to nine goals heading into halftime.

    The second half was about as different from the first half as they come. UC Davis scored first; its third straight goal, but the Trojans answered to get a pair of free-position goals from Cordrey and freshman Kylie Drexel. USC led, 13-3, with 22:05 left in the game, but the Aggies scored six of the next seven goals to cut the Trojan lead to six goals at 14-8. Only de Lyra's unassisted score at the 17:12 mark stemmed the UC Davis tide. Landry's goal with 8:03 left in the game brought the Aggies to within five goals at 14-9, but USC played its brand of defense to hold on until de Lyra found Doherty cutting to the goal for a score and a 15-9 lead with 5:45 left. Kellan scored one more for UC Davis before the clock expired.

    USC gets the weekend off before it welcomes a pair of Ivy League opponents to McAlister Field for the last two games of a six-game home stand to open the season. First, Columbia (1-2) comes to town for a noon PT game on Monday (March 17). Then, Princeton (1-3) visits McAlister Field for a 1 p.m. PT bout on Wednesday (March 19). Both games will be streamed live on USC's Pac-12 portal page. Please visit for a complete schedule and links.


    • USC improved to 2-0 in games against UC Davis. Last year, the Trojans claimed a 12-7 win over the Aggies in Davis, Calif., on March 6, 2013.
    • The Trojans improved to 2-0 in MPSF openers all-time. Last season, USC defeated Saint Mary's College, 17-8, in its conference opener on Feb. 24, 2013.
    • USC defeated an undefeated opponent for the first time in program history. UC Davis entered today's game with an unblemished 5-0 record.
    • The Trojans held the Aggies to just two first-half goals which was the second fewest in a half by a USC opponent. Previously, Fresno State scored just one goal in the first half of a 19-1 loss to the Trojans on April 20, 2013.
    • Freshmen attacker Annie Ruland and midfielder Michaela Michael each recorded hat tricks in the first half alone. Michael led all players on the day with four goals. Each of Ruland's and Michael's hat tricks were scored on consecutive goals by each player.


    USC HEAD COACH Lindsey Munday

    On the victory over UC Davis
    "Obviously, there were some great moments for us. In the first half, we came out really strong, played together, but there are still a lot of things that we can work on and improve upon, which is exciting because we have another opportunity on Monday. We definitely need to play a full 60 minutes, but we're definitely excited. Davis is a great team, so we're very proud of the girls."

    On the difference between the first and second halves
    "I think we were really together in the first half. Everyone was working together, being really, really unselfish on the field and the plays were just happening because of our unselfishness; because people were working hard together and I think towards the end of the first half, and [into] the second half, we just got a little bit individual on the field and weren't really committing to the things that helped us be successful in the first half."

    On next week's schedule and USC's spring break week
    "It's exciting. I think the girls are ready for it to spring break and be done with [midterms]. We're excited. It allows us to spend more time together and really bond as a team and we also have a bunch of games coming up, so it's really exciting. We're sort of in the thick of our season right now where we've got a bunch of games and a bunch of awesome opponents coming in, so we need to prepare. There's no school to worry about next week, so it's all lacrosse."

    Caroline de Lyra, So. Attack

    On her contribution to the offense
    "I think our team just played really well together. We started focusing on a lot of teamwork recently and I think it really just showed in the game today. I just started to connect with girls like Michaela [Michael] and Danielle [Doherty] and I think it really worked out. We've been connecting in practice a lot before the game and it really just showed with all the other girls on the field."

    On gaining momentum from a pair of wins
    "It feels really good to have two wins in a row. I think we're just going to focus on our game from now on and see how we can get better throughout the season."

    Michaela Michael, Fr. Midfield

    On leading the Trojans in scoring against UC Davis
    "It was really fun. I think that we just had a lot of opportunities today. Our offense is moving really well together and Cara [Caroline de Lyra] hit me on really all of my cuts."

    On being a freshman on a relatively new team
    "It's really fun. All of us are real young, and really excited for our future. We have a really good [team]."

    On carrying momentum from this win into next week
    "It's really good to start getting our wins together. It also gives us something to focus on in practice, especially the second half, so we're really excited to get better these next couple days and focus on our next couple games."