No. 9 Trojan Lacrosse Downs Ducks in 17-7 MPSF Win|
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April 7, 2017
EUGENE, Ore. -- The ninth-ranked USC lacrosse team (10-3, 4-0 MPSF) defeated Oregon (7-6, 3-2) by a 17-7 count on Friday, April 7, on Papé Field. The Trojans won their 14th consecutive MPSF regular-season game. USC also won its fourth straight overall to match a season-long winning streak and earned the eighth double-digit victory of the season; the third in a row.
Senior attacker Michaela Michael continued her torrid performance with six goals and 11 draw controls against the Ducks. It was Michael's school-record 35th-career hat trick game and the sixth time she has scored at least six goals in the same game. The 11 draw controls also marked the eighth time in her career that she has reached double digits in the center circle. Michael added two assists for eight points and by the end of the game, had moved into a second-place tie in MPSF history for career goals (202).
Michael wasn't the only Trojan doing damage on attack. Fellow senior Cynthia Del Core posted her 11th-career hat trick and added three assists for six points. Del Core was 1-for-1 from free position and added a ground ball and caused turnover to her final line. Senior attacker Kylie Drexel also got in on the action with a pair of goals and an assist to go with three draw controls and two ground balls. Six other Trojans scored at least one goal apiece.
Sophomore Jackie Gilbert caused a career-high three turnovers and picked up a pair of ground balls. Junior defender Lydia Sutton had one of each but was key to USC's 18-for-21 clearance day. On one occasion, Sutton went all the way through the defense and dished for an assist as Michael scored. On another run, Sutton passed to Michael but received the ball back and put it past the Oregon netminder for her first goal of the season. In goal for the Trojans, junior Gussie Johns had five saves and three ground balls.
For the Ducks, Shannon Williams scored the hat trick and picked up two draw controls and two ground balls. Bella Pyne and Mariah Gatti also scored two goals apiece. Jill Zubilaga picked up three draw controls and had one assist. The Ducks grabbed 19 ground balls to USC's 16, but the Trojans had an 18-8 edge in the center circle. The Trojans also out-shot Oregon, 34-21. In goal for the Ducks, Becca Katzen surrendered 17 goals but had seven saves in the game.
It took six minutes for either team to make a mark on the scoreboard, but Drexel (24:05) and Del Core (22:02) scored the first two goals for the Trojans unassisted. Oregon answered when Cambi Cukar dished to Gatti for the score, but the Trojans responded with a 5-0 run for a 7-1 lead with 7:29 left to play in the first half. Williams and Pyne scored back-to-back goals for the Ducks to stem the tide, but Drexel took a pass from Del Core for another goal at 1:23 and then Michael went down the center of the 12-meter fan to beat the Oregon keeper for the goal and a 9-3 halftime lead.
Out of the break, Michael scored again unassisted, but Williams had the answer on back-to-back possessions to close Oregon within five at 10-5. Drexel hit senior attacker Gabby McMahon with a pass for the goal and sent the Trojans on another run; this time 6-0. Michael scored the next two before freshman Kaeli Huff put one past the Duck keeper and then Sutton and Michael scored the last two in the run for a 16-5 lead with 7:30 left to play. Oregon scored two more, but Michael dished to freshman Amanda Flayhan who scored with 2:41 remaining to make the final score 17-7 for USC.
The Trojans head down to San Diego for an overnight turnaround and will face San Diego State (8-4, 2-2 MPSF) on the Aztec Lacrosse Field at 6 p.m. PT on Saturday (April 8). The game will be shown on the SDSU Lacrosse YouTube channel.
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.