No. 9 USC Lacrosse Shuts Down San Diego State For 15-3 Win

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    April 8, 2017

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    SAN DIEGO -- The ninth-ranked USC lacrosse team (11-3, 5-0 MPSF) notched its fifth straight victory on a 15-3 decision over San Diego State (8-5, 2-3) at the Aztec Lacrosse Field on Saturday, April 8. Trojan senior attacker Michaela Michael powered the offense with a career-high seven goals to go with six draw controls. The Women of Troy scored nine unanswered goals in 19 minutes to break away and post their fourth straight double-digit victory (ninth overall) and extended their MPSF regular-season winning streak to 15 games.

    Michael stole the show as she scored four of the Trojans six first-half goals. It marked her 36th-career hat trick and cemented her as the MPSF's second all-time leading goal scorer, now with 209 career goals. Her seven goals matched her previous career high but her sixth goal gave her seven career games with six of more. In fact, she has scored at least six goals in four of USC's last five games.

    Three other Trojans scored including freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller who notched her fifth-career hat trick. Miller also had a ground ball and a caused turnover. Senior attacker Gabby McMahon had a pair of goals and senior Cynthia Del Core scored one, but led all players with three assists and added three ground balls. Fellow senior Kylie Drexel had a pair of assists to go with four draw controls. Junior Alexis Kardias scored two goals at the end to sew up the 15-3 win for USC.

    On defense, junior Lydia Sutton had two ground balls and two caused turnovers. Junior goalie Gussie Johns put up eight saves (.727) against 18 shots and picked up four ground balls with two caused turnovers. Sophomore Gabbi Klein also had a pair of ground balls and caused turnovers and senior Nina Kelty had one of each.

    For the Aztecs, Ijeoma Ikpe, Taylor Sullivan, and Harlowe Steele each scored one goal apiece in the first half. Katrina Reeves took the loss in goal but put up 10 saves in the process. USC out-shot the Aztecs, 34-18, and won the center circle, 13-7. The Trojans also out-gained SDSU by an 18-14 edge in ground balls.

    Michael won the first draw and needed just under three minutes to score the first goal of the game at 27:14. Less than two minutes later, Del Core found McMahon who took the pass and scored to put USC up, 2-0. Strong defense by the Aztecs held the Trojans scoreless for the next seven minutes while SDSU took to evening the score with back-to-back free-position goals. The Trojan defense responded as Sutton caused a turnover and got the ball to Michael in transition, who drove down the center of the field to score the go-ahead goal. Michael took a pass from Del Core just 17 seconds later to score again and secured her hat trick for a 4-2 USC lead.

    Following a couple of unsuccessful attempts, Miller rifled in her first goal from beyond the eight-meter arc to put the Trojans on top by three, 5-2, at the 12:41 mark. Michael then sidestepped her way through the SDSU defense and put a free-position shot past Reeves for her fourth goal with just over nine minutes left in the first half to extend the USC run to four unanswered goals. The run ended on a goal by Steele, and both teams stood tall on defense to end the half, 6-3, in favor of the Trojans.

    More than 10 minutes had elapsed in the second half before Klein dumped her free-position attempt to get Del Core a clear look at the goal. Del Core made good on the shot to put USC on top by four, 7-3, at 19:31. The Women of Troy remained patient and found a crease when Del Core hit McMahon on a cut through the 12-meter fan for a five-goal lead, 8-3, with 17:04 left to play. Michael scored two more to sandwich a goal by Miller and extended the USC run to 5-0 for an 11-3 lead with under 12 minutes to play.

    Michael went to goal and scored unassisted to push the lead to nine goals as she tied her career high with seven goals at 11:30; but the Trojans hit the dime spot on a goal by Miller off a dump into the arc from Drexel. With a 13-3 Trojan lead, the clock ran down on the Aztecs, but that didn't stop USC from increasing its lead. Seinior attacker Drew Jackson earned an assist on a pass she sent to Kardias who scored the Trojans' 14th goal with just over four minutes to play. Kardias scored another from the eight-meter arc two minutes later to put the Women of Troy up by 12 goals at 15-3. Drexel won the final draw and allowed the Trojans to run the clock down to zeroes for the win.

    The Women of Troy are back in action on Friday, April 14, as hosts to sixth-ranked Colorado (12-1, 4-0 MPSF) at the LA Memorial Coliseum. The teams will draw at 5 p.m. PT in a live broadcast on Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Mountain.

    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 in all-time meetings with San Diego State including 3-0 in San Diego.
    • The Women of Troy extended their conference regular-season winning streak to 15 straight MPSF games.
    • USC won its fifth straight game; the team's longest winning streak this season.
    • The Trojans earned their ninth double-digit victory of the season and the fourth straight.
    • Senior attacker Michaela Michael matched her career high with seven goals and notched her program-record 36th-career hat trick. The seven goals gave Michael 209 career goals and cemented her into second place in MPSF career history. It was Michael's seventh-career game with at least six goals and her fourth in USC's last five games.
    • Freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller scored three goals for her fifth-career hat trick and took a career-high 11 shots.
    • Senior attacker Kylie Drexel matched her career high with four draw controls.