Trojan Lacrosse Heats Up Late to Beat Buffs|
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April 10, 2015
LOS ANGELES - The USC women's lacrosse team (9-3, 5-0 MPSF) unleashed a 5-0 scoring run to close out a 12-9 victory over Colorado (6-5, 1-3) at McAlister Field on Friday, April 10. The Women of Troy remained undefeated in five Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games thanks to a career outing from sophomore attacker Michaela Michael. Michael logged career highs for goals (6) and ground balls (4) and finished with a personal best seven points (6g, 1a).
Junior attacker Caroline de Lyra had four points (2g, 2a) and scored a pair of back-to-back goals, which included the equalizer at 9-9 and the game-winner; her second game-winning goal of the season. De Lyra also had two ground balls and one of USC's 19 caused turnovers. Junior midfielder Amanda Johansen scored one goal and earned the assist on de Lyra's game-winner, but was a factor on both ends of the field as she racked up a career-high five caused turnovers and matched a career high with four ground balls.
Off the bench, sophomore attacker Caroline Cordrey scored a pair of goals and dished out the assist on de Lyra's game-tying goal. Cordrey was 2-for-3 from the eight-meter arc and was instrumental in USC's attempt to preserve the victory down the stretch. Sophomore attacker Annie Ruland scored the other Trojan goal off an assist from Michael.
Defensively, the Trojans produced a program-best 25 ground balls with eight players picking up at least two. Junior Courtney Tarleton had a pair of ground balls and two caused turnovers. Senior midfielder Kaitlyn Couture had two and two and added three draw controls. Sophomore Nina Kelty had two ground balls. Senior Elizabeth Eddy had two ground balls and two caused turnovers. In goal, freshman Gussie Johns had four saves and two ground balls.
For the Buffs, Darby Kiernan scored four goals, and caused two turnovers. Marie Moore and Johnna Fusco each scored two goals and Carly Cox picked up the only Colorado assist of the day. Paige Soenksen had 11 saves but stopped just one ball in the second half as the Trojans made their comeback bid. Moore and Fusco shared game-high honors with five draw controls apiece. One of the MPSF's most prolific attackers, Fusco was held in check thanks to the shadow of junior midfielder Eggy Plastaras, who drew the assignment of covering the conference's leading scorer for much of the game.
For just the second time this season, the Trojans were edged in the draw circle. Colorado won the first draw and had the first two shots of the game to draw first blood on a free-position goal by Moore. One minute later, USC had the answer when Michael went to goal unassisted to even the game. It was back and forth as Kiernan needed just 20 seconds to put another point on the board for the Buffaloes with her goal at 26:01 in the first half.
USC used a 3-0 run to claim a 4-2 lead at 18:09 when Michael scored off an assist from de Lyra and then Cordrey put one past Soenksen off the eight-meter arc. Ruland took a pass from Michael to score the third of the three goals. It was nearly eight minutes between goals, but the Buffaloes got the next one when Fusco scored unassisted. Michael got her third goal of the first half at 9:00 on the clock to put USC ahead, 5-3, but Moore turned a failed clear attempt into points for the Buffaloes with just 33 seconds left to halftime. Colorado had one more shot at the goal with one second left, but the teams went into the break with USC ahead, 5-4.
Colorado came out with a full head of steam to open the second half and used just 40 seconds to equalize the game on a free-position goal by Kiernan. Michael continued her onslaught to push USC in front once more, 6-5, at 27:25, but the Buffaloes got goals from Katie Macleay and Fusco to reclaim the lead, 7-6. Cordrey's free-position goal at 23:20 tied the score at sevens before Darby had the goal at 21:57 and again at 16:51 to put Colorado ahead, 9-7.
Michael's goal with 15:37 left in the game signaled the auspicious start to USC's closing rally. 30 seconds later, Cordrey earned the free position attempt and passed it up to de Lyra who went top shelf on Soenksen to knot the score at nine all. Less than 90 seconds had gone off the clock before Johansen found herself in the same position Cordrey was. It was like déjà vu as de Lyra's pump fake bought her a hole to score the go-ahead goal with 13:46 left in the game. Michael scored her sixth goal of the night to give the Trojans a two-goal cushion at 12:16, before USC kept the ball away from the Buffaloes and added one more goal with 5:30 left to make the final score, 12-9.
The Women of Troy will face defending MPSF champion Denver (7-3, 2-1) on Sunday, April 12, at noon PT. USC will honor its senior class in pre-game ceremonies. The Trojans and the Pioneers will square off on the Pac-12 Networks with Mike Wolf and Kara Lentz on the broadcast.
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 Twitter @USCTrojansLax.