No. 9 USC Enjoys Good Friday With 11-5 Win Over No. 6 Colorado|
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April 14, 2017
LOS ANGELES -- Behind a balanced attack and a 7-0 effort in the second half, the ninth-ranked USC lacrosse team (12-3, 6-0 MPSF) defeated No. 6 Colorado (12-2, 4-1) in an 11-5 final at the LA Memorial Coliseum on Friday, April 14. It was Senior Day for the Women of Troy, who extended their season-high winning streak to six games. The victory was also USC's 16th consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) regular-season win and is the team's 23rd straight home win.
Before the start of the game, the Trojans celebrated seniors Cynthia Del Core, Kylie Drexel, Drew Jackson, Nina Kelty, Gabby McMahon, and Michaela Michael as the six Women of Troy started and played in the their final regular-season home game.
Six Trojans scored including four with multiple goals to keep the Buffalo defense off balance. Drexel led the way with her 13th-career hat trick while Del Core and McMahon each had two goals apiece. Freshmen midfielders Kerrigan Miller and Kaeli Huff each scored two goals as well. Michael had a single goal with a pair of assists. Miller also handed out a pair of assists while Drexel and Del Core each had one assist. Michael won four draws while Miller and Drexel each won two.
On defense, the Trojans caused eight turnovers and picked up 17 ground balls. Three players had three ground balls each including Miller. Junior defender Lydia Sutton had three ground balls and a caused turnover. In goal, junior Gussie Johns put up nine saves and picked up three ground balls. Miller and McMahon each caused a pair of turnovers.
For the Buffaloes, Darby Kiernan scored two goals and picked up two draw controls. Sarah Brown had three draw controls with two caused turnovers and two ground balls. Kelsie Garrison, Johnna Fusco, and Miranda Stinson each scored one goal apiece. Fusco had two draw controls and two ground balls but went 0-for-5 from free position. In goal, Paige Soenksen had nine saves but allowed the Trojans to score 11 goals including seven unanswered in the second half.
The Trojans struck first as Miller lobbed a pass across the 12-meter fan to find an open Del Core who put it past Soenksen for the 1-0 lead with just under six minutes off the clock. Three minutes later, the Buffaloes responded to even the score when Kiernan went to goal unassisted. Fusco did the same less then 90 seconds later to put CU on top, 2-1, just under the 20-minute mark. McMahon equalized when she put a shot over the keeper's left shoulder from free position at 17:01.
Six more minutes went off the clock before Garrison scored on a breakaway pass from Marie Moore to put the Buffs back on top at 11:23. Two minutes later, Kiernan scored from free position for Colorado's largest lead at 4-2 with nine minutes to halftime. Less than a minute later, Michael earned a free-position attempt, but dumped a pass to Drexel who shot high for the Trojans' third goal at 8:19. Drexel was on the giving end for USC's next goal as she hit a cutting Huff for the game-tying goal at 6:40 to play in the first half. It took less than 80 seconds for Stinson to answer as she scored from free position to give CU a 5-4 lead at halftime.
Out of the break, the teams went back and forth several times before Miller knocked down a Buffalo pass, picked up the ground ball herself, and ran the length of the field to bounce a shot past Soenksen and pull the Trojans even with CU at 23:44. Del Core rolled the top of the crease and went to her right to beat the Buffs goalie for a 6-5 USC lead before Drexel dodged her way into enemy territory to score unassisted to give the Trojans a 7-5 lead at 14:11.
USC took a three-goal lead when Del Core dropped a pass into the fan to find McMahon who shot and scored with 8:44 to play. The Trojans worked the perimeter of the Buffalo defense on their next possession before Michael found Drexel cutting behind the back line. Drexel took the pass from Michael and put a backhand in the back of the net for a four-goal lead at 6:37. USC wasn't done as Michael found a way to score her first and only goal of the game. Despite bobbling a pass from Del Core, Michael recovered to shoot as she fell to the ground and scored for a 10-5 USC lead. The Trojans scored the final goal of the game when Miller dished to Huff for the goal at 1:35 to make the score, 11-5, for the Women of Troy.
USC completes the regular season with a trip to Northern California where the Trojans will meet Stanford (9-4, 4-1 MPSF) on Friday, April 21, at 5 p.m. PT at Cagan Stadium in Stanford, Calif. The Women of Troy and the Cardinal will be shown live on Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Bay Area. In its final regular-season game, USC heads to Davis, Calif., to meet UC Davis (6-8, 2-3) on Sunday, April 23, with first draw set for noon PT. The Women of Troy have already earned a berth into the MPSF Tournament, which they will host at McAlister Field April 27-30.
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.