No. 6 Trojans Outrun No. 12 Wildcats for 14th Win

    USC senior Caroline deLyra was one of three Trojans to score hat tricks in a 14-11 win over Northwestern.

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    April 15, 2016

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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- In a game of multiple scoring runs, the No. 6-ranked USC women's lacrosse team (14-0) outlasted No 12 Northwestern (6-7) to grab a 14-11 win over the Wildcats at Martin Stadium on Friday, April 15. The win maintained the Trojans' undefeated record and pushed the team's win total to 14, to match the program's single-season record (2015).

    USC was outshot for just the third time this season (30-18) but was incredibly efficient on offense, scoring 14 goals on those 18 shots. In fact, all but one Trojan shot was on goal.

    Three Trojans scored hat tricks in the game led by senior attacker Caroline deLyra who added three assists to her final line for six points. Senior midfielder Amanda Johansen scored three goals and added an assist; and junior attacker Kylie Drexel had three goals with two assists and two draw controls. Junior attacker Michaela Michael ran the center circle for the Trojans and picked up seven draw controls. She finished with four points with one goal and three assists.

    USC also got goals from junior attacker Gabby McMahon (2), junior attacker Cynthia Del Core (1) and senior midfielder Kelsey Dreyer (1). McMahon added two ground balls, a draw control, and a caused turnover for the Trojans. Del Core and Dreyer each also had one of USC's 11 assists.

    On defense, senior Courtney Tarleton caused two turnovers and had two ground balls. Senior Kaitlyn Couture led all players with a career-best four ground balls to go with two caused turnovers. Sophomore midfielder Lydia Sutton totaled three ground balls and had two caused turnovers. Junior Nina Kelty had a ground ball, a caused turnover, and secured a draw control. In goal, sophomore Gussie Johns produced seven saves and had one ground ball.

    For the Wildcats, Selena Lasota scored three goals and had an assist, but turned the ball over five times. Kaleigh Craig also scored a hat trick. Spring Sanders scored two goals and had four caused turnovers. In the cage, Mallory Weisse couldn't keep up with the Trojans as she allowed 14 goals against just three saves on USC's 18 shots.

    The Women of Troy struck first when Drexel's pass allowed deLyra to score the first of her goals just over a minute into the game. USC went 17 minutes between goals and in the process fell behind to the Wildcats, 3-1, when Lasota scored back-to-back goals at 16:48 and 15:26. The two-goal lead was the largest against the Trojans all season, but deLyra snapped the run with her goal at 11:36 off a pass from Michael. 10 minutes later, deLyra put the hat trick on ice with her goal at 5:51. USC scored the final four goals of the half to take a 5-3 lead into the break. Del Core scored first, and then Drexel had the last word off another pass from Michael.

    USC completed its 5-0 run to open the second half on another goal from Drexel, this time on a helper from deLyra. Christina Esposito ended the Trojans' streak of goals when she scored at 26:16 to bring NU within two goals, 6-4. Dreyer scored on a free-position shot and then Johansen hit McMahon for the goal at 20:07 to put the Trojans on top by four, 8-4. It didn't take long for the Wildcats to respond. Nancy Dunbar's goal at 19:35 sparked a 3-0 run by Northwestern that spanned just over two minutes. With the Wildcats within a goal, 8-7, USC called a timeout to settle things down.

    Out of the timeout, the Trojans responded to pull out to another two-goal lead, 9-7, on a goal by Michael. This time, it was USC's turn to run. Johansen needed just three minutes to record her hat trick as she scored three straight for a 12-7 Trojan lead. McMahon and Drexel capped off the 6-0 run with goals at 9:26 and 7:50 to put USC on top by seven, 14-7. The Wildcats weren't done though. Lasota scored on a free-position shot and NU ended the game on a 4-0 run, but it was too little, too late, as USC put the 14-11 win in the books.

    The Women of Troy remain out east and will meet No. 7 Notre Dame (10-4) at Arlotta Stadium in South Bend, Ind., on Monday, April 18, at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT). The Trojans and the Fighting Irish will be shown live on ESPN3.

    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 on Twitter @USCTrojansLax.

    GAME NOTES

    • USC improves to 14-0 for the first time in program history, continuing the program's best start to a season.
    • The 14-game winning streak is the longest in program history.
    • The Trojans' 14 wins matches the program's highest single-season total for wins set in 2015.
    • USC defeated Northwestern for the first time in four tries and improved to 1-3 in the all-time series.
    • The Trojans were out-shot for just the third time this season, but were efficient on offense with a 17-for-18 shots on goal percentage and scored 14 goals on just those 18 shots.
    • Northwestern's two-goal lead, 3-1, was the largest lead by any USC opponent this season.
    • The Wildcats scored goals at 3:38 (Kaleigh Craig) and 3:21 (Spring Sanders) in the second half. The 17-second differential was the shortest time between opponent goals this season.
    • Three Trojans had hat tricks to mark the 14th game (out of 14) that at least one player has scored a hat trick.
    • Senior attacker Caroline deLyra scored a hat trick and had her 25th-career game with three goals or more.
    • Senior midfielder Amanda Johansen scored a hat trick and had her 20th-career game with three goals or more.
    • Junior attacker Kylie Drexel scored a hat trick and had her eighth-career game with three goals or more.
    • Senior defender Kaitlyn Couture had a career-high four ground balls.