No. 8 USC Stops Stanford to Secure Top Seed in MPSF Tournament

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    April 21, 2017

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    STANFORD, Calif. -- The eighth-ranked USC lacrosse team (13-3, 7-0 MPSF) locked down the top seed in next weekend's MPSF tournament with a 15-12 win over Stanford (10-5, 5-2) at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium on Friday, April 21. The victory was the Trojans' seventh in a row for the longest streak this season and moved USC's conference regular-season winning streak to 17 games, which is one shy of tying the league record previously set by Denver (2013-15).

    Senior attackers Michaela Michael, Kylie Drexel, and Gabby McMahon accounted for 12 of USC's 15 goals to lead the Women of Troy. Drexel posted the second-highest point total by a Trojan this season with nine points (5g, 4a) and added three ground balls, two draw controls, and a caused turnover. The five goals matched her career high and marked the 14th time in her career that she has had at least three goals in a game. Michael had four goals in the first half alone and finished with five for the eighth time in her career. She also tallied three draw controls and picked up a ground ball and caused a turnover. McMahon scored two and had a draw control.

    Sophomore attacker Gabbi Klein had a goal and an assist as did freshman midfielder Kaeli Huff who added three ground balls. Freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller won the battle at the center circle and finished with seven draw controls to set a new career high. Miller also scored a goal and was instrumental in the Trojans' transition game. On defense, junior goalie Gussie Johns had five saves to go with five ground balls and a caused turnover. Sophomore Jackie Gilbert had two ground balls and caused two turnovers.

    For the Cardinal, Kelly Myers and Maggie Nick each scored hat tricks to lead the offense. Kelsey Murray and Elizabeth Cusick scored two goals apiece and Dillon Schoen and Daniella McMahon each scored one goal. Areta Buness secured seven draw controls and in goal, Allie DaCar had 11 saves to go with a game-high six ground balls.

    Stanford scored the first two goals of the game and effectively held off the Trojan attack until almost 10 minutes had gone off the clock. Michael put the Women of Troy on the board on a free-position goal, but Daniella McMahon responded four minutes later to put the Cardinal back up by two at 15:53. The Trojans won the next draw and set up the offense. Klein found Michael for the shot and goal at 14:27 to spark a 4-0 USC run that would yield a 5-3 lead for the Trojans. It took only 20 seconds before Drexel dished to Gabby McMahon for the goal. Drexel found Michael streaking down the middle of the 12-meter fan and hit her with a pass for a one-timer and USC's third goal in a mere 38 seconds. The 4-0 run was complete when Michael scored unassisted at 10:50.

    Murray and Cusick each scored goals to at 7:35 and 6:35 to pull Stanford even once more at five-all, but Drexel scored the final two goals of the first half to give USC a 7-5 lead heading into halftime.

    Through eight minutes of the second half, the teams traded punches as Drexel and Miller scored goals to keep pace with three Stanford goals; two by Nick and one by Schoen. Nick's second goal pulled the Cardinal within one at 9-8, but Gabby McMahon's goal at 19:22 was only the beginning of a 5-0 USC run that included goals from Huff, Michael, Klein, and Drexel. When the dust had settled on Drexel's goal at 13:28, the Trojans held a six-goal lead, 14-8. Myers scored at 12:18 to snap USC's scoring barrage, but Drexel answered with her fifth goal of the game at 10:26 left to play. Murray, Nick, and Cusick scored three more goals for the Cardinal but time ran out as the Trojans held on for a 15-12 win.

    USC completes the regular season at UC Davis (6-9, 2-4) on Sunday, April 23. First draw is set for noon PT. Fans can watch the game live on the Aggies' women's lacrosse Facebook page. Next week, the Trojans will host the MPSF Tournament at McAlister Field with quarterfinal games on Thursday (April 27), semifinals on Friday (April 28) and the championship game on Sunday (April 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.

    GAME NOTES

    • USC improved to 5-3 all-time against Stanford and has won four straight over the Cardinal.
    • The win secured the top seed and a first-round bye for USC in the upcoming MPSF tournament. The Trojans' first postseason game will be an MPSF semifinal on Friday, April 28.
    • The Women of Troy extended their conference regular-season winning streak to 17 straight MPSF games; one shy of tying the league record of 18 set by Denver (2013-15).
    • USC won its seventh straight game; the team's longest winning streak this season.
    • The Trojans have now won 33 of their last 37 games.
    • Stanford became the first and only MPSF team to reach 10 goals against the Trojans this season. The Cardinal is also the first MPSF team to score double-digit goals against USC since April 19, 2015. That day, Stanford scored 12 goals; the last time USC dropped a league contest.
    • Senior attacker Michaela Michael scored five goals in a game for the eighth time in her career. She secured a hat trick for the 37th time in her career. Michael's five points gives her 281 career points and moves her into first place all-time in program history ahead of Caroline deLyra (2013-16) who had 279 points. She also moves into third all-time in MPSF history.
    • Senior attacker Kylie Drexel tied her career high with five goals and set new career highs with four assists and nine total points. The nine points are the second highest by a Trojan player this season (Cynthia Del Core, 11; March 17 at Dartmouth).
    • Freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller secured a career-high seven draw controls.