Trojan Lacrosse Drops 12-7 Decision to Wildcats at Wrigley Field

    USC sophomore defender Courtney Tarleton set a new Trojan single-game record with eight ground balls against the Wildcats.

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    April 26, 2014

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    CHICAGO - In a history-making meeting with No. 5 Northwestern (10-5), the USC women's lacrosse team (8-8) dropped a 12-7 decision to the Wildcats at Wrigley Field on Saturday, April 26. The Women of Troy stayed with NU through much of the first half and carried a three-goal deficit into the halftime break, but the Cats reeled off five straight goals to open the second stanza and created an eight-goal lead that the Trojans could not overcome.

    The Wildcats won the center circle with 15 draw controls to USC's six but NU took advantage of 22 Trojan turnovers to come up with the victory. Northwestern out-shot USC, 25-15, and was efficient at 9-for-11 on clear attempts.

    Sophomore attacker Caroline de Lyra had two goals and an assist and added a ground ball and caused turnover. Freshman attacker Alex Moore had two goals and an assist. Freshman Michaela Michael had three draw controls to lead the team while sophomore Amanda Johansen grabbed two to go with two ground balls, a caused turnover, and a goal. Freshman Annie Ruland scored once and picked up a ground ball. Off the bench, sophomore Haleigh Dalmass scored a goal and freshman Kate Pederson had a ground ball and a team-high three caused turnovers.

    Defensively, sophomore Courtney Tarleton set a new USC single-game record with eight ground balls and added a caused turnover to her final line. In the net, sophomore goalie Liz Shaffer had six saves to go with four ground balls.

    For Northwestern, Alyssa Leonard starred with eight draw controls to go with a hat trick. Leonard also had three ground balls and two caused turnovers. Kara Mupo scored four times and delivered an assist to lead all players with five points. Mupo also had two ground balls and a caused turnover. Kat DeRonda scored twice and dished out a pair of helpers for four points and added two ground balls. In the goal, Bridget Bianco put up five saves and had three ground balls.

    The Trojans won the first draw but the Wildcats scored the first goal of the game at 27:21 when Kate Macdonald found Mupo open on the crease for the score. 60 seconds later, the Trojans answered when Moore threw a pass clear across the field to de Lyra who was waiting at the crease. De Lyra faked high and went low to beat Bianco for the goal and a one-all tie at 26:20. The Cats cleared the field following a wide shot by the Trojans and scored on a Kelly Rich shot to reclaim the lead at 24:28. Moments later, Leonard won the draw and flew down the field to score again for a 3-1 NU lead at 24:07.

    Leonard scored a second goal seven minutes later after she caused a turnover and went down field to put the ball in the back of the net for a 4-1 NU lead at 17:25. The teams went almost eight minutes before either scored again. The Wildcats failed to clear a ball that proved costly as Moore hit de Lyra who went low to beat Bianco for USC's second goal at 9:49 in the first half. It took no time for the Cats to answer as Mupo took a pass from DeRonda to score and put NU up, 5-2, with 9:21 on the clock. Ruland gave a head fake and bounced her shot off the ground to get it past the Wildcat goalie for USC's third goal at 6:51. Mupo scored a third goal at 5:30 on an assist from Jess Carroll to get NU into the break up, 6-3.

    The Wildcats came out of the break with something to prove and reeled off the next five goals to complete a 6-0 run and take an 11-3 lead. Leonard secured her hat trick with a circus-shot of a goal when she took a pass from DeRonda and whipped it over her right shoulder to score and give the Cats a 7-3 lead. Six minutes later, Carroll released a quick shot on a pass from Nancy Dunbar for a goal and the 8-3 lead at 22:40. NU took just 30 seconds to push the score to 9-3 when Mupo passed from behind the goal to get DeRonda a clean look and the goal for a 10-3 advantage.

    Northwestern went up by its largest margin at 11-3 when Mupo scored her fourth goal of the game on a free-position shot at 13:40. The Trojans sparked a run of three straight goals when de Lyra dodged a defender and then rolled to the goal to put a shot over the left shoulder of Bianco at 12:12. Johansen wasted little time as she took the ball and crashed through the 12-meter fan to elude three Wildcats and score USC's fifth goal at 11:32. Dalmass completed the 3-0 Trojan run when she came from the right side of the NU crease to score unassisted at 9:55.

    The Wildcats scored one more under three minutes to go when Christy Turner took a pass from Rich to score at 2:32. With NU leading, 12-6, and burning the clock, the Trojans continued to press and forced turnovers to get Moore one more shot from a free position with five seconds left on the clock. Moore put away her second goal of the game to get the Trojans within five at 12-7 as the clock expired.

    USC wraps up the regular season with a game at Marquette (5-11) on Sunday, April 27, at 1 p.m. CT on Valley Fields in Milwaukee, Wis. For more information, please visit