Trojans Advance to MPSF Lacrosse Final With 18-7 Win Over San Diego State

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    April 28, 2017

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    LOS ANGELES -- The seventh-ranked and top-seeded USC lacrosse team (15-3) defeated fifth-seeded San Diego State (10-8) by an 18-7 count in the semifinals of the 2017 MPSF Tournament at McAlister Field on Friday, April 28. The win allowed the defending conference champion Trojans to advance to their third-consecutive title game where they will face the winner of a semifinal between Stanford (12-5) and Colorado (15-2) at McAlister Field on Sunday, April 30, at 1 p.m. PT.

    For the seventh time this season, three different Trojans scored at least three goals in the same game. Senior attacker Michaela Michael shared game-high honors with senior midfielder Drew Jackson. Each had four goals. Jackson's four goals matched her career high and was her fifth-career game over the three-goal mark. She also secured a draw control and caused a turnover. For Michael, her four goals marked her 39th-career hat trick game. She added nine draw controls and a caused turnover.

    The Trojans' third hat trick came from senior Gabby McMahon who scored her fourth-career hat trick with three goals. McMahon also had an assist and caused a pair of turnovers. Senior attacker Cynthia Del Core played the distributor role and dished out four assists to go with one ground ball. Freshman attacker Ashley Hill scored a pair of goals and picked up three ground balls. Freshman midfielder Kaeli Huff had two goals, two ground balls, and a draw control. Sophomore attacker Gabbi Klein scored a goal and handed out a pair of helpers while sophomore midfielder Allie Gershman scored a goal.

    On defense, junior goalie Gussie Johns had four saves, but was disruptive to the Aztec offense as she caused three turnovers and collected seven ground balls. Freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller had five ground balls, three caused turnovers, and two draw controls but was also an offensive factor with a goal and an assist. Sophomore defender Avery Hogarth had a pair of ground balls.

    For San Diego State, Alex Watson scored three goals while four other teammates scored one goal each. In goal, Katrina Reeves had 11 saves, but was on record for the loss. She had five ground balls.

    The Aztecs scored the first two goals of the game; one each from Kayla Deitz and Ijeoma Ikpe. It took seven minutes for USC to get on the board, but it did when Huff scored off a pass from McMahon. The goal set off a 5-0 Trojan run that included one from Jackson and then three straight by Michael for a natural hat trick; all unassisted. The Aztecs snapped the run on a goal by Kirstie Greenlaw, but McMahon took a pass from Del Core to score the first of three straight Trojan goals with six minutes to halftime. Jackson scored the final two to give USC an 8-3 lead at the break.

    Del Core dished to Huff and McMahon for the first two goals of the second half and a 10-3 Trojan lead before Watson scored her first goal for SDSU. Klein answered but Watson sandwiched that goal with another one of her own. In a defensive struggle through the belly of the second half, the Trojans managed to score three straight with goals from Miller, McMahon, and Jackson to build a 14-6 lead. Watson completed her hat trick before Michael scored at 10:30 and then Hill scored back-to-back to put the Women of Troy up by 11, 17-6. Gershman scored one more on a free-position shot and then Sarah Dorl scored the final goal for the Aztecs with eight seconds left to make the final score, 18-7, for the Trojans.

    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 6-0 all-time against San Diego State.
    • The Trojans improved to 4-3 in all-time MPSF tournament games.
    • The Women of Troy won their 21st straight game against MPSF opponents including postseason meetings.
    • USC's 15th win this season is the second-highest total in program history (20 in 2016).
    • USC won its ninth straight game; the team's longest winning streak this season and the second longest in program history.
    • The Trojans have now won 35 of their last 39 games.
    • USC had three players score hat tricks in the same game for the seventh time this season. Stetson (Feb. 26); New Hampshire (March 13); Dartmouth (March 19); Ohio State (March 26); Fresno State (March 31); UC Davis (April 23).
    • Senior attacker Michaela Michael scored four goals (or more) in a game for the 16th time in her career and secured a hat trick for the 39th time in her career.
    • Senior attacker Drew Jackson matched her career high with four goals and put together her fifth-career hat trick game.