USC Lacrosse Falls to Oregon in MPSF Quarterfinal

    USC sophomore defender Courtney Tarleton had four caused turnovers against the Ducks.

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    May 1, 2014

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    DENVER - The fifth-seeded USC women’s lacrosse team (9-9) dropped a hard-fought 7-6 decision to fourth-seeded Oregon (11-7) at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium in the quarterfinals of the 2014 MPSF Tournament on Thursday, May 1. The Women of Troy were eliminated from contention and finished their second season with a .500 overall record.

    USC held a 16-8 edge in shots in the first half, but Oregon was the aggressor in the second half and out-shot USC, 12-7, before the Trojans took three shots in the final minute. The Ducks received a stellar performance from goalie Caroline Federighi who produced 12 saves to stymie the Trojan offense despite USC’s 10-5 advantage in the center circle.

    Freshman attacker Alex Moore scored two of the Trojans’ goals and was one of four players with five shots or more. Fellow freshmen attackers Michaela Michael, Annie Ruland, and Gabby McMahon each also scored goals. Sophomore midfielder Kelsey Dreyer scored the other USC goal. Ruland and sophomore attacker Caroline de Lyra each had assists.

    Defensively, sophomore Courtney Tarleton led the team with a season-high four turnovers and had two ground balls. Michael and McMahon each also had a pair of ground balls. Michael caused a pair of turnovers in the final minute as the Trojans fought to get the ball back for a chance to tie the game. In the goal, Liz Shaeffer had six saves and also picked up a pair of ground balls to go with two caused turnovers.

    For the Ducks, Carly O’Connell had the hat trick with an assist and added two draw controls and a pair of ground balls. Olivia Pyne scored twice while Nikki Puszcz and Holly Johnson scored Oregon’s other two goals. Johnson had one of the Ducks’ four assists. Jackie Moccia picked up three ground balls and caused two turnovers for Oregon.

    Oregon grabbed the first draw, but Johansen caused the turnover and picked up the ground ball to get the Trojans into their set offense. Patience paid off as Moore rolled down the right side of the eight-meter arc and fired a shot past Federighi for a 1-0 USC lead at 28:15. The Trojans appeared to have scored a second goal, but the Oregon goalie fished the ball out at 26:48 to send the Ducks the other direction. O’Connell took a pass from Sami Kiser to score at 21:38 and equalize things at one-all. Oregon won the next draw and spent little time on offense before Propst dropped a pass off to Olivia Pyne for the goal to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead at 20:57.

    O’Connell did the passing on the next Oregon chance at goal and found Johnson for the score and a 3-1 lead at 17:28. The Trojans responded immediately as sophomore midfielder Amanda Johansen claimed the next draw control. USC set its offense to allow Moore to roll the back of the crease and come around for the shot and goal at 16:42 to pull the Trojans within one. Just over a minute later, another USC draw control by Johansen put the Women of Troy on the attacking end. Ruland gave up her free-position shot to pass off to McMahon who scored to tie things up at three-all at 15:39.

    Defense kept the teams even until Michael came around the back of the Oregon crease to shoot and score and give the Trojans a 4-3 lead at 6:06 left in the first half. A USC yellow card to freshman defender Nina Kelty put the Ducks up a player for two minutes at 3:58. Seconds after Kelty’s release, Pyne scored her second goal of the half to even the score at four heading into the halftime break.

    Stout defense kept the teams even through the first ten minutes of the second half. A third yellow card on the Trojans put USC down a player for two minutes at 20:42, but they burned that one away. It took almost 15 minutes before either team scored, but the Trojans broke the tie when Ruland bounced a ball off the ground to put it past Federighi at 15:39. 30 seconds later, a USC draw control put the Trojans on offense. De Lyra set up behind the net and found Dreyer for the shot and goal at 15:08 for a two-goal USC lead, 6-4.

    The Ducks pulled within a goal when O’Connell scored her second goal of the game at 12:09. O’Connell came from the right side to complete her hat trick at 7:20 left in the game and tied the score, six-all. The teams went five minutes before Oregon claimed the final lead of the game at 1:52 on a goal by Nikki Puszcz. Moore won the next draw and earned a free-position shot but was blocked. Oregon failed to clear the ball on two attempts, the last of which allowed Michael to take one more shot at the goal as she was pushed to the floor. No foul was called as the ball trickled towards Federighi, who gloved it on the ground to end the game.

    MPSF semifinals will be played on Saturday, May 3, between top-seeded Denver and Oregon (4 p.m. MT) and between second-seeded Stanford and Colorado (7 p.m. MT). The championship game is set for Sunday, May 4, at 11 a.m. MT. All games will be played at host Denver’s Peter Barton Stadium in Denver, Colo. Please visit for more information, scores, and live video links.