Women of Troy Stun James Madison to Win Historic First NCAA Game|
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May 8, 2015
DURHAM, N.C. - The USC women's lacrosse team (14-5) continued its history-making season with a 13-10 victory over No. 19-ranked James Madison (15-5) in the opening round of the 2015 NCAA Championships at Koskinen Field on Friday, May 8. The program's first win in the NCAA tournament will advance the Women of Troy into a second-round meeting with third-seeded site host Duke (14-4) on Sunday, May 10, at 2 p.m. ET. The game will be on ESPN3.
"It feels great. We're really proud of the girls," said head coach Lindsey Munday. "They've worked really hard this year, and they played really poised. Being in their first NCAA game, there's a ton of emotion, but especially down the stretch, we definitely held up composure. I'm really happy."
Down, 3-0, less than seven minutes into the game, the Trojans fought back to equalize at halftime and completed a 13-6 run to shut the door on the Dukes. USC used a 5-0 run in the second half to go from down a goal, 9-8, to up by four, 13-9, with just five minutes left to play. The Women of Troy played a clean game and committed just six fouls (to James Madison's 20) and committed just nine turnovers.
The Trojans dominated the center circle and finished with a 17-8 advantage in draw controls thanks to nine from sophomore attacker Michaela Michael. Junior midfielder Amanda Johansen also grabbed four draws and sophomore attacker Cynthia Del Core had three. The Women of Troy were also as disruptive as they have been all season to their opponents' transition game and forced the Dukes to turn the ball over on five of 15 clear attempts.
Michael logged her third straight five-goal game to power the USC offense. She also added an assist to finish with six points. Junior attacker Caroline de Lyra scored a hat trick and had one of the other three Trojan assists. Sophomore attacker Gabby McMahon scored a pair of goals, and fellow second-year attackers Annie Ruland and Kylie Drexel had one goal apiece. Drexel also had an assist. Junior Maggie Mawhinney had the final of USC's 13 goals.
Defensively, junior Courtney Tarleton had four ground balls while Johansen and Drexel had a pair of ground balls each. Johansen also had a pair of caused turnovers. In goal, freshman Gussie Johns posted three saves and had a critical caused turnover and ground ball to seal the game for the Trojans with under two minutes to play.
For the Dukes, Betsy Angel, Taylor Gress, and Leah Monticello each scored a pair of goals. Stephanie Finley, Ali Curwin, Jaci Gordon, and Lexi Cross each had one goal for JMU. In the net, Schylar Healy posted seven saves. Curwin had three ground balls and caused three of the nine Trojan turnovers.
Gordon, Gress, and Monticello scored the first three goals of the game to put JMU up, 3-0, with less than seven minutes off the clock. Gordon opened the game with a goal from the eight-meter arc before Gress split the defense to put one past Johns. Monticello got behind the Trojans defense on a breakaway to get the Dukes in front in a hurry.
The Trojans exhibited patience on offense and got on the board when de Lyra rolled the left side of the crease and put one over Healy's shoulder. One minute later, Drexel forced the Dukes to foul her as she dodged to goal and earned a free-position attempt. Her shot was true as it pulled the Trojans within a goal, 3-2, at 18:45 in the first half.
James Madison stayed on top and went ahead by two, 4-2, on a goal by Finley, but Michael had other plans as she grabbed the next draw and raced down field to score in a matter of eight seconds from just outside the eight-meter arc and put the Trojans within a goal once more. Again, the Dukes had an answer as Angel completed the JMU transition from a turnover into a three-on-one situation that yielded a 5-3 lead for James Madison.
It took only 45 seconds for Michael to retaliate as she took on a double-team and ignored the face-guard from the Dukes to score going to her right and put the Trojans down just one, 5-4. The teams went back and forth and Curwin cut down the center of the field to grab a pass and scored at the 15:00 mark and get the Dukes in front, 6-4. After the teams had scored seven goals in a span of five minutes, it took a whole three minutes before McMahon used her free position to fake low and hit the top shelf on Healy to bring the Trojans within one, once more, at 6-5. Gress scored her second goal of the half for a 7-5 lead, but de Lyra went low to score on Healy before Michael dodged her way through the JMU defense to score and log the first-half hat trick. Michael's goal equalized the score at seven-all. Monticello scored her second goal of the first half on a man-up situation and gave the Dukes an 8-7 lead with 1:04 to go in the half, but Johansen grabbed the next draw and raced down the field with Michael on her right. Johansen dropped the pass off for a fast break goal by Michael that held up an eight-all result at halftime.
The Trojans remained aggressive in the second half and won the first draw, Cross picked up a ground ball on USC's first possession and went the length of the field to score and lift the Dukes to a 9-8 lead. That was about all James Madison would get however as USC ripped open the game with a methodical 5-0 run through the rest of the second half. A minute after Cross scored her goal, Drexel hit a wide open Ruland in front of the Dukes' net who went low on Healy for the score and the game's third tie at nine-all.
Michael scored her fifth goal on a straight-ahead free-position attempt to give USC its first lead of the game at 10-9. It took another seven minutes, but de Lyra posted her hat trick with a shot over Healy's shoulder on a clean pass from Johansen. The Trojans earned the 11-9 lead thanks to aggressive defense on the Dukes' transition attempt. From there, the Women of Troy slowed the game down and picked apart the JMU defense. 12 minutes had elapsed before McMahon took a pass from Michael, with the Trojans up a player, to score at 6:55 left in the game.
With the Dukes on the run, Healy left her goal to check de Lyra who was behind the net, but de Lyra made her pay as she found Mawhinney open in front of the goal who scored on an empty net to all but seal USC's win. The Trojans led, 13-9, at that point, but Angel put in one more goal with 4:10 left to play. It was too late however as USC ran the clock down to advance to the next round.
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 Twitter @USCTrojansLax.