USC Lacrosse Stymies Stanford For NCAA Quarterfinal Berth

    USC lacrosse junior attacker Kylie Drexel scored three goals in the Trojans' 14-8 win over Stanford.

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    May 15, 2016

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    LOS ANGELES -- The No. 5-ranked USC women's lacrosse team (20-0) rewrote the history books on a 14-8 victory over No. 9 Stanford (15-5) on Sunday, May 15, at the LA Memorial Coliseum to become the first-ever Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) team to advance to the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship quarterfinals. The Women of Troy set a new league record for wins in a season and will carry their fifth seed into a matchup against fourth-seeded Syracuse (18-5) at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., on Saturday, May 21, at 3 p.m. ET.

    The Trojans had three scorers notch hat tricks led by junior attacker Michaela Michael who finished with a game-high five points (3g, 2a). Michael also led all players with eight draw controls and added a ground ball to her final line. Junior attacker Kylie Drexel posted her ninth-career hat trick with three goals and dished out an assist to go with a pair of ground balls. Senior attacker Caroline deLyra also had three goals and an assist.

    USC got solo goals from senior midfielders Amanda Johansen and Kelsey Dreyer, junior attackers Gabby McMahon and Cynthia Del Core, and junior midfielder Drew Jackson. Johansen had three assists to lead all players and Del Core had a helper as well. Jackson's goal came on a free-position shot.

    On defense, senior Courtney Tarleton had three caused turnovers and a pair of ground balls. Sophomore Lydia Sutton caused four turnovers and picked up three ground balls and turned in an assist. Senior midfielder Haleigh Dalmass caused a pair of turnovers and had two ground balls. In goal, sophomore Gussie Johns finished with six saves and had two ground balls in the game.

    For the Cardinal, Kelsey Murray, Dillon Schoen, and Alex Poplawski each scored two goals apiece. Mackenzie Tesei and Anna Salemo each scored solo goals. Murray dished out a pair of assists. In goal, Allie DaCar had five saves but gave up 14 goals; her second-highest goals-against finish of the season (17 vs. Stony Brook, March 26).

    The Trojans made the first mark when deLyra took a pass from Johansen and flipped a backhand shot past DaCar for a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. It took Stanford just over two minutes to answer as Murray went to goal unassisted for the equalizer. The Trojans won the ensuing draw but gave up the ball on a yellow card charged to Johansen. The Cardinal worked for a free-position shot on the other end and scored the man-up goal to go ahead, 2-1.

    From there, the Women of Troy dialed in and reeled off the next five goals to lead, 6-2. Drexel dished to deLyra for the first of the quintet of goals at 17:36 and then Michael scored back-to-back goals; the first unassisted and the second on a one-timer off a pass from Johansen. Del Core found Dreyer for the shot and goal at 9:00 and then Michael hit Drexel with the pass for the goal at 7:33 to complete the 5-0 run. Tesei scored with 5:44 remaining in the first half to stem the tide and trimmed the lead back to three.

    Following another USC yellow card, the Trojans worked to get the turnover and streaked down the field to clear the ball. A flip pass from Sutton to Johansen at the restraining line created a straight path to the goal and led to another goal for the Trojans and a 7-3 lead with 46 seconds left on the clock. The Cardinal took advantage of the time left and won the next draw to get down field where Salemo scored to bring Stanford within three, 7-4, at halftime.

    Just 53 seconds had elapsed in the second half when Poplawski took a pass from Murray to bring Stanford within two goals at 7-5, but the Trojans had other plans and ripped open the game with another 4-0 run over the next 10 minutes. When they were done, the Women of Troy had goals from McMahon, Michael, Jackson, and Del Core for an 11-5 lead. Murray's goal at 16:44 stopped the bleeding, but Drexel took a pass from Johansen to score a 12-6 lead at 12:33.

    Stanford worked the Murray-Poplawski connection once more for a goal at 8:41, but USC kept the ball away and scored two more goals down the stretch to all but seal the deal. deLyra scored (5:05) and Drexel posted her third goal (3:27) to put the Trojans up by seven, 14-7. Schoen needed just 18 seconds from the Drexel goal to score the final goal of the game at 3:09, but Johns stepped up to post her sixth save on a shot by Schoen to preserve the win as USC ran out the final two minutes and 30 seconds of the game.

    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 on Twitter @USCTrojansLax. For more information on the 2016 NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship, please visit NCAA.com.

    GAME NOTES

    • USC advances to the NCAA championship quarterfinals for the first time in program history and is the first-ever MPSF team to advance that far in the NCAA tournament. The win improved the Women of Troy to 2-1 in all-time NCAA tournament games.
    • The Trojans improved to 20-0 to set new MPSF records for wins in a season and consecutive victories.
    • USC remains one of just two undefeated teams in the nation (No. 1 Maryland, 20-0).
    • The Trojans improved to 4-3 all-time against Stanford and won their third straight game over the Cardinal.
    • USC held its 18th opponent under 10 goals in 20 games this season.
    • Junior attacker Michaela Michael scored her 66th goal of the season, which ties for fourth (Katie McMahon, UC Davis 2004) in MPSF single-season history. With three goals, Michael scored the 26th hat trick + of her career.
    • Michael led all players with eight draw controls and moved to 103 draw controls this season, which ranks second all-time in MPSF single-season history. The only player above her is herself (2015, 123 DC).
    • Junior attacker Kylie Drexel scored three goals for her ninth-career hat trick + game.
    • Senior attacker Caroline deLyra scored three goals for her 26th-career hat trick + game.