Women of Troy Welcome Liberty for Monday-Afternoon Game|
Follow, Like, and Insta with @USCTrojansLax
March 6, 2015
LOS ANGELES - The USC women's lacrosse team (2-2, 1-0 MPSF) continues a five-game home stand on Monday (March 9) when the Women of Troy host Liberty (1-4) for an afternoon matinee at McAlister Field. First draw is set for 3 p.m. PT.
The Trojans have won two consecutive games and are coming off a long layoff since their Feb. 24 game against Fresno State. The 17-6 victory over the Bulldogs was USC's third game in four days; the first two were played on the East Coast. The Women of Troy will meet the Lady Flames for the first time in program history, in a game that is Liberty's first road contest of the season.
USC has imposed its will in the center circle this season, where it has out-drawn opponents, 58-27, in four games. In their last outing, the Trojans won the draw control game, 22-3, over Fresno State. The Women of Troy have enjoyed success on the draw largely thanks to the efforts of sophomore midfielder Michaela Michael who set a new MPSF single-game record with 15 draw controls (Fresno State, Feb. 24). Michael leads the conference and ranks fifth in the country with 6.75 draw controls per contest.
Michael's fellow front-line running mate Caroline de Lyra leads the Trojans in goals (10), assists (7), and points (17). Junior midfielder Amanda Johansen has scored nine goals and ranks second on the team with 15 draw controls. Besides USC's top three scorers, nine other Trojans have scored at least one goal this season. Sophomore Cynthia Del Core has started all four games and junior Caroline Cordrey has been effective as one of USC's first subs off the bench. Each has scores three goals this season.
The Trojans have also fared well in transition defense where they have held opponents to a .698 clear rate. USC has forced 24 of its opponents 51 turnovers and has 51 ground balls in 2015. The team leads the MPSF with the fewest fouls per game and ranks third in fewest turnovers per game.
Junior defender Courtney Tarleton produced three caused turnovers and three ground balls in USC's last game. She leads the team with her six caused turnovers on the season and is second in ground balls. Senior defender Elizabeth Eddy has picked up eight ground balls through four games and is one of the Trojans' top defenders. Sophomore defender Nina Kelty rounds out the Trojan backline trio.
The Women of Troy are breaking in the nation's No. 5-ranked recruiting class (Inside Lacrosse), which includes goalie Gussie Johns who has started all four of USC's games and now owns a pair of victories. Johns has surrendered just 29 goals while on the job and has posted 10 saves this season.
SCOUTING REPORT: LIBERTY (1-4) has been out-scored by its opponents, 82-54, this season. The Lady Flames have also surrendered 84 draws in five games; all home contests. Liberty's lone victory was a 17-13 win over George Washington on Feb. 23. USC will be the first road test of the season for the Lady Flames--it will also be the first meeting between the two schools. Liberty is led by two 14-goal scorers this season: senior attacker Sam Struss and freshman attacker Katy Pridemore. Senior midfielder Nina Dunay has scored nine goals and is the team's leader in the center circle with 15 draw controls. In goal, junior Juliann Elmer has produced 80 saves (.494 save percentage) and leads the team with 13 ground balls. Junior midfielder Kallie Britton has caused 11 turnovers, picked up 11 ground balls, and has seven draw controls to go with five goals. Head coach Kelly Nangle is in her second season with the program and is 3-20 overall.
TRACK THE TROJANS: Fans of USC women's lacrosse can follow the Trojans on Twitter and Instagram. For a behind-the-scenes look at the program, scores, and news updates, follow @USCTrojansLax. All of USC's 2015 home games at McAlister Field will be webcast on USCTrojans.com via the Pac-12 Networks web portal.