No. 4 USC Hosts Boston University and New Hampshire|
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March 6, 2017
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 4-ranked USC lacrosse team (3-1) hosts a pair of non-conference foes at McAlister Field this week. The Trojans meet Boston University (1-3) at 2 p.m. PT Wednesday (March 8) and New Hampshire (0-5) at 4 p.m. on Monday (March 13). The Women of Troy and the Wildcats will appear live on Pac-12 Los Angeles. USC meets both teams for the first time in program history.
The Trojans have won 16 straight games on McAlister Field and 18 consecutive home games including those played at the LA Memorial Coliseum. USC, the winner of 23 of its last 25 contests, suffered its first loss of the season on the road at No. 4-ranked Florida last weekend, but turned things around to book a solid 18-3 win over Stetson before departing the Sunshine State.
USC is led by two-time All-American attacker Michaela Michael (9g, 5a, 33dc). She leads the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) in draw controls and is the league's fifth all-time leading goal scorer (165). Michael guides a potent scoring attack with fellow senior attackers Kylie Drexel (5g, 3a), Gabby McMahon (8g, 3a), and Cynthia Del Core (7g, 2a). Junior goalie Gussie Johns is second in the MPSF in goals-against average (8.86 gaa) and save percentage (.534) and leads the league in ground balls (4.50 gbpg). The USC defense is anchored by senior Nina Kelty (8gb, 5ct) and junior Lydia Sutton (7gb, 5ct). Freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller has put up 12 points in her first four collegiate games (9g, 3a).
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. The Women of Troy appear on four Pac-12 Networks live broadcasts this spring and will be on the Ivy League Digital Network (at Dartmouth, March 17), and on AmericaEast.tv (at Stony Brook, March 24). The Trojans were shown on Florida's YouTube channel (Feb. 24) and were on HatterVision (at Stetson). USC's non-televised home games at McAlister Field will be on the Pac-12 Networks live portal (Pac-12.com/live/USC-2).
SCOUTING - BOSTON UNIVERSITY: The Terriers' (1-3) only win this season was a 12-7 decision over UMass Lowell (Feb. 25). They have dropped games at Boston College, to Dartmouth at home, and are coming off a 14-8 loss to San Diego State on Sunday. Elisabeth Jayne leads the Terriers with nine goals this season. Talley Perkins is one of BU's defensive keys and leads the team with nine ground balls and six caused turnovers. In goal, Caroline Meegan puts up a .500 save percentage, but has allowed 14.66 goals per game coming into the contest. The Terriers are led by 11th-year head coach Liz Robertshaw.
SCOUTING - NEW HAMPSHIRE: The Wildcats (0-5) are winless through five games, but played to a close finish against Holy Cross before falling, 11-10. UNH will play Massachusetts (March 10) before heading west to meet USC for the first time. Devan Miller (8g, 7a) leads the Wildcats with 15 points. Krissy Schafer (12) and Devon Croke (10) are the goal-scoring leaders. Defensively, Hope Kissick leads with 12 ground balls, with eight draw controls and six caused turnovers. In goal, Kate Clancy has a .425 save percentage and a 13.63 goals-against average. The Wildcats are led by former Northwestern and Team USA great Sarah Albrecht who is in her fifth season.
LAST TIME OUT: The Trojans suffered their first loss of the season in a 15-10 decision at the hands of a No. 4-ranked Florida on the road, but bounced back to take an 18-3 win over Stetson. USC was playing its first games in the state and faced the Gators for the first time in program history. The Trojans went into the half trailing for the first time since 2015, and fell by their largest margin since getting knocked out of the 2015 NCAA tournament. Four Trojans produced hat tricks to help take down the Hatters and get USC back on the winning track.
ONES TO WATCH: Senior attacker Michaela Michael, junior goalie Gussie Johns, and junior defender Lydia Sutton were each named to the official Tewaaraton Award Watch List. Michael makes her second appearance on the watch list after finishing as one of the 25 top candidates for the award in 2016. Johns and Sutton are first-timers on the list, and join former All-American Amanda Johansen who was also on the 2016 Watch List. Courtney Tarleton was not a Watch List name, but was one of the 25 candidates alongside Michael in 2016.
POLL POSITION: The Trojans opened the season ranked No. 4 in the IWLCA Coaches' preseason poll. The ranking was a program high and was also the highest any team from the MPSF and from the West Coast had ever been ranked in the coaches' poll. Following two wins, USC moved up one spot to No. 3 to further rewrite the record books. USC has spent 18 consecutive weeks ranked in the IWLCA poll dating back to a No. 19 ranking in the 2016 preseason poll. The Trojans are 6-9 against teams ranked in the top 10 of the poll and are 1-7 against teams ranked among the top five.
HOME, SWEET HOME: The Women of Troy have won 18 straight home games including those played at McAlister Field and at the LA Memorial Coliseum. The Trojans have won 16 straight games at McAlister Field and own a 24-8 all-time record on the home field. USC has not lost at McAlister Field since April 18, 2014 (10-8 to Oregon).
KA-POW: Junior goalie Gussie Johns and freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller received MPSF Defensive Player and Rookie of the Week honors, respectively, following USC's thrilling 11-10 overtime victory over No. 9 Northwestern. Johns had 17 saves (second most in school history) and tied a school record with eight ground balls. Miller scored her first-career hat trick, which included the game-winning goal to put the Wildcats away. Coincidentally, Miller is USC's first Rookie award winner since Johns won in 2015 (March 16). In all, USC has had 25 MPSF weekly award winners: nine offensive, 10 defensive, and six rookie honors.