Trojan Lacrosse Hosts Golden Bears and Golden Eagles|
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March 11, 2015
LOS ANGELES - The USC women's lacrosse team (3-2, 1-0 MPSF) hosts a pair of weekend games in hopes of extending its three-game winning streak. The Women of Troy draw conference foe California (1-3, 1-0) on Friday (March 13) at 4 p.m. PT before they host Marquette (3-3) for a non-league bout on Sunday (March 15) at noon. Both games will be played at McAlister Field.
The pair of contests are the Trojans' third and fourth straight home games as part of a five-game home stand. USC has won three straight games for just the fourth time in the program's short history. The Trojans had winning streaks of three and four games in 2014. The latter was a program long between March 26-April 6.
USC has outdrawn its opponents, 74-39, this season--which has led the Trojans to a 63-38 scoring edge. The 5.0 goals per game margin ranks 20th in the nation. The Women of Troy have been strong in all facets of the game lately. The team set a program record with 21 caused turnovers against Liberty and ranks 26th in the country with 9.00 caused turnovers per game. USC completes 83 percent of its clear attempts in the transition game and commits the least fouls among MPSF schools.
The Trojans get much of their output from 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 6.80 draw controls per contest. She is also fifth in the MPSF with 2.80 goals per game and second with 1.40 free-position goals per game.
Michael's fellow front-line running mate Caroline de Lyra leads the Trojans with 21 points and has nine assists to ranks fifth in the league and 25th in the country. Junior midfielder Amanda Johansen has scored 11 goals and ranks second on the team with 19 draw controls. Besides USC's top three scorers, 14 other Trojans have scored at least one goal this season. Sophomore attackers Cynthia Del Core and Kylie Drexel have started all five games and have scored three and four goals respectively. Junior Caroline Cordrey has been effective as one of USC's first subs off the bench with five goals to date.
The Trojans have also fared well in transition defense where they have held opponents to a .634 clear rate. USC has forced 45 of its opponents 74 turnovers and has 75 ground balls in 2015. Junior defender Courtney Tarleton leads the team with nine caused turnovers on the season. Senior defender Elizabeth Eddy has picked up nine ground balls through five 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 five of USC's games and now owns a pair of victories. Johns has surrendered just 35 goals while on the job and has posted 14 saves this season. Her 7.70 goals-against average second in the MPSF and 22nd in the country.
SCOUTING REPORT: CALIFORNIA (1-3, 1-0 MPSF) won its only game, 18-10, over conference foe Saint Mary's College. The Golden Bears dropped a pair of close home games since: a 16-14 decision to Michigan, and a 13-12 loss to Old Dominion. Cal goes on the road for the first time this season and is led by sophomore midfielder Bella Huther who ha 12 goals and four assists. Senior attacker Sasha Anielski has 10 goals. Freshman midfielder Chloe Landry leads the team with 14 draw controls. In the goal, the Bears have split time between sophomore Kate Gutierrez and junior Helen Hansen. Gutierrez logged the win and has 12 saves to Hansen's 10 this year.
SCOUTING REPORT: MARQUETTE (3-3) has won three straight since opening the season, 0-3. The Golden Eagles dropped an 8-7 decision to then No. 16 Johns Hopkins in overtime. The narrow loss was followed by blowouts at Colorado and to No. 5 Northwestern. Since then, Marquette has won a pair of overtime road games at Duquesne (8-7) and at UC Davis (5-4). Earlier this week, the Eagles beat Saint Mary's College, 15-4. Junior attacker Claire Costanza and sophomore midfielder Taylor Smith lead the team with 10 goals each. Costanza also has 12 assists. Defenders Kayce Haverstick and Fran Meyer lead the team with 10 ground balls each.
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.