No. 12 Trojans Open League Play in Bay Area This Weekend|
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March 16, 2016
LOS ANGELES -- The 12th-ranked USC lacrosse team (5-0) enters league play this week as the Women of Troy carry a five-game winning streak to the Bay Area for matchups with California (2-3) and Saint Mary's College (0-5, 0-2 MPSF). The Trojans will meet the Golden Bears in Strawberry Canyon for a 2 p.m. game on Friday, March 18, at California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif. Both teams will be playing their first MPSF games of the season. For USC, it will be the team's first on the Pac-12 Networks. Jason Knapp and Kara Lentz will call the action for the broadcast set to be shown on Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Bay Area.
The Trojans will then head deeper into the East Bay to go head-to-head with the Gaels at Recreation Field in Moraga, Calif., on Sunday, March 20, at noon PT. The game will be shown live on theW.tv via GaelVision at SMCGaels.com.
USC is coming off a 14-10 win over Stony Brook and is off to the program's best start in its four years of existence. The Trojans' five-game streak is the second longest in program history and USC's win over the 11th-ranked Seawolves marked the second victory over a ranked team in the last four games.
The Women of Troy are among the nation's elite in scoring defense (5.60 gaa), caused turnovers (14.80 ctpg), and scoring margin (9.80 gpg). USC's transition defense has caused opponents the most problems as the Trojans hold visiting customers to a .516 (33-of-64) clearance rate this season. In five games, USC has trailed its opponents for all of just four minutes (March 4).
SCOUTING REPORT: CALIFORNIA (2-3) has won its last two games after an 0-3 start to the season. The Golden Bears' three losses include a 16-15 overtime loss to No. 16 Ohio State and a 21-2 defeat at the hands of a No. 5-ranked Notre Dame on the road. Chloe Landry leads the Bears with 11 goals and shares team-high honors with 17 draw controls. Meredith Haggerty also has 17 draw controls and has scored nine goals. Haggerty is second on the team with 11 ground balls. Elizabeth Pellechi also has nine goals to go with a pair of assists. Jena Fritts leads Cal with 10 assists but has not scored a goal of her own. In goal, Jenny Wilkens has produced 41 saves with a .363 save percentage. Wilkens also has 15 ground balls to lead the Bears. Charlotte Biffar leads Cal with five caused turnovers and is third on the team with seven ground balls.
SCOUTING REPORT: SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE (0-5, 0-2 MPSF) has been outscored 107-25 in its five losses, which includes a 20-1 loss to Stanford in the team's season opener and a 19-7 loss to UC Davis last Sunday in conference games. In goal, Sydney Pinello ranks third in the MPSF with 7.20 saves per game but is ninth in the league with a .252 save percentage. Pinello has eight ground balls to lead Saint Mary's. Megan Zummo collects draw controls at 2.40 per game and ranks ninth in the MPSF. Zummo is second on the team with six ground balls this season. Hannah Dalrymple leads the Gaels with eight points (6g, 2a) this season and is followed closely by Meagan Bennett who has seven points (all on goals).
LAST TIME OUT: USC earned a 14-10 win over No. 11-ranked Stony Brook at McAlister Field to run its winning streak at McAlister Field to 11 straight games. Juniors Michaela Michael and Kylie Drexel scored four goals each and senior Amanda Johansen had three to power the Trojan offense. Sophomore Gussie Johns had nine saves in goal and the USC defense forced 15 turnovers. In the end, the Trojans melted the final 13-plus minutes off the clock by effectively stalling the game to closure. The win was the fifth in a row for Troy to mark the second-longest streak in program history.
ON THE HORIZON: When the Trojans return from the Bay Area, they will host Dartmouth for a midweek game on Wednesday (March 23) at 2 p.m. PT. USC then hosts conference foe Oregon on Sunday (March 27) at noon PT. Both games will be broadcast on Pac-12 Los Angeles. The Trojans and the Ducks will also be shown on Pac-12 Oregon.
HOME, SWEET HOME: The Women of Troy have won 11 straight games at McAlister Field and own a 19-8 all-time record on the home field. This year, the Trojans finally played their season opener on McAlister Field and won their season opener for the first time. The Trojans have not lost there since April 18, 2014 (10-8 to Oregon).
LET'S GO STREAKING: The Trojans opened the season 5-0 to mark the best start for the program in its four-year history. In each of the three previous seasons, USC started 0-2 before the team picked up its first win. The five-game winning streak is also in the record books as the second longest in school history. The longest run is a seven-game streak that was set last season (2015) between Feb. 22 and March 28.
A SHORT TIME COMING: USC has trailed its opponent for all of just four minutes this season. The Trojans were down, 1-0, to Michigan between the start of the game and when USC scored at 26:00 to even the tally. USC's quickest goal game in under a minute after the first draw against Vermont. The shortest time between any two USC goals in the same game was a grand total of 14 seconds during the Stony Brook game. On the flip side, the Trojans have also effectively held opponents off with a stretch of more than 30 minutes without goals from Michigan and a dry spell that lasted more than 25 minutes against Duke.
RIDE WITH ME: The Women of Troy have made the transition game a nightmare for opponents this season. The ride is anything but smooth for those who traverse the neutral zone against USC to the tune of a 33-for-64 clearance rate. That's a .516 success rate. As such, the Trojans have been able to out-shoot their opponent in all but one game this season.
TWO TEW WATCH: Senior midfielder Amanda Johansen and junior attacker Michaela Michael were each named to the first official Tewaaraton Award Watch List on Feb. 23. They are the first Trojans ever to be listed on the Tewaaraton watch list. Johansen was the MPSF Rookie of the Year in 2013 and is the program's all-time leader in draw controls. She is also second in points, ground balls, and third in goals. Michael was the 2015 MPSF Player of the Year and is the program's first-ever IWLCA All-American (third team in 2015). She is second at USC for draw controls and goals.