No. 9 USC Lacrosse Returns to East Coast For Two|
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March 23, 2017
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 9-ranked USC lacrosse team (6-2) returns to the Northeast for the second weekend in a row and this time will face its second top-10 road matchup of the season in a Friday-evening meeting with No. 7 Stony Brook (6-1) at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium on March 24 at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT). The Women of Troy split games in New Hampshire and Massachusetts last weekend and are 6-10 all-time on the East Coast.
Following its bout with the Seawolves, USC will play Ohio State (6-5) in a neutral-location contest on Wilkins Field at the campus of Mountain Lakes High School in Mountain Lakes, N.J., where Trojans' fifth-year head coach Lindsey Munday starred in lacrosse, soccer, and basketball. The Women of Troy and the Buckeyes will draw at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) on Sunday, March 26.
Despite a narrow loss to No. 11-ranked Cornell in its last outing, USC has still won 26 of its last 29 contests and 33 of the last 39 overall. The Women of Troy are led by two-time All-American attacker Michaela Michael (22g, 11a, 52dc) who guides a potent scoring attack with fellow seniors Kylie Drexel (14g, 6a), Gabby McMahon (14g, 5a), and Cynthia Del Core (16g, 11a). Junior goalie Gussie Johns is second in the MPSF in goals-against average (7.72 gaa) and leads the league in ground balls (4.75 gbpg). Freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller (19g, 5a) has four hat tricks in eight games and is a two-time MPSF Rookie of the Week selection.
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 were shown on Ivy League Digital Network (at Dartmouth, March 17), and will be on AmericaEast.tv (at Stony Brook, March 24). The Trojans were streamed 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+ stream portal at Pac-12.com/live/USC-2.
SCOUTING REPORT - NO. 7 STONY BROOK: The Seawolves' (6-1) only loss was a 22-14 decision to a No. 3-ranked Florida. Stony Brook has wins over Towson and Northwestern, among teams ranked in the top 20. The Seawolves rank No. 1 in the nation for assists (10.57 apg) and do so behind Kylie Ohlmiller who dishes out 3.00 assists per game to rank second in the country. Ohlmiller leads the NCAA in points (7.14 ppg) and is second in goals (4.14 gpg). Stony Brook leads the America East in almost every statistical category including scoring defense thanks to Anna Tesoriero who gives up just 8.43 goals per game. The Seawolves also rely heavily on Dorrien Van Dyke who does a little of everything with 14 goals, eight assists, 13 ground balls, 20 draw controls, and 10 caused turnovers. USC is 1-1 against SBU with a 7-4 loss on Long Island in 2015 and a 14-10 win over the Seawolves at McAlister Field in 2016.
SCOUTING REPORT - OHIO STATE: The Buckeyes (6-5) are coming off an 8-7 win over Binghamton that snapped a four-game losing streak in which Ohio State fell to Notre Dame, Holy Cross, Harvard, and Michigan. Prior to the skid, the Buckeyes had won five of six to open the season. Ohio State leads the Big Ten in ground balls (21.09 gbpg) and has the conference leader in goal where Jill Rizzo has 112 saves this season to rank second in the nation. Rizzo leads the team with 33 ground balls with three caused turnovers. She is also second in the Big Ten for save percentage (.485) and saves per game (10.18 spg). Offensively, Molly Wood leads the team with 30 goals and 48 draw controls. Liza Hernandez (21g, 13a, 13dc) and Baley Parrott (20g, 5a, 17dc) are also major pieces of the Buckeye offense. Christina Turner leads the team with 14 caused turnovers and also has 22 ground balls to her name. The Trojans and the Buckeyes will meet for the first time.
LAST TIME OUT: The Trojans split games in their first of two back-to-back East Coast trips. Using an incredible 11-0 run to close the game, USC won by 11 goals in a 19-8 victory over Dartmouth. The win was the fourth in a row for the Women of Troy, who got a program-best 30th hat trick from Michaela Michael. The star of the game was senior attacker Cynthia Del Core who posted a new program record with 11 points on five goals and a six-assist performance that ties the highest single-mark in USC history. The 11 points was also good to tie for fifth most in MPSF history as the highest total since 2013. Facing inclement conditions in Boston, the Trojans fell behind by three goals against 11th-ranked Cornell in a neutral game on BU's campus. Despite putting together a four-goal run to tie the score at 11-all, the Big Red scored the game-winner with under two minutes to go and held on to hand USC just its second defeat of the season.
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.
EAST COAST BIAS: USC has played 16 games on the East Coast and holds a 6-10 overall record in those games. The Trojans own wins over Stetson, Dartmouth (2), LIU Brooklyn, and Marist in true road games; and defeated James Madison at a neutral location in the 2015 NCAA first round in Durham, N.C. This regular season, USC has played games in New Hampshire and Massachusetts; and will play in New York and New Jersey. The Trojans also played two for the first time in Florida earlier this season.
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 20 consecutive weeks ranked in the IWLCA poll (including 15 straight in the top 10) 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.
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). On March 20, Senior attacker Michaela Michael was named the league's Offensive Player of the Week and Miller repeated her Rookie of the Week honors as the first MPSF player to do so this season. In all, USC has had 27 MPSF weekly award winners: 10 offensive, 10 defensive, and seven rookie honors.
CORE POWER: Senior attacker Cynthia Del Core's 11-point outburst in USC's 19-8 win over Dartmouth (March 17) set a new single-game school record. She broke the previous record of nine points reached by Michaela Michael once and six other times by Caroline deLyra. Del Core reached new career highs in goals (5) and assists (6) and posted the highest point total in a single game by an MPSF player in four years: since Denver's Jill Remenapp had 12 points in a game in 2013. The 11 points tied for fifth in MPSF single-game history and her six assists tied the USC single-game record held by Michael and deLyra (six times).
RED, WHITE, AND BLUE TIMES TWO: Junior goalie Gussie Johns and associate head coach Devon Wills were each named to the U.S. Lacrosse Women's National Team roster that will compete at the upcoming FIL Women's World Cup in Guildford, England, July 12-22. Johns is the first-ever USC student-athlete to receive a call up to the senior national team. Wills, Johns' mentor, will represent the U.S. for the third consecutive World Cup. She helped lead Team USA to record sixth and seventh world titles in 2009 and 2013. She was named Player of the Match in the 2009 gold-medal game as she preserved an 8-7 win over Australia.
OH, CANADA: Junior defender Lydia Sutton and sophomore defender Avery Hogarth were each named to the Canadian Lacrosse Association's Senior National Team roster that will compete at the upcoming FIL Women's World Cup in Guildford, England, July 12-22. The duo helped Canada win its first gold medal in the 2015 FIL U19 World Championship. Sutton was also a part of the 2013 Canadian roster that took silver in the FIL World Cup when it lost to the U.S. in the final.