No. 7 USC Set For Fresno State and San Diego State Week|
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March 30, 2016
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 7-ranked USC lacrosse team (9-0, 3-0 MPSF) plays a pair of MPSF contests to close the month of March and open the month of April this weekend. First, the Women of Troy head to Fresno, Calif., to face Fresno State (3-7, 0-4) at 5 p.m. PT on Thursday, March 31, at FSU's Lacrosse Field. The game will be carried live on Mountain West Network and streamed by CampusInsiders.com. Then, the Trojans host San Diego State (4-6, 3-1) at McAlister Field on Saturday, April 2, at 3 p.m. PT. The USC-SDSU game will be streamed live on USC's Pac-12 Network Portal at Pac-12.com/live/USC.
USC has won six of its nine games by double-digit margins. In fact, the Trojans have outscored their opponents, 146-41, for an average margin of victory of 11.66 goals per game, which leads the nation. Likewise, USC leads the country in scoring defense with just a 4.56 goals-against average. The high-powered Trojan offense is tops in the NCAA with 16.22 goals per game led by junior attacker Michaela Michael who is the nation's top scorer and Tewaaraton Award candidate at 4.33 goals and 5.56 points per game.
LAST TIME OUT: USC extended its winning streak to nine games and added a third win in MPSF contests as it defeated Dartmouth and Oregon both by 17-4 margins. The Trojans ran their home winning streak to 13 straight at McAlister Field and posted their fifth and sixth double-digit wins of the season. Against the Big Green, Michaela Michael had seven points (4g, 3a) and Caroline deLyra had six (4g, 2a) to lead a USC attack that saw nine different players score goals. Gussie Johns came up with eight saves as the Trojans held Dartmouth scoreless in the second half. In the win over the Ducks, Michael set new career marks with eights points and seven goals. She also had 12 draw controls in a game for the second time this season. deLyra scored five goals and Johns made seven stops in the win.
SCOUTING REPORT: FRESNO STATE (3-7, 0-4 MPSF) has lost four straight and is coming off an 8-7 overtime decision to San Diego State. The Bulldogs earned wins over Stetson (14-6), Presbyterian (14-10), and Furman (7-4), but are winless in MPSF contests. Fresno State has four players with double-digit goals this season, led by Nicole Ortlieb who has 22. Sarah Bloise has 15 goals with 26 draw controls. Kyleigh Westgarth and Caroline Dineen-Carlson each have scored 11 goals. Westgarth is the team leader with 29 draw controls while Dineen-Carlson has won 26 draws herself. On defense, Megann Weissenfels leads the Bulldogs with 22 ground balls and has a 12.09 goals-against average. Sophia Aragon leads the team with 11 caused turnovers and has 17 ground balls to her name. USC is 3-0 all-time against Fresno State and earned a 17-6 win at McAlister Field in the teams' last meeting.
SCOUTING REPORT: SAN DIEGO STATE (4-6, 3-1 MPSF) has won three of its last four games. The Aztecs have had each of their last three games decided by a single goal; twice in overtime. The Aztecs dropped a 10-9 OT decision to California but turned around to beat Oregon, 10-9. They then needed overtime once more to get an 8-7 win over Fresno State. Alexa Comfort leads the team with 17 goals and is helped by Kristen Hickey (13) and Vickie Porter (12). Felice Artuso leads the team with 14 draw controls and 16 caused turnovers. She is also the Aztecs' leader in assists with eight. On defense, Katrina Reeves has a 9.42 goals-against average and a team-high 17 ground balls. Casey Taggart has 12 ground balls and five caused turnovers. The Trojans are 3-0 all-time against the Aztecs and produced a 16-4 win in San Diego the last time the teams met in 2015.
ON THE HORIZON: Next week, USC begins a stretch of four straight road games with a visit to the Rocky Mountains to face Colorado on Friday (April 8) and Denver on Sunday (April 10). The Trojans and Buffaloes will appear on Pac-12 Networks while the USC-Denver game will be carried and streamed by Altitude TV.
HOME, SWEET HOME: The Women of Troy have won 13 straight games at McAlister Field and own a 21-8 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 have opened the season 9-0 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 nine-game winning streak is also in the record books as the longest in school history, breaking seven-game streak that was set in 2015 between Feb. 22 and March 28.