USC Lacrosse Faces James Madison in First NCAA Appearance

    Third-year USC lacrosse captain Courtney Tarleton helped lead the Trojans to their first NCAA appearance.

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    May 6, 2015

    USC (13-5) vs. No. 19 James Madison (15-4)
    Hosted by Duke University
    Koskinen Stadium | Durham, N.C.
    Friday, May 8 - 7 p.m. ET
    Series History: First meeting
    TV/Web Stream: ESPN3
    Opponent Web:

    LOS ANGELES - The USC women's lacrosse team (13-5) earned the program's first bid into the NCAA tournament and drew No. 19-ranked James Madison (15-4) in the first round. The Women of Troy will travel to Durham, N.C., and face the Dukes in a first-round game at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, May 8, at Koskinen Stadium, on the campus of third-seeded host Duke (14-4). The winner will advance to face the Blue Devils in a 2 p.m. ET game on Sunday, May 10. Both games will broadcast live on ESPN3's digital platforms.

    The Trojans won their first-ever MPSF tournament game and made the team's first appearance in the league tourney's championship game last Sunday (May 3). There, USC held up to 15th-ranked Stanford's attack and trailed by just a goal, 6-5, at halftime. The Cardinal was too much in the second half and pulled away to win the conference title, 16-11. With a ratings percentage index ranking of No. 22, USC received an at-large berth into the program's first-ever NCAA tournament draw.

    USC and James Madison will meet on the field for the first time. The Dukes won the Colonial Athletic Association tournament to receive an automatic berth into the tourney. JMU makes its 12th overall appearance in the tournament and is 7-11 all-time in the postseason with a trip to the 2000 NCAA semifinals.

    The Women of Troy set new program records this season with the most wins in a season (13), most conference victories (8), highest finish in the league standing s(second), and the longest winning streak in school history (7). USC head coach Lindsey Munday was named the MPSF Coach of the Year and sophomore attacker Michaela Michael was chosen as the league's Player of the Year.

    Michael leads the Trojans' offense with 3.11 goals per game, which tops the MPSF and is 12th in the NCAA. Michael is also the league's leader in draw controls (6.00 dcpg, 6th in the NCAA). Junior attacker Caroline de Lyra has 63 points (34g, 29a) and junior midfielder Amanda Johansen has 52 points (38g, 14a). Attacker Kylie Drexel has had a breakout sophomore season with 41 points (22g, 19a). Sophomore attackers Caroline Cordrey (21) and Cynthia Del Core (25) give the Trojans six players over the 20-goal mark this year.

    On defense, junior Courtney Tarleton anchors the Trojan back line with 18 caused turnovers and 30 ground balls. Freshman goalie Gussie Johns tops all Trojans with 43 ground balls (2.39 gbpg, 3rd in the MPSF) and has produced 94 saves (.405) with a 8.16 goals-against average that leads the MPSF and ranks 17th in the country. Senior defender Elizabeth Eddy has 10 caused turnovers, 18 ground balls, and 10 draw controls, while sophomore Nina Kelty has nine caused turnovers and 11 ground balls this season.

    SCOUTING JAMES MADISON (15-4): The Dukes won the program's ninth overall Colonial Athletic Association title and third under head coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe (155-91 overall, 105-56 at James Madison). JMU is making its 12th appearance in the NCAA tournament and enters the 2015 tourney with a 7-11 all-time postseason record. The Dukes have advanced to the quarterfinals seven times and had a program-best finish in the semifinals in 2000. James Madison has a pair of prolific goal scorers in Betsy Angel and Stephanie Finley. Each Duke has scored 47 goals to lead the team this season. Jaci Angel leads the team with 22 assists. In the center circle, Finley is the team's leader with 54 draw controls. Defensively, Lexi Cross leads the Dukes with 45 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers. Despite a second-place finish in the CAA's regular-season standings (behind Hofstra), James Madison earned a pair of wins over Delaware and Towson in the conference tournament to claim the crown and the league's automatic bid into the NCAA championships. The Trojans and the Dukes will meet for the first time but both faced a common opponent this season. USC beat Liberty, 20-6, and James Madison defeated the Flames, 18-5.

    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 appeared on three Pac-12 Networks live broadcasts this spring. USC's non-televised home games at McAlister Field were webcast on the Pac-12 Networks portal.

    LAST TIME OUT: The Trojans won the program's first-ever MPSF tournament game; a 17-9 victory over host Denver in the semifinals. USC fought hard with top-seeded and No. 15-ranked Stanford, but fell in the title game, 16-11. Courtney Tarleton, Caroline de Lyra, and Michaela Michael were each chosen to the all-tournament team.

    LEAGUE LAURELS: USC head coach Lindsey Munday was named the MPSF's Coach of the Year on April 29. Sophomore Michaela Michael was chosen as the league's Player of the Year and was named to the all-conference first team. Caroline de Lyra, Courtney Tarleton, and Amanda Johansen were each also chosen to the All-MPSF first team. Nina Kelty, Gussie Johns, and Kylie Drexel were named to the All-MPSF second team. In all, USC now has 15 all-conference certificates: eight first-team selections, and seven second team.