No. 7 Trojans Advance to the Round of 16 After Getting Past Texas A&M in Penalty Kicks|
Nov. 18, 2016
LOS ANGELES -- No. 7 USC fought through to advance to the NCAA Tournament Third Round after playing to a 0-0 draw through 110 minutes against visitor Texas A&M, advancing 4-3 on penalty kicks on Friday afternoon at McAlister Field.
"First of all, all the credit goes to Texas A&M," said head coach Keidane McAlpine. "They fought until the very end, obviously. What a game, I thought we probably should've scored one early, but at the end of the day we didn't get it done and then it became a bit more of a game than we wanted it to be. But at the end of the day we found a way to advance. All credit to the team for pulling this one together and getting it done."
The Trojans (15-4-2) outshot the Aggies (12-8-2) 26-10 through 110 minutes of play, but were unable to find the back of the net. Morgan Andrews led the Trojans with six shots, while Alex Anthony had three and Ashleigh Plumptre had four off the bench.
In the early goings on the match, the Trojans had a chance to jump on the Aggies early, with Anthony having a great opportunity in the second minute, but goalkeeper Danielle Rice made a great save for A&M. Taylor McMorrow then had a chance in the fourth minute and tried to chip the keeper on a one-vs-one opportunity, but again Rice made a strong save. Chances came throughout the half, as Amanda Rooney took a great shot from distance in the 19th minute that hit the crossbar. At the half the Trojans outshot the Aggies 11-4. Both Texas A&M's Rice and Trojan keeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme made two saves in the half.
In the second half the Trojans once again had the bulk of the chances, outshooting the Aggies 10-5. Ally Prisock made an outstanding play on a potential one-vs-one opportunity for the Aggies, coming from behind to steal the ball off the Aggies' forward's foot to prevent a shot. Prudhomme came up with a huge save in the 59th minute to prevent a goal.
Then in just the third overtime match of the season, the Trojans dominated possession in both overtime periods, putting up five shots to A&M's one. However, they could not find the back of the net and for the third-straight season, the Trojans went to penalty kicks in the NCAA Tournament.
Prudhomme made her presence known right away, coming up with a big save on the first kick by the Aggies' Sara Shaw to give the Trojans the early advantage. Mandy Freeman then stepped up and put away her kick to make it 1-0 Trojans. In the second round, both the Aggies' Mikaela Harvey and USC's Kayla Mills put away their kicks and it was 2-1. After a make by A&M's Brittany Crabtree, Andrews uncharacteristically missed her kick and we were knotted at 2-2 after three rounds. In the fourth round, Grace Piper knocked her kick off the crossbar for the Aggies and Rooney stepped up and buried her shot to put the Trojans up 3-2. Then in the final round, Haley Pounds scored for the Aggies, but Anthony found the back of the net to give the Trojans the 4-3 advantage, advancing them to the round of 16.
With the victory, the Trojans advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season and the fourth time in program history. They will face Pac-12 foe Utah (13-3-5) on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 12 p.m. PT at McAlister Field. Buy your tickets here -- usctrojans.com/tickets.