No. 7 Trojans Head to the NCAA Women's College Cup Final with a 1-0 Victory Over No. 5 Georgetown|
Dec. 2, 2016
The two-seeded Trojans (18-4-2) continued their incredible run through the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the program's second NCAA Final after the victory over another two-seed in Georgetown (20-3-3).
"What a game," said third-year head coach Keidane McAlpine. "I thought Georgetown was absolutely fantastic. A lot of respect goes to that team and the season they had, especially their performance tonight. I thought they had a very well-played game. I'm super proud of this team. We were on the back foot for a large part of the first half. In the second half, we caught our breath and found a way to get in the game and find the goal that was necessary."
The Trojans hung with the Hoyas in the early goings of the match, with the team's stellar defense locking down early as the team settled into the match. About halfway into the first half the Trojans settled down and were able to get some offensive opportunities.
At the half the Hoyas outshot the Trojans 5-2, and goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme made one save in the half.
The Trojans regrouped at the half, and came out a different team.
"I just told them to breathe," said McAlpine. "That was a big part of it, getting us to relax and settle into it. There were a couple spaces that we didn't see in the first half and we just wanted to make sure that we took a look, took our time and found it. I thought in the second half we were able to find space and find pockets where players could turn and face and run at their back line. We were far more aggressive attacking in the second half. We allowed their pressure to keep us pinned in, in the second half we were just a little bit more in the forefront."
In the 60th minute, the ball popped out on the left side of the box and Pruitt passed it back to Morgan Andrews, who delivered a one-touch pass to K. Johnson, who received the ball in the box with her back to the goal and turned her defender to her right and finished far post to put the Trojans up 1-0.
On the goal, K. Johnson said, "To be honest I don't really remember much of the buildup. I just remember Morgan (Andrews), Leah (Pruitt) passed out to Morgan and we made eye contact, she got the ball to me and I turned and shot it. It went by so quickly, I don't really remember the details."
The Trojan defense locked in for the rest of the half, thwarting the Hoyas attack multiple times.
The Trojans have a few other chances to pull the game out of the Hoyas' reach, as a header by Pruitt hit the post and a wonderful cross by Alex Anthony saw Daria Petredes fouled inside the box, but there was no call.
The victory is the Trojans' 16th shutout of the season and fifth of the postseason.
The Trojans are set to face West Virginia in the NCAA Final on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. PT at Avaya Stadium. The game will be televised live on ESPNU.