Trojans Open Pac-12 Play at McAlister Field Against Oregon State|
Sept. 25, 2015
THIS WEEK The Trojans (5-3-1) open Pac-12 play vs. Oregon Sate at home on Saturday, September 26 at 1 p.m. PT. For the Pac-12 opener, there will be a food truck, LA Shaved Ice, as well as grilling burgers and hot dogs on site.
SCOUTING OREGON STATE The Trojans are 15-5-2 all-time vs. vs. the Beavers. Last season the Trojans defeated the Beavers 2-1 in overtime in Corvallis. The last four games against the Beavers have all gone to overtime and the Trojans are 2-1-1 in those matches.
PAC-12 OPENERS The Trojans defeated Arizona on the road 3-0 in last year's Pac-12 opener. They are 2-1 in their last three Pac-12 openers, none against Oregon State.
FINDING THE BACK OF THE NET The Trojans are looking to find the back of the net more consistently, as the high-powered offense scored 42 goals last season, but only 11 over nine games on the year. Two true freshmen, Hailey Hite and Mckenzie Taylor each have one goal, game winners vs. Texas Tech and UC Riverside, respectively. Sydney Johnson leads the team with three goals, while Morgan Andrews got on the scoresheet with two penalty kick goals vs. Pacific. Jamie Fink tallied her first goal of the year vs. Saint Mary's, while Mandy Freeman scored her first career goal vs. the Gaels.
LAST WEEK AT PACIFIC, SAINT MARY'S The Trojans swept their weekend at WCC competition Pacific and Saint Mary's, 3-1 and 2-0, respectively. Sydney Johnson scored her team-leading third goal of the year. Morgan Andrews. the team leader in shots, scored her first two goals as a Trojan on penalty kicks. Against Saint Mary's, Jamie Fink scored her first goal of the year on a volley, off assists by Andrews and Mandy Freeman. Freeman then scored her first collegiate goal on a strike from 20 yards out.
FREEMAN OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK Freeman had a foot in each of the Trojans' goals that came in the run of play last weekend as she earned her first Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors. First, in USC's 3-1 victory of Pacific, Freeman assisted on the team's first goal of the game, setting up Sydney Johnson for her third goal of the year. The other two goals came from the penalty spot. Then against Saint Mary's on Sunday, Freeman assisted on the Trojans' first goal of the game and then netted her own in the 67th minute, scoring on a long-distance shot from 20 yards out for her first career strike.
MILLS DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK Kayla Mills played a key part in both the defense and the attack for the Trojans last weekend. The junior's first goal of the season in the 82nd minute was the game-winning goal in the Trojans home opener against San Diego where the Trojans won, 2-1. On the weekend, Mills and her teammates only allowed one goal in 200 minutes of action, including a shutout against then-No. 23 Long Beach State. It is her first time winning a Pac-12 Player of the Week accolade.
RANDLE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK Dominique Randle led a staunch Trojan defense that held two top-15 teams scoreless for 172 minutes at the NM Lobos Invitational, Aug. 21-23. The Trojans, who went 1-1 on the weekend, shut out then-No. 13 Texas Tech, allowing them only six shots in the match and shored up the defense even tighter in the second half, not allowing a corner kick to the dangerous Red Raiders to go on and win their first match of the season, 1-0. Then against the reigning national champions and current No. 1 Florida State, Randle and her defense held the Seminoles scoreless for 82 minutes, thwarting multiple attacks. The Seminoles were only allowed nine shots and just four on goal through 90 minutes. They finally broke through in the 83rd minute with the eventual game-winning goal, but that was the only goal Randle and the Trojans gave up through two tough matches. This is Randle's first career Defensive Player of the Week nod. She was also named to the College Soccer 360 Primetime Players of the Week.
ONE MOMENT ONE NOW The Trojans' theme this year is "One Moment, One Now." Coach McAlpine is encouraging the team to have the mindset of focusing on one game at a time, staying within the moment and focusing on the task at hand. Also written as the #1M1N, "I'm In," it reminds all the student-athletes to buy in and be a part of the mentality.
THIS YEAR'S MIX Consistency is key to this year's group, which returns nine starters from last season and adds strong reinforcements in college transfers Sammy Jo Prudhomme, Morgan Andrews and Amanda Rooney. Six true freshmen also join the fold of 20 returners, led by impact defender Ally Prisock.
IN GOAL Trojan fans will see a new goalkeeper in 2015, as three-year starter Caroline Stanley graduated and is currently competing for the Seattle Reign of the National Women's Soccer League. Fortunately, the Trojans have a good one waiting in the wings, as redshirt junior Sammy Jo Prudhomme has patiently sat out the last season after transferring within conference from Oregon State last year. Prudomme, a Pac-12 All-Freshman team honoree in 2012 made 188 saves for the Beavers in just two seasons. Senior Faith Sugerman and sophomore Julia Murphy round out the goalkeeping core and the group has had competitive sessions all camp.
THE DEFENSE The Trojans return the entire back line with Whitney Pitalo, Dominique Randle and the highly-decorated Kayla Mills, who earned All-Pac-12 and NSCAA West Region honors in 2014, as well as being named the No. 15 player nationally by TopDrawerSoccer. Joining the strong core is freshman Ally Prisock, who entered school a semester early and was able to hit the ground running this fall. Redshirt freshman Abigail Callahan also adds more depth in the back, along with U.S. Youth National team alum Mandy Freeman, who is being transitioned to the midfield, but can still play in the back.
THE MIDFIELD Mandy Freeman will anchor the midfield, along with highly-touted transfers Morgan Andrews (Notre Dame) and Amanda Rooney (North Carolina). Returning veterans Erin Owen, Jamie Fink and Dana Schwartz, along with rising sophomore Nicole Molen provide an outstanding midfield for Troy.
THE FORWARDS One big hole that the Trojans will have to fill is the loss of 2014 leading scorer Alex Quincey's 10 goals. Fink was tied for second on the team with six goals and McAlpine hopes she can find the back of the net more often this season. Those joining Fink at striker this season to fill the void left by Quincey are redshirt junior Reilly Parker, seniors Tamara Mejia and Natalie Donaldson, sophomore Sydney Sladek and freshman Olga Langenskiöld.
TUNE IN TO THE TROJANS USC's 2015 schedule features eight televised games for the Women of Troy. The team will play four games at home and four on the road on the Pac-12 Networks.
AROD A WORLD CUP CHAMPION USC's Amy Rodriguez started collecting championship hardware as a Trojan, her winning efforts spanning the 2007 NCAA Championship with USC before stepping onto the Olympic gold-medal podium in Beijing and London with Team USA. She also won the NWSL title in 2014. Now, Rodriguez and her fellow U.S. National Team members have given the U.S. its third star, as the team won the 2015 World Cup in Vancouver, Can. Rodriguez made her first start in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup against China in the quarterfinals after seeing her first 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup action against Sweden on June 12, 2015.