No. 11 USC Set for NCAA Second Round Tilt with Princeton|
Nov. 18, 2015
THIS WEEK The No. 11 USC Trojans (14-5-2, 9-2 Pac-12) have advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010, traveling to Charlottesville, Va. for a 1 p.m. PT match on Friday, Nov. 20 vs. Princeton. If the Trojans were to advance, they would face the winner of the Virginia/UNCW match on Nov. 22 at 11 a.m. PT.
LAST WEEK VS. CAL STATE FULLERTON- The Trojans had a wild one on their hands last Friday vs. Cal State Fullerton, eventually advancing on penalty kicks. Despite having multiple opportunities in the first half, the Trojans found themselves down 2-0 as the Titans capitalized on both their opportunities in the first half. The Trojans were not going to go down without a fight however, and Morgan Andrews scored her first of three goals in the 49th minute, hitting a shot from distance far post. She then tied things up 10 minutes later as she finished off a header near post off a cross from Kayla Mills in the 59th minute. The Titans answered with a score of their own less than a minute later to take the lead back, 3-2. Andrews then capped off her hat trick with a goal in the 67th minute, another assist credited to Mills who delivered the centering pass. The Trojans then outshot the Titans 9-3 in overtime, but were unable to find the back of the net and for the second-straight season they went to penalty kicks to decide the first round. Goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme was the hero of this period, making stops on Fullerton’s second and fourth shots to give the Trojans the 4-3 penalty kick victory as the Trojans made all of their kicks. Morgan Andrews became the first Trojan all-time to have a hat trick in an NCAA Tournament match.
In head coach Keidane McAlpine’s five time in the NCAA Tournament as a head coach, he is 0-1-4 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, going to penalty kicks his last four times (2012 and 2013 with WSU, 2014 and 2015 with USC). The Cal State Fullerton game marks the first time that his team advanced on penalty kicks.
IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT - The Trojans have made their second-straight postseason (both under second-year head coach Keidane McAlpine). He is also just the fourth coach to take three different teams to the NCAA Tournament. Overall the Trojans are making their 14th NCAA Tournament appearance. Last year the Trojans tied Pepperdine through double overtime, but fell in penalty kicks as the Waves advanced. In 2007, the Trojans won the NCAA title under the leadership of first-year head coach Ali Khosroshahin. The Trojans are 12-8-4 all-time in postseason matches. This is the ninth time the Trojans have advanced to the second round or better. They are 1-1-6 all-time in second round games. The last time they were in the second round was 2010, where the Trojans fell 4-0 at Notre Dame. Previously in 2008 they tied BYU 1-1 and advanced 4-2 on penalty kicks.
PRINCETON, VIRGINIA, UNC WILMINGTON - This will be the first time the Tigers and the Trojans meet in women’s soccer. All time against the Cavaillers, the Trojans are 0-1-1. The last time the Trojans were in Charlottesville was for a 2003 match that Virginia won, 3-0. In 2000 the two teams met in the Coliseum and played to a 0-0 draw. If the Trojans should meet UNC Wilmington in the third round, it will be the first time the two teams meet in their history.
PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Kayla Mills was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, while also earning All-Pac-12 first team honors for the second time in her career. The attacking-minded defender started all 20 games for the Trojans, finishing with two goals and four assists. She netted the game-winner vs. USD, while adding a goal in a 4-0 victory at Oregon. All four of her assists came in Pac-12 play, with two in a 3-1 victory over Arizona, one in a 3-0 win over Colorado and one vs. crosstown rival UCLA. She also was the leader of a stalwart Trojan defense that was tied for first with only five goals allowed in Pac-12 play. The team led the league with a goals against average of .544, good for the ninth-best mark nationally. The Trojans went 336 total minutes over five different contests without giving up a goal. They were the only team in the Pac-12 to go three-straight games (all in conference) without allowing a goal. Mills earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors earlier this season as the Trojans only allowed one goal in 200 minutes of action, including a shutout of then-No. 23 Long Beach State and a 2-1 victory over San Diego.
ALL-PAC-12 HONOREES- Kayla Mills and Morgan Andrews earned All-Pac-12 First Team honors, the first time the Trojans had two first team honorees since 2005. Mandy Freeman was next with a All-Pac-12 second team selection, while Sammy Jo Prudhomme earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention for the first time in her career. The Trojans four honorees were the most since 2010. Ally Prisock represented the Trojans as a Pac-12 Freshman Team selection.
COSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONORS- USC women’s soccer had their first CoSIDA Academic All-District first team honor as Nicole Molen became the lone sophomore to be named to the first team as she boasts a 3.94 GPA as a human biology major. The Trojans also had two second-teamers, junior defender Moriah Earley with a 3.65 GPA as a human biology major and redshirt junior goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme with a 3.44 GPA in communications. The lone Trojan to be named to the All-District team was Tracy Lansing in 2006.
PAC-12 ALL-ACADEMIC- Nicole Molen represented the Trojans as a First Team All-Pac-12 selection for the first time in her career. 10 other Trojans earned honorable mention selections. They were- Jamie Fink (3.49 GPA, communications), Erin Owen (3.34 GPA, communications), Whitney Pitalo (2x), Kayla Mills (3.13, communications), Savannah Levin (3.53, psychology), Tamara Mejia (3.41 GPA, business administration), Moriah Earley (3.65 human biology), Sammy Jo Prudhomme (3.44, communications), Sydney Sladek (3.23 GPA) and Sydney Johnson (3.48 GPA).
PAC-12 FINISH - The Trojans finished in second place in the Pac-12, their best finish in conference since they finished second in 2007 and went on to win the national title. The Trojans tied for first in the Pac-12 in 1998. Last year they finished fourth in the first year under head coach McAlpine. In 2013 the Trojans finished 11th.
DEFENSE LOCKING IN - The defense has always been the strong suit for the Trojans, holding three-straight Pac-12 opponents scoreless (only team in the conference to do so this season). Overall they did not allowed a goal for 336 minutes until they gave up the lone goal to the Cardinal in the 62nd minute. They then bounced-back with two-straight clean sheets. Over the last six games of the regular season they only gave up one goal.
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 over 21 games last season, but only 33 over 21 games on the year. Junior midfielder Morgan Andrews leads the team with 10 goals, including a hat trick vs. Cal State Fullerton and two-goal games vs. UCLA, Colorado and Saint Mary’s. Super sub Sydney Johnson is next with five goals. Senior Jamie Fink is next with four goals. In Pac-12 play, the Trojans finished second with 17 goals scored (behind Stanford’s 23). They have only allowed a Pac-12 low of five goals in Conference play.
SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS - Taking a lot of shots is a key to a Trojan victory. The team is second in the Pac-12 with 369 total shots taken (17.57 per game). The joke with Coach McAlpine however, is that the team scores goals and wins games when they take at least 20 shots in a match. In six of the team’s last seven wins in the regular season (all in conference), the team finished with more than 20 shots and in four of those six contests, they finished with exactly 20 shots. In the first Pac-12 win vs. Oregon State, the team had 23 shots. Overall the Trojans are 10-0-2 in games where they take 20 or more shots. In the other three remaining wins, the team had 19 shots (vs. USD), 14 (vs. California), 12 shots (vs. Texas Tech) and 11 shots (vs. UCLA).
STATS CHECK - At the end of the regular season, the Trojans were ninth nationally with a 0.54 goals against average. They rank second in the Pac-12 with 336 shots taken. The Trojans are second with just 11 goals allowed on the year. The team’s goals against average (0.54) ranks first in the Pac-12. Morgan Andrews was first in the Pac-12 with 80 shots taken, while she ranked sixth with 18 points on the year (after the first NCAA contest she ranks tied for 2nd with 24 points. In Pac-12 play only, the Trojans ranked second with 194 shots (17.73 per game) and were second with 19 goals. The team ranked first with only five goals allowed in Pac-12 play. In the goal, Sammy Jo Prudhomme ranked second in the Pac-12 with 10 shutouts on the season, first with 0.54 goals against average and second with an .847 save percentage.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK - Mandy Freeman earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors for the weekend of Sept. 18. Kayla Mills earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors for her play over the weekend of Sept. 11, while Dominique Randle was named Defensive Player of the Week opening weekend, Aug. 21. She was also named to College Soccer 360 Primetime Players of the Week. Morgan Andrews also earned Primetime Player of the Week accolades this past week with her hat trick vs. Cal State Fullerton.
ALL TOURNEY HONORS - Morgan Andrews and Kayla Mills were named to the All-Tournament Team at the Duke Nike Classic. 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.