No. 7 Trojans Ready to Host No. 16 Auburn in NCAA Quarterfinals|
Nov. 23, 2016
THIS WEEK - No. 7 Trojans (16-4-2) are ready to host No. 16 Auburn (17-6-0) in the NCAA Quarterfinals, set for Friday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. PT at McAlister Field. The Trojans and Tigers will be meeting in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The match at McAlister Field represents the first time the Trojans have hosted an NCAA Quarterfinal match. Tickets for the matches can be purchased at usctrojans.com/tickets. If you can't make it out to McAlister Field, you can watch the game live here - pac-12.com/live/usc.
IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT- The Trojans are in the midst of their 15th NCAA Tournament appearance. They earned a two seed for the second time in program history. The previous time was in 2007 when they went on to win the NCAA title. It's the highest seeding the program has ever seen. The Trojans are 17-11-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including going 6-0 in 2007 to win the NCAA title. Under head coach Keidane McAlpine the Trojans are 3-1-3 in the postseason (three years). This is just the second time the Trojans have advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals, with the previous time coming in 2007. That year on Nov. 30 the Trojans defeated West Virginia 1-0 on the road to advance to the NCAA College Cup. The Trojans arrived in the quarterfinals after defeating Eastern Washington 3-1 in the first round, advancing in the second round 4-3 in penalty kicks after a 0-0 double-overtime tie against Texas A&M. Finally, the Trojans defeated Pac-12 foe Utah 1-0 with a 73rd minute goal by Leah Pruitt to advance the Trojans to the NCAA Quarterfinal for just the second time in program history.
Last year the Trojans defeated Princeton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, defeating the Tigers 3-0 in Charlottesville, Va. Morgan Andrews tallied two goals in the match (she scored five of the Trojans' six postseason goals last year), while Sydney Sladek added the third goal. Morgan Andrews has now tallied seven postseason goals in four games in a Trojan uniform.
AGAINST AUBURN- Earlier this season, Sept. 4, the Trojans defeated then-No. 21 Auburn 2-0 on the road in Auburn, Ala. The Trojans got goals from Nicole Molen and Alex Anthony in the victory. Goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme, who made a then-USC career high nine saves against Georgia and eight against Auburn was named the Auburn Soccer Classic Co-MVP. Overall the Trojans are 2-0 against Auburn, with the previous match coming in 2010 when the Trojans defeated the Tigers 1-0 in overtime at McAlister Field.
UNBEATEN STREAK - The Trojans saw their five-game unbeaten streak snapped against UCLA at the end of the regular season. Earlier in the season, the team saw its program-record 10 game winning streak snapped against Cal, 1-0 on Oct. 9. Previously the Trojans had nine game winning streaks in 2008 and 2009.
Sammy Jo Prudhomme - The Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year, set a new program record with 11 shutout victories in the regular season. The previous record was nine regular season shutouts by Kristin Olsen in 2007 (including postseason she had 12 total to her name, 15 for the team). Currently the team has 14 total shutouts, with Prudhomme tallying 13 individually (12 being victories). Her .900 save percentage ranks seventh nationally, while her 13 shutouts are fourth-best in the nation. In the regular season she led the Pac-12 by only allowing an impressive nine goals in 19 games. Earlier in the season she led the team on a seven-game shutout streak, tallying 726 minutes of shutout soccer over eight games, good for 27th best nationally all-time. She earned Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week honors four times.
Mandy Freeman - Freeman was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year for the first time in her career, while earning All-Pac-12 First Team honors for the second time (previously in 2013 for her freshman campaign). Freeman, a defender and midfielder, assisted in 11 shutouts on the regular season to put USC fifth in the nation in shutout percentage to end the regular season. USC led the league in goals against average at 0.47, which is the eighth-best mark in the country in the regular season. USC finished the regular season with 47 goals scored and nine goals allowed, the second-best goal differential in the league. Freeman is the second Trojan in as many years to earn the honor, as fellow senior Kayla Mills was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2015.
ALL PAC-12 HONORS - Sammy Jo Prudhomme, the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year and Mandy Freeman, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year headlined the conference honors, as they were also named to the first team. The Trojans collected eight honorees, the most in school history. Both Mills and Andrews earned first team honors for the second-straight season. Joining Prudhomme and Freeman on the first team is Morgan Andrews and Kayla Mills, while Alex Anthony and Savannah Levin were first team honorees. Katie Johnson earned honorable mention accolades, while Julia Bingham was named to the All-Freshman team.
THE Leah Pruitt FACTOR- The San Diego State transfer, who would be a starter on most squads, has been a spark plug up top for the Trojans. The regular substitution pattern has her coming into the game towards the 30th minute of the first half, changing the tempo of the contest, and then starting the second half. She has been especially productive starting the second half. In the first 15 minutes of the second half she has been impactful, tallying two of her three goals in that time span (46:03 mark vs. Kansas and 48:54 mark vs. Washington State. Five of her team-leading six assists also came within that time span (45:42 vs. Oregon, 46:11 vs. Oregon, 48:23 vs. Washington, 55:35 vs. Stanford and 57:59 vs. Arizona State). She also scored the game-winning goal in the 73rd minute to push the Trojans into the Elite Eight.
DEFENSIVE STRONG - The Trojans ended a seven-game shutout streak with an Oregon goal in the 76th minute on Sept. 29, beating the previous program record of six, set in 2006. They did not surrender a goal in 729 minutes, setting a new school record for minutes shut out. The previous record was 654 set during the 2006 streak. Prior the goal given up in the 76th minute of the contest at Oregon on Thursday, the last goal they gave up was on Aug. 26 at Long Beach State in the 66th minute. In 2015 the Trojans were the only squad to have three-straight shutout matches against Pac-12 opponents. Sammy Jo Prudhomme went on a streak earlier this season, 726 minutes of action (three minutes in the North Carolina game went to backup keeper Julia Murphy) of shutout soccer, which puts her 27th in the NCAA record book for the longest individual goalkeeper consecutive shutout minutes streak.
RACKING UP THE WEEKLY HONORS- Redshirt senior goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme earned her second-straight Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week honor and fourth of the year after making five saves over two shutout victories last week. She also earned back-to-back honors earlier this season after the Auburn Soccer Classic and North Carolina weekends. Senior defender Savannah Levin earned her first career Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honor after helping lead the Trojans to a 2-0 victory at Arizona State. The senior scored her first goal of the year en route to the honor. Mandy Freeman earned her first Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honor of her career, after the Trojans tallied another shutout as they defeated visiting Arizona 4-0 at McAlister Field in the Pac-12 opener on Sept. 23. Freeman and the Trojans thwarted 15 shot opportunities, including a tough second half where the Wildcats had 12 shots alone. The victory set a program record with seven-straight shutout victories. This was the first time in her career that Freeman has been named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. Last season she earned her first weekly honor, Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after a two-goal, two-victory weekend. Ally Prisock earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors for the first time in her career, as she led a stalwart Trojan defense that did not allow a goal against Loyola Marymount and then-No. 8 North Carolina.
IN THE STATS - The Trojans finished the regular season second in the conference with 40 goals scored (2.11 average per game) and with the stingiest defense in the conference with just nine goals allowed in 19 games (0.47 goals per game). The team also led the conference with 12 shutouts. Alex Anthony ranked eighth in the conference with nine goals and also sat at sixth with 23 points. She ranked second the conference with 3.84 shots per game. Leah Pruitt ranked fourth in the conference with 0. 40 assists per game and fourth with her six assists overall. Sammy Jo Prudhomme finished the regular season third in the Pac-12 with 78 saves overall and third with 4.11 saves per game. Her save percentage of 0.897 ranks first, and her 11 solo shutouts are tied for first in the conference, while she also ranks first in shutouts per game, with 0.58/game and her goals against average of 0.47 is tops in the Pac-12.
NATIONALLY SPEAKING - The Trojans currently rank eighth nationally with a 0.636 shutout percentage and fifth nationally with a 0.902 save percentage. In goals against average the Trojans rank eighth with 0.444. The team's offense ranked 28th nationally with 44 total goals. The team's win-loss-tied percentage of 0.773 ranks 16th. Individually, goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme ranks seventh nationally with a 0.900 save percentage, fourth nationally with 13 shutouts and ninth with a goals against average or 0.445.
SENIOR CLASS - Senior defender Mandy Freeman was named one of 30 candidates for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award, given to the nation's most well-rounded student-athlete in each sport. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS - Morgan Andrews has already made her mark in the USC record book, less than two seasons into her USC career. She has tallied 21 goals for the Trojans in her career, putting her tied for 10th in the USC career record book for goals scored with fellow senior Katie Johnson.
100 WINS - Head coach Keidane McAlpine tallied his 100th career victory against Arizona. He now sits at 109-72-24 over nine plus seasons as a head coach. The first five years were at Birmingham Southern, two years at Washington State and two plus now at USC.
AT HOME - The Trojans saw their 13-game home winning streak snapped in the 1-0 loss to Cal.The previous loss came on Oct. 17, 2014, 2-0 to the Sun Devils. This year at McAlister Field the Trojans are 9-1-2. One other "home" loss came at the StubHub Center, 1-0 vs. UCLA.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS - Morgan Andrews has inserted herself into multiple categories of the USC women's soccer record book. She currently holds the USC record of consecutive games with multiple goals, which is three-straight games, with seven total goals. The streak goes from Nov. 6 (at UCLA) to Nov. 20 (at Virginia, 2nd Rd. NCAA vs. Princeton). This streak includes two goals as the Trojans defeated UCLA in Westwood for the first time ever on Nov. 6, to the first-ever Trojan postseason hat trick vs. Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 13 in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, to the 2nd Round NCAA match vs. Princeton (two goals). Her 2015 12 goals rank fourth-best on the USC single-season goals list, while her 28 total points are a USC single-season seventh-best. Also her Pac-12-leading 96 shots taken in 2015 are the second-most on the single-season USC shots taken list.
QUALITY IN THE CLASSROOM - The Trojans earned the NSCAA 2015-16 College Team Academic Award with a 3.26 team GPA. To qualify you must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher for the entire academic year. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme and junior midfielder Nicole Molen both were named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 First Team honors. This is the second-straight honor for Molen and first first team selection for Prudhomme. Prudhomme boasts a 3.32 GPA as a communication major, while Molen has a 3.92 GPA in human biology. Both will advance to the ballot for Academic All-American honors.