The USC women’s soccer team used a goal and three assists from super-sub Alyssa Dávila to beat No. 25 San Diego 4-0 on Friday at McAlister Field.
The junior midfielder had a hand in all four of the Women of Troy’s goals, as USC (8-3) stretched its winning streak to seven games.
“My teammates have been making really good slashing runs,” Dávila said. “They made it easy for me to get assists.”
The game was scoreless for much of the first half, with both teams enjoying stretches of good play.
San Diego created several good opportunities through sophomore forward Stephanie Ochs, including a low shot in the 13th minute that was saved by USC senior goalkeeper Kristin Olsen.
The Women of Troy responded in the 26th minute when freshman forward Samantha Johnson received a pass from midfield and fired a shot to the near post, forcing a reaction save by Torero goalkeeper Courtney Parsons.
Dávila, who has only started one game this season despite leading the team in both goals and assists, entered the match in the 33rd minute and helped USC grab the lead soon after.
In the 40th minute, freshman defender Stephanie Morgan crossed a ball in from the right flank that Dávila flicked on to sophomore forward Ashley Freyer in the penalty box. Freyer posted up her defender with her back to goal, then turned and fired a low shot past Parsons and into the far corner of the goal.
Freyer’s first goal of the season gave the Women of Troy a 1-0 lead heading into the halftime break.
In the second half, San Diego began to put USC under pressure and created several goal-scoring opportunities.
“USD made some adjustments that we struggled with in the beginning,” USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said. “They made it difficult for us to complete passes.”
The Toreros were unable to capitalize, however, as Olsen came up with two big saves.
In the 60th minute, Toreros freshman forward Maggie McGuire charged up the right- hand side of the field and fired a shot to the near post, only to see Olsen make the save.
Four minutes later, Ochs sent in a cross that found defender Natalie Garcia wide open in front of USC’s goal. Olsen charged hard to recover and made a sliding fingertip save to preserve the lead.
“I think she’s one of the best, if not the best, goalkeeper in the county,” redshirt senior defender Meagan Holmes said. “Every game we have to count on her to step up big for us, and she does it.”
Buoyed by the solid play of their goalkeeper, the Women of Troy went on the offensive and doubled their lead in the 80th minute.
Dávila dribbled the ball up the middle of the field and passed it to redshirt senior Marihelen Tomer near the top of the penalty box. Tomer swung the ball outside to charging sophomore midfielder Carly Butcher, who smashed a right-footed shot through the hands of Parsons and into the top right corner of the goal.
Dávila grabbed her third assist in the 85th minute, taking a long ball on the left side of the field and centering it to a wide open Johnson in front of goal. Johnson calmly tapped the ball into the net for her third goal of the season.
The Women of Troy completed the score line in the 87th minute, when Dávila got onto the end of a cross by senior forward Jamie Petrossi and shot it inside the near post for her fifth goal of the season.
“She’s a real intelligent player, and whenever she comes off the bench for us she creates opportunities like crazy,” Khosroshahin said about Dávila. “It’s her role, she’s embraced it, and she comes in and makes the difference for us every game.”