USC drops two in a row to begin 2011
It wasnât the start it had hoped for, and it wasnât pretty either.
The No. 25 USC womenâs soccer team fell twice in its opening weekend slate of games at McAllister Field, marking the first time in the programâs history it had dropped two straight at home to open the season.
âWe just couldnât finish,â USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said.
The Women of Troy (0-2) fell to rival San Diego 3-1 Sunday following a hat trick from senior forward Stephanie Ochs, giving the Toreros (2-0) their third straight victory over USC. Last season, San Diego similarly bested USC 1-0 during the teamâs season opener.
âI think we lost track of their best player and they found her and she buried us,â Khosroshahin said. âOne player. One player killed us.â
The Women of Troy, however, were forced to play the last third of the match short one player after sophomore midfielder Morgan Murrow received her second yellow card, putting an already struggling USC attack at a serious disadvantage.
âI thought until the red card we still had stretches where we had them pinned in,â Khosroshahin said. âIâve got to go look at the film and see what weâve got to do.â
USC did get on the scoreboard in the 89th minute when junior forward Erica Vangsness, a recent transfer from Pierce College, connected on a shotÂ at the top of the box, averting would have been their third straight shutout loss to the Toreros.
âWe were knocking the ball around well,â senior defender Claire Schloemer said. âShots werenât on frame. Just unlucky, I guess.â
Although all of San Diegoâs scoring came from the leg of one player, there was concern over USCâs defensive performance.
â[The backline] is a little shaky at best,â Khosroshahin said. âWe need to shore it up.â
Schloemer was quick to echo similar sentiments, asserting the problem was simply a failure to execute.
âWe knew the style of play they like,â she said. âWe knew that from the start and just didnât take care of [Ochs]. I thought that at the beginning we were strong on her, and then as the game went on, we broke down.â
Their loss on Friday in the season opener against Long Beach State, however, was an even more frustrating affair for the Women of Troy. The 49ers played USC to a 1-1 tie until the 86th minute before senior midfielder Shawna Gordon scored on a header to give Long Beach State a narrow victory.
The game was one of missed opportunities for USC, which saw several shots on goal hit the post, including one in the waning seconds of regulation and didnât deliver during its scoring chances.
âWe missed a lot of easy passes, where we had players available to us,â Khosroshahin said. âWe gave it away. When you give the ball away with no pressure on you, the game is very difficult.â
USC scored its inaugural goal of the 2011 season when sophomore Haley Boysen found the back of the net with a header in the 17th minute. The 1-0 lead lasted until Long Beach Stateâs Alex Balcerâs free kick sailed over the outstretched arms of USC goalkeeper Shelby Church for the equalizer in the 36th minute.
âI donât think the team felt any first game jitters,â Boysen said. âI think we all felt confident because weâve been working really hard in practice. It just wasnât enough today.â
USCâs next opportunity to get in the win column comes next weekend in unfriendly territory at the University of San Diego tournament.
The Women of Troy will square off against Kansas on Friday and face Pacific on Sunday.