Scoring woes continue to haunt USC
A trip north to the Bay Area did not cure the USC womenâs soccer teamâs woes, as the teamâs record continues to head south.
The Women of Troy dropped their seventh and eight consecutive games, falling 3-0 to No. 1 Stanford on Friday and 2-0 to California on Sunday. USC is now 3-12 on the year and still searching for its first Pac-12 victory.
âWe just havenât played as well as we should be playing,â USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said. âWeâre getting chances and not doing what we should be doing with them.â
The Golden Bears entered Sundayâs match on a four-game winless streak but looked impressive in USCâs second consecutive shutout loss.
âThey took advantage of the shots they had, and we didnât,â Khosroshahin said. âItâs really as simple as that.â
USC played Cal to a scoreless tie at halftime but was victimized by a pair of Golden Bear corner kicks in the second half. Cal forward Rachel Mercik broke the stalemate on a header in the 48th minute. Midfielder Taylor Comeau followed 10 minutes later with her first goal of the season from 25 yards out.
âWe let them do what you canât do, and thatâs score of those corner kicks,â Khosroshahin said. âAnd then when you donât respond with chances of your own itâs not going to turn out well.â
USC had its best chances in the 23rd minute, when back-to-back corner kicks resulted in shots on goal. Senior Brittany Kerridgeâs boot to fellow senior Ashli Sandoval necessitated a save from sophomore goalkeeper Emily Kruger. Senior Claire Schloemerâs chance just seconds later sailed wide.
â[Brittany] Kerridge is playing very well, really giving us a chance on a lot of possessions,â Khosroshahin said. âItâs just too bad we arenât playing like that all around.â
USCâs failure to score, a season-long issue, especially rankled Khosroshahin.
âThis game is all about putting the ball in the back of the net,â Khosroshahin said. âYou can talk about giving up goals, but thatâs what it comes down to. We didnât do that [against Cal].â
The undefeated Cardinal presented a rigorous test for USC, which had struggled scoring goals entering the weekend and failed to find the back of the net in both games.
Despite a career-high eight saves for sophomore goalkeeper Shelby Church and close shots from sophomore Elizabeth Eddy and senior Ashley Freyer, Stanford jumped out to a two-goal first-half lead and never looked back.
âTheyâre probably the best team weâve played all year,â Khosroshahin said. âThey played us as tough as weâve ever been played.â
USC hung with the Cardinal until the 32nd minute, when forward Sydney Payne scored on a deflected header to give Stanford the lead. Minutes later, defender Rachel Quon booted the ball off the underside of the top post and in to extend the lead to 2-0.
Stanford added a third goal with just 30 seconds remaining to close out the scoring. The Cardinalâs shutout of the Women of Troy was just the latest in a streak of dominating efforts from Stanfordâs defense. The victory over USC gave the Cardinal a streak of seven straight shutouts, a run that came to an end Sunday in a 4-1 win over UCLA.
âWe knew theyâd be great going in,â Khosroshahin said. âNo surprise there.â
The Women of Troy will finish up their three-game road trip Friday against Washington before returning to McAlister Field for their last home stand of the season.