USC seeks first win at McAlister Field
For the USC womenâs soccer team, its darkest days might be gone just in time for the squadâs final home stand of the season.
The Women of Troy, fresh off their first Pac-12 victory of the season at Washington, return home to take on Arizona State and Arizona this weekend at McAllister Field, in what will be the final games several members of the team will play on their home turf.
âFor us seniors, weâve wanted to win all season,â senior forward/defender Ashley Freyer said. âFor a lot of us, this is the last time weâre going to play competitive soccer in front of families and fans. We want to win and put everything out on the field. Weâd love to end it all on a good note.â
USC will celebrate Senior Day on Sunday against the Wildcats â a festivity that will likely be made more enjoyable by a victory Friday afternoon against the Sun Devils.
âWe won last week, but this is a whole different week,â Freyer said. âWeâve got to prepare for Friday and take care of business then before we worry about anything else.â
Like USC, both Arizona State and Arizona have undergone some growing pains in 2011. The Sun Devils are 2-4 in the Pac-12, and the Wildcats enter the weekend tied with the Women of Troy with just one conference victory apiece.
âWe canât focus on other teamâs records, really,â Schloemer said. âItâs just about us. We havenât played up to our expectations either, so weâre just going to come out and play whoever we face as tough as we can.â
Players also insist last weekendâs victory has loosened the team in time for the home stretch of the regular season.
âItâs a big relief to get that first one out of the way,â Freyer said. âIt came way later than we expected, but we finally got some bounces to go our way and it turned out well for us.
Schloemer added that improvement has already been evident in the wake of the slump-busting win.
âWe celebrated like weâd won the World Cup when we beat [Washington],â Schloemer said. âBecause of that weight being gone, we have a lot of confidence going into this weekendâs games. We had probably one of the best Tuesday-Wednesday practices that weâve had all season, which is very promising.â
USC can still finish with a winning record in the Pac-12 if the team wins its final five games, beginning with Arizona State and Arizona this weekend. Of USCâs five remaining opponents, only two have a winning record.
The Women of Troy take on Arizona State on Friday at 3 p.m. and Arizona at 1 p.m. on Sunday for Senior Day and Fan Appreciation Day.