The USC women’s soccer team completed a wild weekend in Arizona with two double-overtime games, fighting to a 1-1 tie in an intense game against Arizona on Sunday and losing a close one in Tempe to Arizona State 5-4 on Friday.
“Our fitness really came through today,” said USC coach Ali Khosroshahin when asked about a pair of weekend games in the Arizona weather. “It’s hard to play in this kind of weather at 2:00 and 1:30 both matches.“
In Sunday’s game, freshman forward Whitney Pitalo slipped a shot past Arizona goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman in the first half, tipping in a pass from freshman midfielder April Juarez to give USC (4-5-2) a 1-0 lead. The Women of Troy stayed aggressive, stopping the Arizona offense on numerous occasions and generating numerous scoring opportunities, with junior midfielder Elizabeth Eddy and freshman forward Katie Johnson getting into 1-on-1 chances against Kaufman. But Kaufman was able to stop both attempts.
A USC foul set up a free kick for forward Jazmin Ponce of the Wildcats in the 88th minute. Jazmin kicked it into the box, where midfielder Jessica Culver was able to tap it into the goal to tie the game at one and send the game into overtime.
The Women of Troy looked determined throughout the overtime period, constantly attacking the goal and keeping the ball on Arizona’s side of the field. Johnson, junior midfielder Haley Boysen and freshman forward Megan Borman all had good looks at the net, but Kaufman stopped them all, causing the final whistle to blow after 110 minutes of play in a tie game.
USC also played an overtime match on Friday night against Arizona State.
Throughout the match USC struggled to contain forward Cali Farquharson, who posted a hat trick in regulation and set up midfielder Tommi Goodman with the game-winning goal in the second overtime. Farquharson scored both goals in the first half for the Sun Devils, including a tally five minutes after Boysen scored in the 22nd minute, giving the Sun Devils a 2-1 lead at halftime.
A shot by Johnson in the 31st minute that appeared to pass the goal line was nabbed by Arizona State goalkeeper Chandler Morris before the referees noticed. The Pac-12 Networks’ broadcast would later clearly show it crossing the line.
After ASU scored opened a 3-1 lead, the Women of Troy came back from a two-goal deficit for the third time in their last four games, thanks to a pair of goals by sophomore midfielder Alex Quincey. Farquharson scored her third goal in the 86th minute to give ASU the lead, but junior midfielder Autumn Altamirano answered with an equalizer in the 89th minute.
The Women of Troy were undone by late ejections, including Khosroshahin, senior forward Samantha Johnson and Altamirano, leaving them with nine players on the field for the overtime period.
Despite holding off ASU in the first overtime, Goodman was able to score off a rebound in the 101st minute.
Arizona State outshot the Women of Troy 35-14 and won 9-4 in corner kicks. Sophomore goalkeeper Caroline Stanley finished with a career-high 12 saves.
“Considering all that happened on Friday, the ladies showed great determination and fight,” said coach Khosroshahin said about the team’s performance this weekend.
USC heads back to Los Angeles for a couple days rest before taking a trip to Oregon next weekend. The Women of Troy will play Oregon State at 1 p.m. on Friday, followed by a 1 p.m. match against at Oregon on Sunday. The game against the Beavers will be televised on Pac-12 Networks, marking the fourth-straight USC game that will be televised.