The USC women’s lacrosse team closed out its inaugural season in stunning fashion, holding off San Diego State to earn a playoff berth with a 12-11 win on Saturday, April 27, at Aztec Lacrosse Field.
The Women of Troy (8-9, 5-3 MPSF), who were projected to finish seventh in the program’s first season, secured the fourth seed in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament with the win.
Freshman attack Caroline Cordrey and freshman midfield Amanda Johansen led USC, each earning four goals and an assist. Johansen also picked up four ground balls and two draw controls, while Cordrey had two ground balls and three draw controls. Freshman midfield Caroline de Lyra added two goals and an assist, while freshman midfield Haleigh Dalmass scored a pair of goals. Freshman goalie Liz Shaeffer picked up six saves.
“We’ve been working hard all year-round to get to this point,” Cordrey said. “Everyone on the team believed we could do it, and I think that definitely showed today. We came out here, we were confident, we didn’t play like first-years. Looking forward to the tournament, we will have to use this momentum to keep us going and play games with this kind of intensity.”
San Diego State (8-8, 3-5 MPSF) was led by Sophie Koubek, who picked up three goals and four draw controls. Attackers Bailey Ewing and Michaela Jarvis each scored a pair of goals for the Aztecs.
Johansen started off quickly, scoring the first goal just 1:16 into the game. Jarvis responded quickly, tying the game up about a half minute later. Goals from De Lyra and Johansen gave USC a 3-1 lead, but a pair of goals from Koubek tied it back up. After USC jumped out to a 5-4 lead, the Aztecs scored three consecutive goals to lead 7-5, their largest lead of the game. Cordrey would score three unanswered goals to end the half, giving the Women of Troy an 8-7 lead at halftime.
USC outshot San Diego State 15-12 in the first half. The Aztecs had 11 fouls and seven turnovers in the half, compared to only four fouls and five turnovers for USC. Both teams earned six ground balls, while San Diego State beat USC in draw controls, 9-7.
Both teams alternated goals throughout the second half, with San Diego State not letting USC build up a lead of more than two goals. USC was able to hold off the Aztecs for the last seven minutes of the contest to preserve the win and secure the final playoff spot.
The final statistics reflected the evenness of the game, with USC out-shooting San Diego State 23-22 and earning 13 draw controls compared to San Diego State’s 12. The Women of Troy also committed 12 turnovers to the Aztecs’ 10, and both teams picked up 11 ground balls.
“It was a really close game the whole way through,” USC head coach Lindsey Munday said. “I’m really proud of the girls with how they played together for a full 60 minutes. They had each other’s back, and the reason we were able to do that was how we compete in practice every day. This win really is all 25 players battling every single day in practice, and it showed on the field.”
The Women of Troy will compete in the MPSF semi-finals against No. 1 seed Denver (16-1, 8-0 MPSF) in Eugene, Or., on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. A win against Denver would put them in the MPSF championship game against either Stanford (11-5, 6-2 MPSF) or California (9-6, 6-2 MPSF) on Saturday, May 4, at 1 p.m.
“This was our goal from the beginning,” said freshman defense Kelsey Dreyer. “We put all of our hard work [in] from the first day of September to the first day of the regular season. It all just culminated into this big win tonight, and it’s just going to propel us into success.”