No. 23 USC came home hoping to bounce back from a tough weekend in Minnesota. Their frustrations continued as they suffered a tough 1-0 loss in overtime to Pepperdine on Friday, but the team came back with a vengeance to beat Loyola Marymount 5-1 on Sunday at McAlister Field.
The Women of Troy (4-2-1) took on Pepperdine (3-2-1) without senior midfielder Jordan Marada and head coach Ali Khosroshahin, who both picked up red cards in last Sunday’s game against LSU.
The game featured a lot of scoring chances, with both teams coming close to scoring in the first half. Pepperdine goalkeeper Hannah Seabert and junior goalkeeper Caroline Stanley deflected shot after shot, making some great saves to keep the game scoreless.
It was a battle to see which offense could break through first. Despite 26 shots in regulation to Pepperdine’s 12, the Women of Troy were unable to score any points, sending the game into overtime.
A USC miscue gave the Waves’ Lynn Williams the ball on a fastbreak, leaving only Stanley in her path. Stanley took a risk and tried to rush Williams, but Williams got the ball past her and put it in the net for her sixth goal of the season to give Pepperdine a 1-0 win in the 93rd minute.
USC finished the game with 29 shots compared to Pepperdine’s 13 (11 on goal to the Waves’ eight). “It’s early enough in the season where the girls will recover and get after it tomorrow and get ready for Sunday,” assistant coach P.J. Woolridge said after Friday’s match, which he helped coach in lieu of Khosroshahin’s suspension.
Eager to get back on the right track, the Women of Troy came out firing against the Lions (3-5-0), looking more like the team that scored 12 goals in their first three games, rather than the one that scored one in their last three.
They started the scoring in the 4th minute on a goal from sophomore forward Katie Johnson, ending a streak of 233 consecutive scoreless minutes.
Just a few minutes later, senior forward Elizabeth Eddy scored her team-leading fifth goal of the season off a deflection.
Johnson then scored in the 10th minute, getting a pass in the box from Mills to give USC a 3-0 lead ten minutes into the game.
LMU’s Tawni Martino got the Lions on the scoreboard in the 18th minute, cutting the USC lead to 3-1 and accounting for the first goal allowed in the first half by the Women of Troy all season.
But Johnson came back seconds later, heading the ball into the net for a hat trick just 18 minutes into the contest. It was USC’s first hat trick since Eddy earned one in 2010 against California.
Marada put up USC’s 5th goal off the hands of LMU goalkeeper Brittany Jagger, giving them a season-high in goals scored.
“I think we figured out the movement with our forwards,” Johnson said. “Moving things just a little bit opened up the ball a lot more and our opportunities were a lot easier for us to score.”
The Lions were more aggressive on offense and managed to keep USC off the scoreboard in the second half, but were unable to generate any goals thanks to some strong goalie play from Stanley and some excellent slide tackles from senior defender Autumn Altamirano.
“When we watched the [Pepperdine] game on Saturday, they were able to see some of the choices they made against a team they sat back,” Khosroshahin said. “Today they made some good choices with possession in the final third that was able to get some good looks at goals.”
Three Stars of the Weekend
3rd star: Kayla Mills (2 assists, 8 shots, 4 shots on goal)
2nd star: Caroline Stanley (12 saves, .857 save percentage)
1st star: Katie Johnson (3 goals, 8 shots, 4 shots on goal)
After scoring one goal in USC’s previous games, Johnson led the Women of Troy on a scoring frenzy against Loyola Marymount, netting a hat trick in the first 18 minutes of the game.
Stanley ceded only two goals in more than 167 minutes of playing time, keeping USC competitive on Friday, and preventing LMU from gaining any momentum in a blowout.
Mills assisted on Johnson’s first and second goals against LMU to give her a team-leading five assists on the season.
Follow us on Twitter @dailytrojan