USC concludes non-conference slate with OT loss

USC played its final non-conference game of the season on Dads and Daughters Day at McAlister Field, losing 2-1 in double overtime in a hard-fought battle against Cal State Fullerton on Sunday.

Sophomore midfielder Megan Borman started the scoring early, scoring off of a save deflection from Titan goalie Lindsey Maricic in the game’s first minute to give USC (5-3-1) an early 1-0 lead. The Titans (4-3-2) stormed back under similar circumstances, with Erica Mazeau getting a shot off of a save from junior goalkeeper Caroline Stanley, tying the game in the 16th minute.

“The last time we played them, we came out slow and had to work back in the second half,” Borman said. “Our mentality was to win the first five [minutes] and get behind their defense.”

Some bad blood boiled between the two teams in this match, starting with sophomore midfielder Jamie Fink picking up a yellow card off a hard slide tackle in the 22nd minute. Cal State Fullerton’s Morgan Batcheller retaliated with a hard slide tackle on sophomore forward Katie Johnson just seconds later to earn the first yellow card for Cal State Fullerton.

“I think that was their way of trying to deal with our play,” USC head coach Ali Khosroshahin, who coached at Cal State Fullerton for six seasons, said. “We are a very technical team. They tried to get us off of our possession, and it was effective.”

The Women of Troy continued to push their aggressive pace, hoping to overcome a very defense-focused Cal State Fullerton team that had five shutouts and had allowed just five goals scored on the season entering the game. After scoring shortly after the opening whistle, the USC attack that had scored 20 goals entering the game was unable to convert on any more opportunities.

USC had a some good scoring opportunities in the second half, with Borman going for a fast break in the 66th minute, forcing a corner kick for USC that it could not convert into a goal. USC had a chance for another goal off of a deflection by Maricic, but the header attempt hit the post and went out of bounds. Boysen also had a shot near the top of the net in the 75th minute, but Maricic had a great leaping save to keep the score tied.

Overtime produced more of the same, with neither team able to capitalize on opportunities. The Titans had a strong chance to put it away late in the first overtime, but a diving save by junior goalie Caroline Stanley to her left kept the game going. The Titans finally broke through when Mazeau sent a corner kick into the box to Batcheller, who put it past Stanley to give the Titans a 2-1 win after over 107 minutes of play.

“They were just packing the box and dropping numbers in, which made it difficult,” freshman defender Mandy Freeman said. “We always have problems playing against teams that like to play a lot of numbers back. We had our opportunities, and we just didn’t come away with it.”

The loss drops USC’s record to 0-2-1 in overtime, while the Titans improve to 1-0-2.

USC outshot the Titans 23-6 in the game, including 12-1 in the second half. The Titans committed 12 fouls to the Women of Troy’s 10, even though many more could have been called, as the referees chose to call a loose game.

USC will begin its Pac-12 schedule next weekend as they head to Tempe, Ariz. to take on Arizona State (5-3-0) on Sunday, Sept. 29. The Women of Troy will return to McAlister Field the following weekend for games against Washington (4-4-0) on Friday, Oct. 4 and Washington State (6-0-2) on Sunday, Oct. 6.

Three Stars

Third Star: Jordan Marada (Six shots, two on goal)

Senior midfielder Jordan Marada was a key player for USC attack, leading the team in shots and tying for most shots on goal. She helped keep up the fast pace the Women of Troy have kept up all season, and provided many scoring opportunities.

Second Star: Mandy Freeman (played all 107:17 of game-time)

While Freeman didn’t accumulate any goals or assists, she proved to be an invaluable asset on defense. Freeman played the entire game, keeping the Titans from earning additional scoring opportunities and helping make things easier for Stanley.

First Star: Megan Borman (One goal, three shots, two on goal)

Borman was the only player able to convert on USC’s many scoring chances, netting the team’s only goal of the game in the first minute. Despite USC not being able to pick up any additional goals after that, Borman helped push through the Titan defense, doing what she could to create scoring chances and tying Marada for most shots on goal.