The women’s soccer team got back on their feet in dominant fashion against Arizona State on Saturday.
After a 1-0 loss to the University of California broke the team’s 10-game winning streak — which remained clean for the whole of September — the Trojans needed a victory to solidify their place atop the Pac-12. With a No. 6 ranking, the team earned that necessary win on the road against the Sun Devils despite a slow start.
The first half was scoreless for both teams, but that wasn’t for lack of effort on the Trojans’ part. USC dominated possession throughout the first half, and the front line pressured the Arizona State defense, leveling five shots and forcing two saves. But the Sun Devils stayed strong and warded off the offense, despite giving USC its first two saves of the game.
But in the second half, that defense finally caved, and yet again it was redshirt senior Katie Johnson who delivered for the Trojans. In the 58th minute, sophomore Leah Pruitt took a run up the right flank and fed a ball directly into the box. Johnson connected to put the Trojans on the board and take the lead in a game they had already been dominating for a full half.
From there, the Trojans’ aggression only increased. After several shots went wide, senior Morgan Andrews connected with redshirt junior Alex Anthony, who fed junior Sydney Johnson to put the ball in the net — only for the play to be called back for offsides.
The frontline kept up the attack, and in the 76th minute senior Savannah Levin took matters into her own hands. Levin took the ball at the midfield and wove between defenders to work her way into the box and slam the ball home into the left corner. The brace put the Trojans up 2-0, and from there it was smooth sailing, giving the Trojans another win.
The win was the eighth shutout of the season for redshirt senior goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme, who notched five saves on the day. And it was a return to form for the team, who have already knocked off top-ranked teams such as North Carolina and Stanford this season. The Trojans now return home to prepare for one of the final weekends of Pac-12 play, facing Washington State and Washington while hoping to gain ground in conference rankings.