During a trip to the East Coast, the No. 9 women’s lacrosse team split games against No. 7 Stony Brook and Ohio State. The Trojans fell to Stony Brook on Friday before rebounding with a win against the Buckeyes on Sunday to bring their record to 7-3 overall.
Struggling to turn offensive opportunities into goals on Friday, USC fell 9-7 to the Seawolves. Stony Brook came out strong in the first half, jumping out to a 3-0 lead. Though senior attacker Kylie Drexel managed to pull one back and get USC on the board, the Seawolves responded with two goals of their own to make the score 5-1. Unrelenting, they quickly extended their lead to 7-2, with back-to-back goals from Kylie Ohlmiller handing the Trojans a large deficit to combat.
In the second half, the Trojans gained some momentum, closing the gap to three to make the score 9-6. However, with just five minutes left to play, Stony Brook’s defense halted the Trojans’ comeback. Overall, the Seawolves outshot the Trojans 22-19, giving Stony Brook the necessary edge to secure a victory.
Drexel had one of her best career performances against Stony Brook, finishing the night with two goals and one assist in addition to two ground balls and a career-high five caused turnovers. Senior attacker Michaela Michael also showcased her prowess with two goals and six draw controls.
However, Stony Brook goalie Anna Tesoriero was a force to be reckoned with in goal and successfully thwarted nine USC attempts on goal while picking up three ground balls.
After the team’s second straight loss, USC rebounded to earn its seventh win of the season against Ohio State in the program’s first-ever matchup against the Buckeyes. In Sunday’s contest, the Trojans came out victorious in front of a crowd of over 2,000 spectators, defeating Ohio State 16-7 at Mountain Lakes High School in Mountain Lakes, N.J. — the alma mater of fifth-year USC head coach Lindsey Munday.
In the victory, Michael played an instrumental role, notching six goals for the third time in her career. Two other Trojans also recorded hat tricks in the game, including Drexel and senior attacker Gabby McMahon. Drexel also led USC in draw controls, securing three in addition to one assist. USC demonstrated the depth of its offense, with goals from four other Trojans, including senior attacker Cynthia Del Core, senior midfielder Drew Jackson, freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller and freshman Kaeli Huff.
On defense, the Trojans were anchored by senior Nina Kelty and junior Lydia Sutton, who scooped up three ground balls each along with three caused turnovers from Sutton. Junior Gussie Johns turned in a strong performance in goal with six ground balls, two caused turnovers and three saves to halt the Buckeye offense and earn the Trojans the win.
Next up for the Trojans are two home games this week. USC will face Fresno State on Friday before taking on Cal on Sunday at McAlister Field.