The No. 9 women’s lacrosse team earned two commanding victories this weekend at home, defeating Fresno State 21-5 on Friday and Cal 21-4 on Sunday.
Friday’s win was USC’s 21st at home and their ninth of the season, advancing their record to 9-3 overall. Freshman midfielder Kaeli Huff led the team with a career high five goals. Senior attacker Michaela Michael also demonstrated her skill, notching three goals within the first five minutes of the contest in addition to recording 11 draw controls. Senior Cynthia Del Core tallied three goals of her own as well as two ground balls and a caused turnover.
The Trojans also demonstrated a tight-knit defense, working to force 16 turnovers, picking up 21 ground balls compared to the Bulldogs’ nine.
USC continued their momentum into Sunday’s contest, coming out fiery right away jumping out to a commanding 14-0 lead, leaving the Golden Bears scoreless for the first 39 minutes of competition.
“We played with urgency right off the bat and we just let the ball do the work,” head coach Lindsay Munday said. “Our offense was working together really well – they were just waiting on good opportunities and were able to put the shots away,”
With 25 minutes left in competition and a 17-0 Trojan lead, Cal exhibited a 3-0 run firing three quick shots into the back of the net, but the Trojans responded with two goals of their own to provide them with a 19-3 lead.
In the victory, Michael registered six goals, an assist and six draw controls, earning her 34th career hat trick. Ten Trojans scored throughout the contest including seven with multiple goals, demonstrating the depth of the USC roster.
“We’ve been trying to push our fast breaks more — we have really fast, fresh legs and I think that’s one of our strengths and we haven’t really exploited it as much earlier in the season,” senior attacker Kylie Drexel said.
On defense, junior midfielder Lydia Sutton picked up two ground balls and executed two caused turnovers in addition to a draw control, proving to be instrumental in transitioning the ball for the Trojans.
Munday attributed the team’s success to working together as a unit.
“It’s working together — all seven players and the goalie working together and just doing their job so that a unit works as best it can,” Munday said. “The key is just playing simple and playing together.”
With a tough schedule ahead, Munday highlights the importance of learning something from each and every practice and game.
“We’re just trying to get better every single day and I think that’s what’s been a staple for our program from the beginning,” Munday said. “I think that we are getting better so we just need to continue to push ourselves in practice and learn from each and every game and continue to get better, because we have some huge conference opponents coming up.”
Up next, the Trojans are scheduled for two back-to-back MPSF competitions, taking on Oregon on Friday and San Diego State on Saturday.