The No. 9 women’s lacrosse team (9-3, 3-0 MPSF) is set to play Oregon (7-5, 3-1) and San Diego State (8-4, 2-2) in a road series this weekend.
After dropping two straight road contests to Cornell and Stony Brook, the Trojans are coming off of three straight victories over Ohio State (16-7), Fresno State (21-5) and Cal (21-4).
The recent win streak comes thanks to a Trojan scoring surge which featured 58 goals scored by 25 different scorers. Two of those scorers, senior Michaela Michael and freshman Kaeli Huff, earned MPSF Offensive Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week for their step-up play against Cal and Fresno State.
After a six-goal performance against Ohio State, Michael took less than 20 minutes to score six goals against Cal and just five minutes to score a hat trick in a four-goal performance versus Fresno State.
In the past two games, the senior netted 10 goals, grabbed 17 draw controls and added an assist, a ground ball and a caused turnover.
Huff, meanwhile, followed in Michael’s footsteps with a five-goal game of her own, adding three ground balls, two caused turnovers and a draw win over Fresno State.
Along with Michael and Huff’s play heating up, the Ducks and Aztecs will have to watch out for a Trojan defense that forced 32 turnovers and allowed just 16 goals over the past three games.
USC will travel to Eugene, Oregon first to play an Oregon team that has played poorly in recent outings, especially on the offensive side of the ball. After going 5-1 in the first six games, the Ducks are 2-4 in their past six, allowing 77 opposing goals to slip through.
The Ducks’ primary scoring threats are sophomore attacker Shannon Williams (37 goals, 18 assists) and senior midfielder Bella Pyne (30 goals, 11 assists), while Cambi Cukar acts as Oregon’s primary distributor with 28 assists.
Despite playing the same number of games as USC, Oregon has turned the ball over 25 more times and caused 12 fewer turnovers.
The Ducks could give the Trojans difficulties not just in the home field advantage, but also in ball movement as Oregon leads the assist battle 83-77 over USC.
After tonight’s matchup in Oregon, USC will travel to San Diego on Saturday to play an SDSU team that is 9-2 in its past 11 games.
Although the Aztecs have been porous on defense in 2017 (10.7 goals allowed per game), their offense can put the ball in the back of the net with ease (12.75 goals scored).
While USC relies on a couple of primary scorers to carry the team, San Diego State has a more balanced attack with six players scoring 13 or more goals this season.
With MPSF playoffs just three weeks away, the Trojans have just five games left to cement a national title campaign.