Junior goalie Gussie Johns was named the MPSF Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after a strong showing against No. 6 Colorado last Friday. Johns made nine saves and picked up three ground balls in USC’s 11-5 victory at the Coliseum, shutting out the Buffaloes during the entire second half.
The junior goalie is no newcomer to accolades. This is Johns’ second MPSF Defensive Player of the Week award of the year and her fifth career Player of the Week honor. Johns leads the country in goals against average (6.69) and is fourth in the nation in ground balls per game (4.0). Johns also continues to add to her program-record 289 career saves and 156 career ground balls.
Monday marked the fifth consecutive week that a USC women’s lacrosse player took home a weekly conference award. Senior attacker Michaela Michael leads the way, winning four straight MPSF Offensive Player of the Week awards — a streak that ended this week. Freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller took home Rookie of the Week honors in March, and freshman midfielder Kaeli Huff also received the award two weeks ago. Johns’ accolade was her first since being named Defensive Player of the Week on Feb. 20.
Johns has gained national attention for her play in net for the Trojans. After dominating at USC during her first two collegiate seasons, Johns was named to the United States’ final roster in January for the 2017 FIL Women’s Lacrosse World Cup, which will be held in Guildford, England this summer.
Johns is one of just two current student-athletes on the national team, along with North Carolina junior midfielder Marie McCool. Also joining Johns on Team USA is Devon Wills, the Trojans’ associate head coach and defensive coordinator.
Next, USC will look to extend its six-game winning streak when the team travels to Stanford on Friday. A victory over the Cardinal would clinch the first seed in the MPSF tournament, which will be hosted at McAlister Field beginning April 27. Another win over UC Davis on Sunday would also set a new MPSF record for consecutive conference wins. While individual recognition is nice, Johns and the
now-sixth-ranked Trojans will strive for a conference title as well as the ultimate goal: the first national championship in the program’s five-year history.