The No. 7 women’s soccer team will be well-rested for its second match of the season against Missouri on Friday, as it’s been 14 days since they beat UC Davis in their season opener.
While the Trojans spent their recess on the practice field, the Tigers competed in four matches. Mizzou opened the 2017 season with two wins, although the outcome of their four-game stretch left the Tigers with a 2-1-1 record heading into Friday. Their most recent match — Sunday against No. 14 Nebraska — was the Tigers’ only matchup this season in which they played a ranked team. The result was favorable for the Trojans, as Mizzou fell 3-0 to the Cornhuskers. Nebraska dominated in shots, similar to how the Trojans outshot UC Davis two weeks ago.
Mizzou was only able to put two shots on the Cornhuskers’ goal. On the other side of the field, the Tigers’ goalkeepers — junior Kelsey Dossey and redshirt senior Kristen Rivers — have split playing time in every game this season. They have earned two shutouts this year, but faced a low volume of shots on goal in each game.
For the Trojans, shots on goal were not a problem against UC Davis. Two weeks ago, head coach Keidane McAlpine noted that his team paid special attention to their offensive game in practice and were able to show that off against UC Davis with a 2-1 victory. However, McAlpine went on to say that his team needs to apply pressure for the entirety of the game.
In addition, USC also must pay attention to their back line. McAlpine was not satisfied with the Trojans’ defense against the Aggies.
The defense is led by junior defender Ally Prisock, who played a key role in last year’s national championship victory. Prisock started all 25 games last year and played a total of 2,277 minutes — the second most on the team. Moreover, she was selected to the 2015 PAC-12 All-Freshman team. McAlpine stated the importance of the center back leading the team and thinks Prisock fits the role.
“She’s on the watch list, she’s had the most experience, she’s started the most games, and she was a part of that defense that was so special,” McAlpine said. “So it’s on her and she catches it.”
Finally, the Trojans need to capitalize on their scoring opportunities. So far, the Trojans have been able to put a lot of shots on goal but few have reached the back of the net.
The defending national champion Trojans were ranked No. 3 before their match against UC Davis on Aug. 18. Due to being idle, the Trojans fell to No. 7, but with three matches in the next week, they will look to catch up to other teams in volume of games and will most likely move back up in the rankings.