Women’s soccer travels to Washington State

Freshman forward Penelope Hocking has scored 6 goals and recorded four assists as a Trojan. She is also a member of the Under-20 Women’s National Team. (Emily Smith | Daily Trojan)

Now halfway through Pac-12 conference play, the No. 2 women’s soccer team will head to Pullman, Wash. on Saturday to take on No. 19 Washington State.

After beating Arizona 2-0 and Arizona State 3-1 last weekend, the Trojans look to continue their winning streak and improve upon their overall record of 11-1-1.

USC has conceded 5 goals this season, compared to scoring 36. They have outshot their opponents in all 13 matches. Aside from their loss against No. 2 Stanford on Sept. 30, the Trojans are undefeated with 10 shutouts so far. The Trojans have consistently been the first to put points on the board, dominating possession and controlling the pace of the game. They have held opponents to an average of .375 goals per game this season, the best in the Pac-12.  Redshirt sophomore goalie Kaylie Collins has seven shutouts, the most in the conference.

The Cougars (10-2-0) are coming off a two-game losing streak, their most recent loss being against Utah this past Sunday. The Utes pulled off a 1-0 upset in overtime with a converted penalty kick, handing Washington State its second loss of the season. The Cougars outshot the Utes 9-8, but could not find the back of the net for the first time this season.

Coming off two undefeated home games this season, the Women of Troy will hit the road again.

“Anytime you go on the road into an environment … where a team is feeling confident, and they are feeling very good at home, we’ve got to make sure we lock in and really focus,” head coach Keidane McAlpine said.

Even though the Trojans beat the Cougars 2-1 in last year’s match, McAlpine said that Washington State is a strong team this season and will present a challenge.

“They can score, and they can defend, and teams like that are very dangerous,” McAlpine said.

The Trojans will prepare for competitive offensive players like Washington State junior forward Morgan Weaver, who has 7 goals this season, tied with USC’s top scorer senior forward Leah Pruitt. Weaver ranks ninth in the country with an average of 5.08 shots per game. Junior defender Maddy Haro ranks second in the nation in assists with 10 and will put up a tough offensive front against the Trojan defense under the leadership of Collins and senior defender Ally Prisock.

After a double-header weekend, the Trojans took a rest day before heading into practice to prepare for their game against the Cougars.

“Now that we are done with the weekend, we just want to take a good rest day and get recovered,” redshirt sophomore attacker Savannah DeMelo said earlier this week. “And then we want to go into practice working hard and getting ready for Washington State, because we know that they are a great opponent and it’s just going to keep our momentum going into the next [Pac-12] games.”

Saturday’s game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network at 7 p.m.