USC lacrosse saw its nine-game win streak snapped when it lost 9-8 to Colorado at home Friday. However, the Trojans bounced back by defeating Oregon 16-0 Sunday in both the team’s and the Pac-12’s first-ever shutout.
The Trojans are still in first place in the Pac-12 despite losing to Colorado — their conference record is 8-1.
The offense got out to a slow start against the Buffaloes, and the Trojans trailed 6-2 at halftime. The 2-goal mark is the lowest of the year for the Trojans in a half.
USC struck first in the second half, with junior attacker Hope Anhut scoring less than two minutes into gameplay. USC outscored Colorado 6-3 in the second half and ultimately had the ball in position to tie the game with less than a minute left.
Junior midfielder Kerrigan Miller scored with 3:31 to go, putting USC within 1 goal. The Trojans possessed the ensuing draw with all the momentum on their side. Their comeback came up short, however, as the attack squandered the opportunity by not backing up a shot.
Colorado regained possession and called a timeout with 1:39 left in the game and possession in hand. USC kicked its defense into full speed, attempting to cause a turnover in any way possible. With one minute remaining, Miller drew a yellow card for a false start. Now down a player, USC’s challenge grew steeper.
Almost immediately upon restart of the game after the foul, sophomore midfielder Kelsey Huff created a turnover for USC. The forced turnover was Huff’s fourth of the day to go with six ground balls. Both numbers are career-highs.
USC possessed the ball with 37 seconds to go but was short a player. The Colorado defense did not waver coming out of a timeout and forced senior attacker Emily Concialdi to take an awkward, off-balance shot which junior Colorado goalie Julia Lisella easily saved to end the game.
USC committed 20 turnovers on the day, 15 of which were unforced. The Trojans had by far their worst day clearing the ball this year, going 14-22. The Trojans dominated Colorado on ground balls, collecting 30 to only 18 for the Buffaloes.
To say USC bounced back Sunday against Oregon is an understatement. Ten USC players scored during the match, led by freshman midfielder Erin Bakes who scored 4 goals.
Senior defender Jackie Gilbert dominated the draw circle for USC, collecting 10 draws herself. The Trojans’ advantage on the draw was an impressive 14-4.
Gilbert and the defense extended their streak of not allowing an opponent to score more than 10 goals in eight games.
USC shot the ball a total of 47 times, but Oregon freshman goalie Rachel Hall had 17 saves and proved a difficult challenge for the USC attackers. In most blowouts of this kind, the scoring typically comes early; however, USC scored just 7 goals in the first half. The onslaught of goals came after the break, displaying the depth of this Trojan roster.
Freshman attacker Chelsea Kovinsky scored her first goal as a Trojan and the players on the bench exploded in support of their teammate. The team’s spirits are high even following the loss to Colorado that will no doubt affect its seeding later in the season.
Next, USC will travel to the East Coast to face Stony Brook. They play at LaValle Stadium 9 a.m. Sunday.