USC traveled across the country to face No. 20 Stony Brook in an out-of-conference game late in the season and fell 10-12, bringing USC to a 13-3 record just one game before the end of the regular season.
Stony Brook started off the game strong, scoring 4 quick goals within the first five minutes of play, with assists from Stony Brook senior attacker Sara Moeller on each. In the first half, all 6 of the Seawolves’ goals were assisted.
USC’s defense seemed to have no means of stopping Stony Brook’s attack. Stony Brook looked like the better team offensively, with USC only getting one shot off before they found themselves in a 0-4 hole.
Senior attacker Emily Concialdi finally put the Trojans on the board with just under 18 minutes left in the first half, but Stony Brook refused to relinquish their momentum. The Seawolves scored 2 more goals to extend the first half lead to 5.
In the final stretch of the first half, USC methodically brought themselves back into the game. The Trojans were down 1-6 when Concialdi scored her second goal of the game off a free position. USC rattled off 5 unanswered goals in under seven minutes.
A variety of Trojans got in on the scoring during this comeback. Redshirt junior attacker Amanda Flayhan scored off of freshman midfielder Erin Bakes’ assist.
USC opened the second half strong, executing perfectly on a play that ended with this season’s points leader, sophomore midfielder Kelsey Huff, scoring a quick goal right off of the first draw in the second half.
Despite this momentum, Stony Brook fought back. After USC went up by 1 goal, the Seawolves responded with 4 consecutive scores.
Sophomore goalie Riley Hertford had six saves on the day. Although it was not her best statistical game, she came up big in crucial moments. Hertford ultimately made the saves and caused the turnovers needed to give her offense an opportunity to tie the game.
A Concialdi free position goal started yet another scoring run for USC when sophomore attacker Sophia Donovan scored her first goal of the day.
With two minutes remaining in the game, Huff brought USC within one point with a shot that hit the upper right corner and shook the net.
USC lost the ensuing draw control, and Stony Brook called a timeout to discuss how they wanted to run the clock down. Coming out of the timeout, Stony Brook junior midfielder Ally Kennedy caught Hertford out of the goal, ran around two USC defenders and put Stony Brook back up by 2.
This was the final score of the game as USC was unable to get another shot off.
Statistically, the game was even, with USC having a 14-9 advantage on the draw. The only category Stony Brook had an advantage in was 11 saves to USC’s six.
Despite opportunities down the stretch to tie the game, USC’s offense couldn’t execute. Throughout the season, especially in games against ranked teams, the offense has failed to produce consistently.
In both this game and the loss to Colorado, USC’s offense struggled early placing the team in comeback mode the whole game.
This game marked the first time USC allowed an opponent to score over 10 goals since facing Virginia Tech in early March.
The Trojans will have to regroup before Saturday when they host Arizona State in their last match before the Pac-12 tournament.