The USC women’s soccer team swept through the state of Oklahoma this weekend, beating both No. 24 Oklahoma State and unranked Oklahoma 1-0.
The Women of Troy (5-3), featuring a new backline after injuries to senior defender Meagan Holmes and her junior replacement Ashli Sandoval, shut out both opponents and extended their winning streak to a season-high four games.
“We had the baby backline,” USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said about his defense, which has no seniors and only one junior. “The group just seems to get better with every game.”
USC started off Sunday’s match with impressive form, forcing Oklahoma goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire to make four saves in the opening seven minutes.
The Women of Troy broke through in the eighth minute when freshman midfielder Courtney Garcia took senior midfielder Marihelen Tomer’s pass and put it past Devonshire and into the net.
USC continued to dominate play until the 35th minute, when sophomore defender Chelsea Buehning was red-carded after making a tackle to prevent a breakaway by Oklahoma.
Playing with one more player than the Women of Troy, Oklahoma outshot USC by 14 to five in the second half. The Sooners were unable to score, however, as USC senior goalkeeper Kristin Olsen made five saves to record her second straight shutout.
“Playing with a person down is always tough,” Olsen said. “You have to make adjustments on the field with your formation and how you go about your attack, and we were able to do that.”
USC’s victory over Oklahoma came two days after its upset of No. 24 Oklahoma State, the Women of Troy’s first win against a ranked opponent this season.
USC appeared to have fallen behind just more than 10 minutes into Friday’s match in Stillwater, Okla., when Oklahoma State forward Kasey Langdon took a rebound and shot it into the back of Olsen’s net. The play was whistled for offsides, however, and the goal was not counted.
The score was even for most of the first half, with both teams registering five shots in the period. USC gained the advantage in the 41st minute, though, when freshman forward Samantha Johnson won a loose ball and fired it inside the far post from 18 yards out.
The Women of Troy outshot Oklahoma State nine to three in the second half, but could not add to their lead.
The loss for the Cowgirls was their first defeat at home against a non-conference opponent in nearly nine years.
“Any time you can go away from home, out of region, and beat a team of Oklahoma State’s caliber, it’s a huge, huge result,” Khosroshahin said. “We still have a lot of growth that needs to be done, but this weekend was tremendous for us.”