After going the first 18 games of the season without a draw, the No. 21 USC women’s soccer team concluded its regular season with two ties on the road in cold and wet Washington.
The Women of Troy (12-6-2, 4-3-2) drew 2-2 in Seattle with Washington (11-5-4, 3-3-3) on Sunday afternoon, two days after their scoreless tie with No. 18 Washington State (13-5-2, 5-2-2) in Pullman.
The two stalemates meant USC ended the conference schedule with a fourth place finish in the Pac-10.
“It’s better than losing,” USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said about the draws. “We took this weekend as a preparation for the [upcoming NCAA] tournament, the travel, the weather and the competitiveness of the two teams we played.”
On Sunday, the Women of Troy grabbed the lead early in the match when redshirt senior Marihelen Tomer sent a low shot from the right wing into the left corner of the goal.
Washington responded less than seven minutes later when senior forward Alex Kirk, who volleyed a cross into goal from five yards out.
USC took the lead again just before halftime on sophomore defender Claire Schloemer’s first goal of the season. Schloemer lofted a shot from 10 yards out over the goalkeeper’s head to put the Women of Troy up 2-1 at the break.
Kirk leveled the score with her second goal of the match for the Huskies in the 51st minute, when she ran to a long pass down the left sideline, cut back on a defender and fired a shot low into the right corner of the net.
Washington had a great chance to take the lead in the 73rd minute when two Huskies were behind the Women of Troy defense. Sophomore forward Alex Webber squandered the chance, however, sending a weak pass across the box that was gobbled up by USC senior goalkeeper Kristin Olsen.
After regulation expired with the two teams tied, the game went into two 10-minute overtime periods.
Sophomore midfielder Carly Butcher had the best chance for USC in the first overtime session, finding herself open in front of the Husky goal but shooting wide of the near post.
Less than a minute later, Washington senior forward Veronica Perez came close to grabbing the victory, putting her shot just wide of the far post.
“[Seattle] had a lot of rain, so it was a really sloppy field,” Khosroshahin said after Sunday’s game. “But we played some fairly good soccer, we just made some mistakes defensively.”
On Friday, the Women of Troy battled No. 18 Washington State to a scoreless draw in Pullman.
USC outshot the Cougars 15-7 in the game but were unable to score on junior goalkeeper Meghan Berlingo, who recorded her seventh shutout of the season.
The Women of Troy played the final three and a half minutes of regulation and both overtime sessions a player down, after freshman forward Samantha Johnson received her second yellow card of the match in the 87th minute.
Olsen made seven saves on the afternoon, including a diving stop of redshirt junior midfielder Mallory Fox’s shot in the 77th minute.
USC’s best chance had come 10 minutes earlier when Berlingo dived to make a save on junior midfielder Megan Ohai’s shot to the far post.
“Washington State is a very good team with a lot of experience, so it was a good result,” Khosroshahin said.”
The Women of Troy will now look forward to the announcement of the NCAA tournament field and pairings, which will be made Monday night at 5 p.m. on ESPNEWS.