The gloomy weather in Southern California followed the Women of Troy up to Oregon as they struggled to string together any consistent play over the weekend.
Facing the Oregon State Beavers (10-1-1, 2-0-0) to kick off their road trip, the Women of Troy (8-4-2, 1-2-0) came out lethargic and couldn’t recover, falling 1-0.
“The first half, we were just casual observers in the game and it took us [until] halftime to figure out what Oregon State was doing,” USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said.
The second half would prove to be much better as the team picked up its intensity and started to play with more energy, rattling off 10 shots on goal.
To its misfortune, none of the shots would fall as Oregon State Beaver goalkeeper Colleen Boyd denied shot after shot. Though the Women of Troy were on the attack constantly, it was Beavers forward Chelsea Buckland who found the back of the net in the 83rd minute of regulation, giving her team a 1-0 lead and the victory.
“I think today we might have underestimated them and we came out really flat,” said senior defender Karter Haug. “It was a hard loss to take, but hopefully our team can learn from this and bounce back.”
In the second game of their road trip, against the Oregon Ducks (4-7-3, 0-2-1), the Women of Troy (8-4-3, 1-2-1) managed to play to a 1-1 tie.
“We knew this game was going to be tough [because] Oregon hung with UCLA,” redshirt junior midfielder Ashli Sandoval said. “We knew we needed to play smarter and more tougher.”
In the first half against Oregon, a slow start plagued the Women of Troy again. The Ducks managed to strike first in the game, scoring in the 30th minute of the game when forward Jen Stoltenberg knocked in for her 10th goal of the season.
“We need to figure out how we can begin the game with more urgency and that seems to be the biggest obstacle for this team right now,” coach Khosroshahin said.
Despite multiple corner kicks and other opportunities on goal, the Women of Troy couldn’t find the back of the net in the first half and went into halftime trailing 1-0.
Going into the second half, the Women of Troy picked up their play. In the 69th minute, a foul on goalkeeper Lindsay Parlee gave the team a penalty kick. Haug shot wide right, however, and the score remained 1-0.
But the Women of Troy would get another opportunity in the 81st minute when they were awarded another penalty kick — this time, Sandoval found the back of the net, knotting the game up at 1-1.
The goal left the Women of Troy with a loss and a tie over the weekend, but despite the results Khosroshahin is encouraged by the team’s development.
“A loss and a tie isn’t what we hoped for, but it was a necessary experience to face two tough opponents in our conference,” he said. “Our team is growing and we still are learning, and as long as we’re learning and figuring stuff out, I think we’ll be fine.”