Women of Troy salvage weekend set

It was far from a perfect weekend for the USC women’s soccer team, but after losing three straight games to begin the season, it’ll take it.

The Women of Troy picked up their first win of the 2011 campaign with a 2-1 victory over Pacific in the University of San Diego tournament on Sunday.

Winner · Senior forward/defender Ashley Freyer scored her first goal of the season against Pacific, as USC notched its first victory of the year. - Daily Trojan file photo

“I think the ladies definitely had a little bit more focus and determination today,” USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said. “We all felt it. We were definitely committed to defending as a unit and I think we did that.”

USC began the tournament by losing 3-2 to Kansas on Friday, a loss that dropped the team to 0-3 despite coming into the year ranked No. 25 in the nation.

“We’ve been playing well, but the first three games we just weren’t able to finish,” Khosroshahin said.

USC scored first against the Jayhawks and played to a 2-2 tie at halftime but allowed Kansas to score the eventual game-winning goal in the 63rd minute on a shot from freshman midfielder Jamie Fletcher.

“We started the weekend as low as you can get,” senior forward Ashley Freyer said. “We just weren’t finishing like we would have liked to. But then we came out against Pacific and finally were able to do what we needed to.”

Freyer got USC on the board just three minutes into Sunday’s game with her first goal of the season. Brittany Kerridge followed it up moments later with a penalty kick that sailed past Pacific goalkeeper Tashia Long and into the net for a 2-0 USC lead.

“We needed to come out strong,” Kerridge said. “We needed it to boost our confidence. It was just a matter of making a decision to go out there and get it done.”

Freyer also admitted attaining the first win of the year was beginning to weigh on the team.

“We knew we had to come out today and perform,” she said. “Once you get that first one out of the way, it becomes a lot easier to just focus on playing.”

USC sophomore goalkeeper Shelby Church held Pacific at bay for the first 88 minutes of the contest, until Pacific junior midfielder Angelica Figueroa scored on a penalty kick in the waning moments of the game.

“I thought it was a good first win for us,” Khosroshahin said. “It was way overdue, but you have to take it step by step. We’re coming around slowly. It was little bit too slow for my taste and for the girls’ taste but we’re definitely committed to getting better.”

The Women of Troy will stay on the road and travel to Champaign, Ill. to take on Illinois and then to West Lafayette, Ind. to face off with Purdue before heading home for the Trojan Invitational on Sept. 9.