Women of Troy to host weekend tournament

The USC women’s soccer team is back on track, and that track leads to familiar turf this weekend.

The Women of Troy (3-3), who hold a three-game win streak, return to McAlister Field to take on No. 4 Oklahoma State and unranked Texas at the Trojan Invitational.

Turnaround · Senior forward/defender Ashley Freyer notched the 10th goal of her career against No. 17 Illinois to help end USC’s losing streak. - Carlo Acenas | Daily Trojan

“We’re hopeful that coming home is going to bode really well for us,” USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said. “We’re facing some tough programs, but we expect to defend our home.”

Senior midfielder Brittany Kerridge carries USC into this weekend’s marquee matchups after a scorching road trip. Kerridge, who was named a member of the Team of the Week by Soccer America last week, leads the Women of Troy in goals and assists and is third in minutes played.

“She’s been a big help,” senior midfielder/defender Ashli Sandoval said. “She plays real simple ball. She’s been able to find whoever is open seemingly every time. She has the vision to see what’s needed, and she definitely deserves all of the honors she gets.”

Khosroshahin expressed similar sentiments.

“Brittany has really added stability and consistency to this team,” Khosroshahin said. “I think any time a player is able to be consistent and give that type of performance, it gives the team a lot of confidence. Hopefully it’s the type of thing that gets contagious.”

Oklahoma State (7-0) will certainly present a challenge for Kerridge and company, as the Cowgirls have outscored their opponents 19-1 thanks to stellar play from goalkeepers Rosa Medina and Adrianna Franch.

The Women of Troy, however, aren’t letting the numbers faze them.

“I don’t even know how many of our players know they’re ranked that high,” Sandoval said. “We’ve watched them over the last few games. We know they play simple. We know how they play, and that feeds into how we play.”

“If we can eliminate some of the mental mistakes we made early on in the season and continue to improve, it doesn’t matter who we line up against,” Khosroshahin said. “As long as we do what we’re capable of doing, it shouldn’t matter.”

As has been a constant theme throughout the season thus far, the Women of Troy are focusing more on self-improvement than worrying about how good or bad their opponents may be.

“I still think we have a ways to go,” Sandoval said. “We have to stay on our toes. A lapse could lead back to a losing streak, and none of us want that.”

Khosroshahin believes the struggles, are for the most part, in the past.

“There’s been a sense of urgency from [the team],” Khosroshahin said. “They realized they need to pick things up quicker and they’ve been doing just that. They realized they’re representing the Trojan family. We take pride in being great, and I think the rough start made that click with the girls.”

USC takes on Oklahoma State on Friday at 3:30 p.m. and squares off against Texas on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.