It was the kind of weekend the USC women’s soccer team had been searching for all season.
For the first time in nearly two months, the team swept a weekend series. The Women of Troy have now won three straight games for the first time in nearly two months. And for the first time this season, they won a home game — make that two home games.
The Women of Troy (6-11, 3-5) got their first home win of the season Friday with a dramatic 2-1 overtime victory over Arizona State, and they followed that up Sunday with a 1-0 domination of Arizona on senior day.
Despite the one goal, it was one of the Women of Troy’s most complete performances of the season.
“It was a great way to end our home season,” USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said. “To send the seniors out on a positive note at home. That’s one of the games you remember the most after you’re done playing, that final game at home. I was happy that we took care of them today.”
And it was a senior who set up that lone goal.
Just before the hour mark, senior forward Claire Schloemer played a through ball to sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Eddy, streaking down the right side.
She took the ball all the way to within five yards of the goal before finishing past a hopeless Wildcat goalie for her team-high fourth goal of the year.
“Obviously we wanted to win because we love winning,” Eddy said. “But even more so for our seniors.”
Though just one shot found the back of the net, USC came close countless times, racking up a season-high 18 shots — eight on goal.
In the 48th minute, Eddy broke free down the right side in a similar run to the goal she scored later.
Unlike later in the game, her near post attempt was stopped cold by the Wildcat goalie.
Five minutes later, USC came close again as senior midfielder Ashli Sandoval’s lunging deflection was cleared off the line by an Arizona defender.
Moments later, senior midfielder Carly Butcher rifled a shot that went just over the crossbar, causing Khosroshahin to scream in anguish from the bench.
In the 68th minute, Eddy drew a foul just outside of the penalty box. Sandoval took the free kick for the Women of Troy and smacked a shot that made it past the Wildcat wall and goalie but not past the far goalpost.
“I really wanted to score today,” said Sandoval, who had 10 of USC’s 18 shots and put five on goal. “To do it my last game here … just unlucky I guess.”
While Sunday might have been the Women of Troy’s most complete win of the season, Friday was easily their most thrilling.
Sandoval scored from a header off of a corner kick in the 83rd minute — the first goal of the season for the fifth-year senior. The Women of Troy looked to be on the verge of their first home win of the season.
But with just 40 seconds remaining, they conceded a devastating equalizer. It looked like USC was going to lose yet another heartbreaker at home.
Exactly four minutes into overtime, Claire Schloemer changed that.
The senior forward smacked a shot from the top of the penalty box that ripped the nylon in the back of the net before anyone could even move.
The golden goal was the first career-game winner for Schloemer and her first of the season. Most importantly, it gave the Women of Troy their first win of the season at McAlister Field.
With the weekend sweep USC has a chance to do something that Sandoval said she would not have thought possible two weeks ago: finish the seaon with a winning record in conference.
They travel to Utah and Colorado next weekend before finishing up their season on Nov. 4 at UCLA.