Over the weekend, the USC women’s soccer team (3-4-1) trailed by two goals in both its matches. The Women of Troy managed to overcome one of those deficits en route to splitting its pair of games.
In its final tune-ups before opening Pac-12 play, USC lost a close 3-2 match to No. 19 Portland at McAlister Field on Sunday and beat San Diego 3-2 in a Friday away match.
The Women of Troy got off to a tough start against Portland.
Trailing by two goals — both of which Portland’s Amanda Frisbie scored — USC managed to knot the score at two apiece with a pair of goals (61st and 67th minutes) from freshman forward Katie Johnson.
They were unable to capitalize on the momentum shift, however, and surrendered the go-ahead goal to Kaila Cameli in the 69th minute, thus losing a hard-fought match, 3-2.
“We got a lot of character. We got a lot of heart. We were very determined today,” USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said. “The young ladies are getting better every game, every training session, and it’s just a matter of time before we shore things up defensively and stop making some silly mistakes that lead to goals against us.”
USC continued to play aggressively, outshooting the Pilots 22-10, and taking four corner kicks — one more than Portland.
But because of a combination of missed opportunities and questionable calls by the officials, USC was unable to complete the comeback.
“The offense was relentless,” said sophomore goalkeeper Caroline Stanley, when asked about USC’s six straight comeback attempts from being down 2-0. “They didn’t give up on us. They really brought an energy when they stepped up onto the field. It lifted our defense’s spirits. It gave us a little bit of comfort knowing they weren’t going to give up.”
On Friday in a rematch against San Diego, the Women of Troy overcame a 2-0 deficit at halftime, scoring three goals in the second half on the road, including a last-minute go-ahead goal by senior midfielder Samantha Johnson with 15 seconds remaining.
The win ended a four-game road losing streak for the Women of Troy and a four-game losing streak to the Toreros. The loss dropped the Toreros to 3-6-0 on the season.
Despite USC playing the role of the aggressors throughout the course of the game and outshooting the Toreros 18-7, San Diego was able to jump out to an early 2-0 lead, including a header by Mariah Butera in the final minutes before the half.
USC was able to better capitalize on its scoring opportunities in the second half, however, netting goals from juniors Jordan Marada (52nd minute) and Elizabeth Eddy (86th minute) before Johnson’s game-winner. The Women of Troy also kept the Toreros from getting any more corner kick opportunities and crossing chances.
The Women of Troy open Pac-12 play next week against Washington (7-1-1)at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Los Angeles.