Women of Troy look to keep momentum going against Cal

The USC women’s lacrosse team hopes to build off a strong start to the month of April and build some momentum before the MPSF championships in Eugene, Ore., as it takes on California on Friday at McAlister Field at 3 p.m.

The Women of Troy (6-8, 3-2 MPSF), after finishing March with a 3-6 record, opened April with a 12-10 win over Oregon (6-7, 1-3 MPSF) in Eugene, overcoming inclement weather, numerous Oregon rallies and a five-goal performance from Hayley Milner. Freshman attacker Caroline Cordrey scored four goals for the second consecutive game, while freshman attacker Caroline de Lyra added three goals and recorded three assists.

“At the end of the day, it was a conference game, and that’s what we were focused on the most,” said USC head coach Lindsey Munday, “We had out-of-conference games in March, and we weren’t as successful as we would have liked to be but we learned from them. That was our biggest push to the girls. Out-of-conference schedule prepares you for conference, and I think our out-of-conference schedule did that for us. That’s why against Oregon we were confident.

De Lyra leads USC players with in goals (44), assists (33) and points (77). Freshman midfielder Amanda Johansen has 33 goals and 10 assists on the season, freshman midfielder Paige Bonomi has 31 goals and Cordrey’s four goals against the Ducks give her 30 for the season. Freshman defender Courtney Tarleton leads the team with 26 caused turnovers and 34 ground balls, while Johansen leads the MPSF and is seventh in the country with 5.57 draw controls per game.

“We had to end our losing streak, so that was really important to us,” Tarleton said. “Also, because Oregon is in our conference, it was a huge win for us. Our next goal is to beat Cal.”

The Golden Bears (7-4, 4-0 MPSF) are currently riding a two-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 33-12 during the stretch, including a 14-10 win over the Ducks. They are led by attackers Megan Takacs, who has 33 goals, and Melissa Humphrey, with 14 goals and a team-high 18 assists.

“For us to come out and play a full game is the most important thing, not to dig ourselves a hole like we had been in the past,” Munday said, “I think it was a team effort against Oregon, and we had some players step up, which was huge, and I think that’s really important moving throughout the course of the season.”

USC will conclude its inaugural season with a pair of conference matchups. Its final home game is against Fresno State (2-10, 0-5 MPSF) on Saturday, April 20 at 3 p.m., followed by its final regular season game against San Diego State (8-4, 3-1 MPSF) on Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m.