USC pushes through tough times

The USC women’s soccer team hopes to end a three-game losing streak in their final two home games of the 2013 season, as they prepare to take on Oregon on Friday at 3 p.m. and Oregon State on Sunday at 11 a.m. at McAlister Field.

Phenom · Freshman midfielder Kayla Mills has been a bright spot for USC this season, leading the team in assists (7) and points (13). - Nick Entin | Daily Trojan

Phenom · Freshman midfielder Kayla Mills has been a bright spot for USC this season, leading the team in assists (7) and points (13). – Nick Entin | Daily Trojan

USC (6-9-2, 1-6-1 Pac-12) is coming off of a pair of weekend games against Colorado and Utah, a 2-1 loss to the Buffaloes and a 1-0 loss to the Utes.

Sophomore defender Marlee Carrillo scored the only goal of the weekend for the Women of Troy on an assist from junior goalkeeper Caroline Stanley, just a week removed from scoring her first two goals of the season in a 3-2 overtime loss to Arizona at the Coliseum.

A week after USC overcame a 2-0 deficit in the last 10 minutes of regulation to send the game into overtime, the Women of Troy hoped to capture that same magic against the newest members of the Pac-12, but were unable to earn the equalizer in both games.

“It’s not like we’re not getting opportunities,” USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said. “We’re getting balls saved off the line, we’re hitting the post, crossbar. I feel for these women. They don’t deserve the results that we’ve been getting with the way we’ve been playing.”

Even with the undesirable results that have unfolded this season, the players are still keeping their heads up. Though the team’s chances to make the NCAA tournament are slim to none, the Women of Troy steadfastly refuse to roll over as the season comes to a close.

“Of course it didn’t go as well as we wanted it to, but I don’t think it’s completely crushed our spirits,” sophomore forward Katie Johnson said about the team’s hard-luck campaign. “We’re a team that likes to win and we’re competitive, even at practice, so we’re going to bring it to every game and we’re still going to try to win.”

Khosroshahin has been inspired by the team’s “never-say-die” attitude.

“I have to give them a great deal of credit for not packing it in and [continuing to] keep fighting,” Khosroshahin said. “They are living our motto of ‘Fight On’ right now. They deserve better, they really do, and I’m hopeful that this weekend the ball starts finding the back of the net.”

Sunday’s contest, the last home game of the season for the Women of Troy, will mark the final home game for the five seniors on the team. Forward Elizabeth Eddy, midfielder Jordan Marada, defender Mia Bruno, midfielder Haley Boysen, and defender Autumn Altamirano will be honored during pre-game festivities.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” sophomore forward Katie Johnson said. “I’m sure they’re excited to move on into their real-world jobs. It’s their life and it’s kind of sad and they’ve been our teammates. They’ve been great teammates, so I think we’re going to play for them. It’s a big part, because we know that eventually it’s going to be our Senior Day as well, so we want to just bring it for them too.”

Oregon (4-9-3, 2-5-1 Pac-12) is coming off a pair of home games against Stanford and California. The Ducks lost 2-1 to Stanford on Friday, but pulled off the upset against No. 12 California, winning 1-0 on Monday.

ShayLee Miner leads the team with three goals and seven points, while Bri Pugh has two goals and two assists for the Ducks.

Oregon State (5-10-2, 3-4-1 Pac-12) also took on California and Stanford at home. Like the Ducks, the Beavers earned a 1-0 win over the Golden Bears, but suffered a 4-1 loss at the hands of Stanford.

Jenna Richardson and Erin Uchacz lead the Beavers with 3 goals each, while Jacy Drobney and Natalie Meiggs lead with three assists each.

USC traveled to Oregon last season, suffering a 1-0 loss to Oregon and playing to a 1-1 tie against Oregon State. The Women of Troy are 13-3-1 against the Ducks all-time, but are 0-2-1 in the last three meetings, dating back to 2010.

USC has a 13-5-2 all-time record against the Beavers, but are 0-3-1 in the last four matches.

The Women of Troy will conclude their season in Westwood against No. 2 UCLA (14-1-2, 6-0-2 Pac-12) next Thursday at 5 p.m.


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