The Trojans won in dominant style at home over Boston University on Wednesday, defeating the Terriers 15-4 to defend their No. 4 ranking. Junior goalie Gussie Johns cemented the defense with eight saves, seven ground ball captures and three turnovers on her way to becoming the school’s all-time saves leader.
While Johns broke records in goal, the Trojans defense also put on a smothering show to limit BU to only four goals. Junior Lydia Sutton forced three turnovers and picked up two assists while clearing the ball, and freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller forced an additional three turnovers while serving up an assist of her own and winning three draw controls.
The Trojans were the first to strike, with senior attackers Kylie Drexel and Drew Jackson netting goals off of free positions, and Miller followed to bring the score to 3-0. The Terriers responded with a goal of their own, but the Trojans built up an 8-1 lead after a 5-0 run led by two goals from senior Cynthia Del Core.
Del Core lit up the offensive attack for the Trojans with a career-high 5 points, earning her eighth hat trick game of her USC career. Senior attacker Michaela Michael also notched two goals to move into the fourth place overall slot for all-time scoring in MPSF history with 167 goals.
Three other Trojans picked up two goals apiece, with Jackson, senior attacker Gabby McMahon and sophomore Gabbi Klein each finding the back of the net twice for the Trojans. Jackson and McMahon paired their goals with an assist and a caused turnover each.
On BU’s side of the ball, sophomore Mickenzie Larivee led the Terriers with a pair of goals. Freshman Kailey Conry and sophomore Molly Kern netted the other two goals for BU. Although the Trojans pounded BU’s defense, senior goalkeeper Caroline Meegan picked up 14 saves and grounded three balls. However, the effort wasn’t enough to slow the Trojans’ offensive rhythm.
The game was the first time that the two programs had met on the lacrosse pitch. With the win, the Trojans improve to 31-5 on the season.
The team also improved to 17 games in a row won at McAlister Field. The home streak was lengthened to 19 this season, and USC has only dropped eight games total in its all-time home record.
The Trojans now look to their next home matchup against New Hampshire (0-5) on Monday. The team will then take to the road for a New England tour before returning home to kick off Pac-12 play and defend their spot at the top of the conference.
The New England trip will provide its own challenges for the Trojans. The week will open up with Dartmouth, a team that finished in the Top 40 rankings in the NCAA despite struggling to keep a .500 record late in last year’s season.
Then, the Trojans will face another Ivy League threat in a matchup against No. 11 Cornell. The top-ranked team is 3-1 so far this year after blowing out Villanova, Pennsylvania and Colgate.
After five days of rest, USC will then face No. 7 Stony Brook, a team that heavily relies on the powerful sister pair of Taryn and Kylie Ohlmiller on the attack. Stony Brook will put pressure on Johns, as their attacking style is one of the fiercest that the Trojans will face this season.
The East Coast tour will finish off with a matchup against Ohio State, a team similar to Dartmouth that also finished in the Top 40 at the end of last season. The two straight weeks of top-tier competition will provide a necessary challenge for the Trojans, who are currently coasting at 4-1 with a sole loss at No. 3 Florida. The next three weeks will help decide the Trojans’ record as they enter the core of the season.