Lacrosse looks to defend six-game winning streak

This weekend, the women’s lacrosse team rounds out the regular season with two MPSF contests in Northern California, battling Stanford on Friday and UC Davis on Sunday.

The No. 8 Trojans are currently on a six-game winning streak and hold a 12-3 record heading into the weekend as they look to continue their winning ways against their Northern California opponents.

With 16 straight regular season MPSF victories under their belts, the Trojans are approaching the MPSF record of 18 straight conference wins. Friday’s matchup presents a crucial opportunity for USC to clinch a No. 1 seed and first round bye in the upcoming MPSF tournament, which takes place from April 27-30.

“We’re looking at it as another opportunity,” head coach Lindsay Munday said. “We need to be ready to play. They’re a phenomenal team and very well-coached. It’s a clean slate — we need to be ready to take care of business for a full 60 minutes.”

The Trojan team is anchored by two-time All-American senior attacker Michaela Michael, who has recorded 54 goals and 16 assists so far this season.

“She’s been a tremendous player for us for four years,” Munday said. “She wants to do everything she can to help this team to be successful whether it’s scoring goals, assisting or setting people up.”

She is accompanied on offense by fellow seniors Kylie Drexel with 24 goals, Gabby McMahon with 25 goals and Cynthia Del Core with 28 goals this season. Freshman Kerrigan Miller also has proven to be a strong asset to the Trojan roster, scoring five hat tricks in her first season with the Trojans.

The USC defensive line features senior Nina Kelty, who has notched 21 ground balls this season and junior Lydia Sutton who boasts 28 ground balls of her own.

Stanford, which holds a 10-4 overall record, seeks to continue their three-game winning streak after struggling against Yale and Colorado earlier in the season. The Cardinal leads the league in shots with an average of 33.29 per game. Their roster also features the league’s leading scorer, Kelsey Murray, who records an average of 4.71 points per game. Allie DaCar anchors the Cardinal defense in goal with a 10.73 goals against average, ranking third in the league.

“They returned a lot of their offense from last year, so defensively we have to be ready to play a really disciplined game and stick to the basics of what we’ve been doing all year with everyone doing their part and playing simple,” Munday said.

On Sunday, the Trojans will face UC Davis, which holds a 6-9 overall record with a 2-4 MPSF record. The Aggies mark third best in the league for both assists and ground balls. On defense, Taylor Cuenin leads the league in caused turnovers, averaging 3.77 per game.

Having already clinched a spot in the MPSF tournament for the fifth consecutive time, the Trojans look to take it one game at a time with their sights set on securing a No. 1 seed if they can pull out a victory on Friday.

In just a short five years, the Trojans have created a strong legacy, earning a spot in the MPSF tournament each year since the birth of the program.

“We’re really thankful that we have great kids on board that have bought into the values of the program from day one,” Munday said. “It’s always been about continuing to get better, supporting each other, working hard and having fun on the way. It’s a testament to the girls that we have on board and the players that have graduated.”