Women’s soccer aims to remain undefeated this weekend

Freshman forward Penelope Hocking has contributed 3 goals so far this season. (Emily Smith | Daily Trojan)

The No. 4 USC women’s soccer team is looking to add two wins to its undefeated season as it returns home this weekend to play University of Missouri and University of San Diego.

Missouri is coming off a tough loss in its second straight overtime home game, falling 1-0 to TCU this past Sunday. Freshman Maddie Warren’s goal in the 95th minute helped the Horned Frogs defend their undefeated title. The majority of the game was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams offering strong defense and offensive attacks. Out of three shots on goal that evening, Tigers goalie Kelsey Dossey had five saves, only letting in Warren’s overtime shot.

Mizzou has never beaten USC, going 0-2 in all-time play, which could be good news for the Trojans. However, the Tigers are coming off of a three-game losing streak and are looking to secure a win this weekend. They have a strong defense that has forced four of their five games into overtime, giving Dossey 16 saves this season.

The Trojans will also take on University of San Diego, who last played at home against Utah Valley with a 4-1 win. The Toreros had a tough first half, struggling to find the net, but still managed to lead in shots on goal and corners. Their offense started to click in the second half with freshman Madison Louder back kicking off the 4-goal streak with a penalty kick rebound.

The Toreros have an all-time record of 6-11-2 against the Trojans. In the last matchup between the two teams, the Toreros fell to the Trojans in a 3-1 loss. The last time the Toreros beat the Trojans was in 2012, and the last time they beat a top-10 team was against Pepperdine in 2014.

Senior forward Summer Mason and sophomore midfielder Milan Moses have been the most dangerous up top, with Moses leading the team with two goals and five points. Mason is ranked first in the WCC in shots and shots per game, so the Trojans will need to work together to defend their goal.

In its last game against No. 22 University of Florida, USC brought home a 3-0 win. Headed into the 66th minute of the game with no score, senior Leah Pruitt netted an unassisted goal, putting the Women of Troy in the lead. Freshman Penelope Hocking and sophomore Savannah DeMelo also had goals in the 80th and 82nd minutes, respectively, bringing the Trojans’ goal count to 3. All three players who scored combined  for a total of 9 out of 15 goals this season with three goals each. The Trojans only allowed five shots all night, giving up no shots on goal to maintain their record of 1 opposing goal this season.

The Trojans are looking strong heading into this weekend having outscored opponents 15-1 this season, the best goal differential in last five years of the program. But defense also forced another shutout in Sunday’s game.

“That’s the way you win at the highest level,” head coach Keidane McAlpine said. “You’ve got to be able to defend and we’ve got a group that is gelling and starting to figure things out.”

The Trojans will face off against the Tigers at 3 p.m. Friday and the Toreros at 1 p.m. Sunday, both on McAlister Field. Non-conference play will be over for the Trojans after their senior day game against Long Beach State on the following Friday.