Women’s lacrosse faces familiar foes this weekend

Junior attacker Izzy McMahon was all over the field against Hofstra, scoring 2 goals and contributing an assist. (Michelle Mankoff/Daily Trojan)

The Trojans are heading to San Diego State this weekend to face the Aztecs on Friday. Following the match, USC will return home Sunday to compete against Jacksonville University.
The weekend’s back-to-back matches follow the Trojans’ fourth consecutive winning season-opener with a victory over Hofstra University last weekend. Following this triumph, USC ranks No. 21 in the country. The Trojans are hopeful that they can continue their winning streak against the Aztecs this weekend.
USC faced San Diego State once last year, emerging with a 17-7 victory in a late-season matchup at McAlister Field. Attacker Izzy McMahon, then a sophomore, scored an impressive 4 goals and added an assist for good measure. Fellow junior attacker Hope Anhut also contributed 3 goals in the comfortable win. However, it is unclear if the defense can replicate the strong effort of holding SDSU to 7 goals. Departed goalie Gussie Johns led the defense that day, and was replaced by sophomore Riley Hertford.
The last time USC competed against Jacksonville was during the 2017 season. USC won the match 13-10 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Trojans are looking for another successful season, which means every practice requires each player’s hard work and dedication in order to perform successfully on the field this weekend.
“I tend to think the biggest factors in winning any game are preparedness and attitude,” said Anhut, who put two goals on the scoreboard for the Trojans during their match against Hofstra. “Our coaches really emphasize drilling basic skills out until they’re second nature, so that when we’re in games and might be tired, we are still able execute the way we need to.”
Anhut added that scouting the opponent was a crucial part of USC’s success.
“While we do prep for each opponent and scout their style of play, I think attention to detail is what ultimately makes us so well prepared,” Anhut said. “In terms of attitude, I think we’ve found success because we have tough athletes that love to win and compete but also because we really enjoy playing together.”
To ensure continued success for the Trojans, they must be in a consistent rhythm with one another and have strong communication on the field.    
With its season picking up, USC wants to make sure it brings its A-game, especially with the competitive opponents the players will face in the following weeks.
The Trojans aren’t letting their past wins against the Aztecs and Dolphins cloud their judgement or efforts to compete at full force. Regardless of past matches and successful efforts, the Trojans are ready to enter the field as an unstoppable powerhouse.   
“San Diego State is a solid team that always plays well against us and has had a great start to their season,” Anhut said. “We’re definitely prepared and ready to come out strong.”
The Trojans take on SDSU Friday at the Aztec Lacrosse Field at 1 p.m.