Sophomore midfielder Kelsey Huff scored the game-clinching goal in double overtime to lift USC to an 11-10 victory over Stanford Sunday. Junior midfielder Kerrigan Miller threatened the Cardinal defense just enough to draw an extra defender toward her before dumping the ball off to Huff who was in position to drill the game-winning shot.
The score was Huff’s team-leading fourth of the day to go with two ground balls and a caused turnover.
The Trojans led 10-9 with a chance to seal the victory in regulation, but they committed two turnovers in the final minute of the game, allowing Stanford to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Stanford sophomore attacker Katherine Gjertsen shot the ball wide of the goal with 11 seconds on the clock. USC sophomore goalie Riley Hertford left the goal in an attempt to gain possession for the Trojans, putting her out of position when Gjertsen tapped the ball in off of a quick restart from senior midfielder Genesis Lucero.
The ball bounced into the goal as time expired, sending the game into overtime. However, USC did not let Stanford take any of its lingering momentum into the extra period.
Sophomore defender Lizzy Wagner, who collected four ground balls and caused two turnovers for the Trojans, said the team kept its cool.
“There were many uncontrollables throughout the game that demanded our composure, so we stuck to our game plan focusing on discipline and taking each play as they came,” Wagner said.
In both of the overtime periods, Stanford gained possession off of the draw, a stat they dominated throughout the day, controlling 15 compared to USC’s nine.
The USC defense stood up to the sudden-death challenge, preventing Stanford from getting a clean look for about seven minutes of gameplay. Hertford came up big for USC with at least one save in each overtime period.
The teams combined for 47 turnovers in a sloppy game. While there were more than a few unforced errors, this high turnover number reflected the intensity of this matchup.
Both Stanford and USC played physically; Stanford drew three yellow cards while USC drew one but, for the most part, the refs let the teams play.
On Friday, USC defeated Cal in dominant fashion, 16-4. Although the final score was a blowout, it took the Trojans 17 minutes to secure a lead and run with it.
Senior attacker Emily Concialdi recorded a season-high four assists on the day, including assisting on 3 of USC’s first 4 goals to kick off the scoring. The team recorded a total of eight assists on the day, also a season high.
Sisters Kelsey Huff and junior midfielder Kaeli Huff each recorded hat tricks on the day.
The win over Stanford gives USC a stranglehold on the top seed in the Pac-12. Its conference record stands at a pristine 7-0 with three out of its final four games against conference rivals. A win over Colorado Friday at McAlister Field would clinch the top seed weeks before the tournament.