The USC soccer team defeated both Oregon State and Oregon this weekend and are now 3-1 on the season.
After their first loss of the season against Arizona State last Friday, the USC women’s soccer team defeated Oregon State 2-0 in a dominant performance at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Junior forward Penelope Hocking scored the game’s only two goals, including a score in the 88th minute to secure the victory for the Trojans.
Oregon State had previously upset No. 3 ranked Stanford in Corvallis, Oregon by a score of 2-1. With the loss against the Trojans, the Beavers fall to 2-3 on the season while the Trojans improved to 2-1. The Beavers, who were averaging over two goals per game, went scoreless thanks to an impressive performance from the USC defense.
“We had a few lapses, but all in all it was a pretty good performance by the group.” head coach Keidane McAlpine said.
Junior Anna Smith got the start as goalkeeper for the Trojans and made her presence felt with a first half shutout. Redshirt senior Kaylie Collins was back in the goal for the second half, completing the team shutout by saving the Beavers’ only shot on goal.
“We’ve got two really good goalkeepers,” McAlpine said. “It’s a luxury, not everybody has that.”
Offensively, it was the dynamic duo of senior forward Tara McKeown and Hocking who made the difference for the Trojans. McKeown assisted Hocking’s first goal in the 18th minute off a diving steal from Oregon State’s junior goalkeeper Bridgette Skiba.
Despite giving up two goals, Skiba had an impressive performance, with six saves off of several good looks from the Trojan offense.
The Beaver offense conversely had a tough outing against a strong USC defense, only putting one shot on goal. In the 19th minute, sophomore forward Brianna McReynolds missed the game-tying shot in a one-on-one against Smith.
After halftime the Trojans continued their aggressive offensive attacks, with 8 of their 13 shots coming in the second half. This continual offensive push gave the Beavers very few chances to tie the game with only three total shots in the second half.
The game was all but over when Hocking secured her second goal of the day in a one-on-one play against Skiba. Hocking now has three goals on the season and is USC’s current leading scorer.
Following their victory against Oregon State, USC moved on to win against Oregon Sunday in a tough 1-0 match.
In the 12th minute, junior defender Kaylin Martin scored the only goal of the game with a header off the corner kick from senior midfielder Savannah DeMelo. This is the first goal for the defender who has played two games this season.
In the 44th minute, Oregon sophomore midfielder Maya Hahn delivered a strong corner kick that was defended well by Smith. The Trojan goalkeeper had one save in the first half, and her counterpart Collins had two saves in the second.
It was a standout game for Ducks freshman goalkeeper Leah Freeman, who is ranked No. 3 nationally. Despite allowing the first goal, she made four impressive saves to defend the Trojan’s strong attempts on goal.
Both offensive sides were equally matched with the Trojans and Ducks attempting nine and eight shots, respectively. A strong defense resulted in a scoreless second half.
“We did a really good job of just finding a way to get through the game,” McAlpine said. “Making it one where we took away their opportunities to get to goal.”
The Trojans play at Utah next. The Utes are 1-2-2 this season, and USC comes off a 2-1 win last season. However, they have not won an away game against the Utes since the 2000 season.
“Utah always gives us a tough game, they’re extremely well coached,” McAlpine said.
The Trojans kick off against Utah Friday at 4 p.m.