USC brings in new faces for 2022 season
USC women’s lacrosse will kick off its season with a home game against non-conference San Diego State at 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Soni McAlister Field.
The Trojans ended their last season with a 9-7 record and finished as the No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 going into the postseason. Their season ended at the Pac-12 tournament semifinals in a close game, losing 9-8 to Colorado. Though they did not make it as far as they wanted in the tournament, the team is looking to build off of the momentum they had from their 2021 season, starting this weekend.
“[The team] has been able to develop such an amazing culture so far and we’ve pushed each other so hard all throughout fall,” graduate midfielder and team captain Kelsey Huff said. “Being able to see all that hard work and blood, sweat and tears pay off is what I’m most excited for.”
The Trojans are led by Head Coach Lindsey Munday, who is currently in her 10th year in charge. This year, she brought on two new assistant coaches to join her staff: Lauren Gunning and Asa Goldstock. Prior to USC, Gunning spent seven seasons as an assistant lacrosse coach at her alma mater UCONN and three seasons as an assistant coach at Cincinnati. Goldstock kicks off her first season coaching after finishing up a goalkeeping career with Syracuse in 2021, leading the team to the NCAA Championship Game.
USC has graduated 10 women from their 2021 squad including Izzy McMahon, who led in total points for the 2021 season, and Riley Hertford, All-American goalie. Additionally, the Trojans lost three players to the transfer portal. With the loss of several players from their prior season, USC will look for new difference-makers this year.
For starters, USC will see three new faces at the goalkeeper position: incoming freshman Mia Fleming and two transfers, graduate student Elyse Darcy from Iona and sophomore Kait Devir from Boston College. Graduate student attacker Maggie Root from Maryland Also joins the Trojans from the transfer portal. Several key players are returning to the team as well, including Huff and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year midfielder Madison Waters. USC also brought in 12 new freshmen this season.
With around half of their roster composed of new players, this season, USC’s side will need time to settle in and adjust to the roster turnover. The new additions are leaning on veteran players to learn the ropes.
“It’s been awesome,” Munday said. “The young girls and the transfers have brought their own personality and style. It’s really a good combination of support from the older girls but then the younger players really bringing that intensity and the fun atmosphere to practice and our everyday life on the field.”
Having played in 60 games for the Trojans throughout her career, Huff said that she recognizes what the incoming players have to offer compared to previous seasons.
“I think all the freshmen and transfers have brought so much energy and intensity,” Huff said. “They’re such a high-level class. It’s just going to be an entirely different team dynamic and performance. I’m super excited to let them do their thing.”