USC Downs Conference Rival Claremont

Los Angeles, California The Men in Cardinal and Gold improved their record to 6-2 with a 7-5 win over conference rival Claremont College yesterday.

The Claremont Cougars were first to score in the game, with a quick shot early in the first quarter off a face-off. That goal was soon matched by an unassisted solo by sophomore attackman Jordan Levitz (Chicago, Ill./Adelai E. Stevenson) to tie the score at 1 at the end of the first quarter. From there, excellent riding pressure from the Trojans led to another goal by Levitz and one by senior midfielder Matthew Williams (Chapel Hill, Nc./Durham Academy) to end the half with a 3-1 Trojan lead.

The third quarter saw an onslaught of Trojan shots, with only 3 finding the back of the Cougars goal. Contributing these goals were Williams, sophomore midfielder Ricky Giancola (Centennial, Co./Cherry Creek), and midfielder Andrew Smulligan (Lowell, Mass./Lowell High School).

The Cougars made a strong final push in the fourth quarter, getting an early goal with 17 minutes left and quickly dumping in 3 more with under 2 minutes to play. However, it wouldn't be enough as time ran out. With an additional 4th quarter goal for the Trojans by Williams, the final tally was 7-5, promoting the Trojans to an overall record of 6-2 and an SLC conference record of 1-1.

The Trojan defense, led by sophomore goalie Jeff Barton (Englewood, Co./Cherry Creek), put forth a herculean effort against a shifty Cougar offense. Barton stopped 79% of the shots he faced, and had strong defensive assistance from senior long stick midfielder Jeff Gleiberman (San Diego, Ca./Torrey Pines) who knocked down or intercepted three passes and had two ground balls.

Sophomore defenseman Kameron Burke (McMurray, Pa./Peters Township), freshman defenseman Will Indvik (Bainbridge Island, Wa./Bainbridge), and junior defenseman JJ Pontes (Coronado, Ca./Coronado) managed to shut down the Cougar offense for much of the game and kill all four Trojan penalties.

USC faces #2 ranked Chapman at home next week, 4/8/2010 at 7:00 pm PST in another SLC conference battle, which will have significant implications for the Trojans playoff bid.


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