Trojans Grab First MPSF Victory with Win Over St. Mary's

LOS ANGELES USC freshman attack Caroline de Lyra collected nine points with three goals and a game-high six assists to help the Women of Troy claim their first-ever Mountain Pacific Sports Federation victory. The Trojans (2-2, 1-0 MPSF) squared their season record on a 17-8 win over Saint Mary's (0-2, 0-1) on Sunday, Feb. 24 at McAlister Field, and will now hit the road for four straight games.

"Getting this first conference win is really exciting," said head coach Lindsey Munday. "There are just so many firsts that happen with a new program, and a new team, and obviously conference games are the most important for us. The girls did a great job of preparing, this week, and Saint Mary's is a great team and they fought really hard."

Four different players scored at least three goals for the Trojans including de Lyra. She was joined by freshman midfield Amanda Johansen who also had an assist and a game-high nine draw controls. Freshman attack Caroline Cordrey had three goals on a game-high 11 shots (seven on goal) while freshman attack Paige Bonomi had three goals on six shots.

"I'm not sure what the highlight of the game was, for me," said de Lyra. "I think it was the first goal and then when we started to get up. I think because we knew we could win it, we weren't really sure how we were going to compare to other teams in the conference and then once we started winning and getting the score board up, then we really showed up."

Freshman defense Courtney Tarleton led all players with four ground balls and four caused turnovers and goalie Liz Shaeffer completed another stellar outing with eight saves and a .500 save percentage.

For the Gaels, Jullian Chong posted three goals and had three draw controls while Amanda Armes collected four draw controls. Saint Mary's had its share of troubles with five yellow cards, and was often the aggressor with twice as many fouls as the Trojans.

Just 30 seconds into the game, de Lyra put USC up, 1-0, as she ran the crease for an unassisted goal. The Trojans forged ahead for a 2-0 lead when de Lyra found a cutting Bonomi for the goal just one minute later. Saint Mary's responded to get three straight goals and held its only lead of the game at 3-2 when Chong found the back of the net off a pass from Amanda Cross.

The Trojans retaliated and scored less than a minute and a half later when de Lyra dropped a pass off to freshman attack Katie Austin for a goal. USC then ripped off five straight goals to complete a 6-0 scoring run that produced an 8-3 lead with four minutes left in the first half. A goal by SMC's Holly Hayes stopped the bleeding for the Gaels, but a slew of Saint Mary's penalties landed Cordrey on the line for a free-position shot that she connected on with 18 seconds left in the half.

The Gaels cut USC's lead to just three goals when they scored two straight to open up the second half, but the Trojans scored five of the next six goals to create a seven-goal gash at 14-7 with 11:26 left in the game. Chong scored once more before the Trojans wrapped the game with three more.

USC will now play its first-ever road games and will have to head all the way across the country to do so. The Trojans will play LIU Brooklyn at 4:00 p.m. ET (1:00 p.m. PT) on Friday, March 1.

2013-02-24



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