USC Comeback Falls Short Against Visiting Denver

LOS ANGELES USC (5-8, 2-2 MPSF) dropped a 16-11 decision to Denver (11-1, 3-0) under the rain and clouds on an Easter Sunday afternoon at McAlister Field on March 31.

The Women of Troy fought hard to come back from a 10-3 halftime deficit and got four goals from freshman attack Caroline Cordrey and three more from freshman midfield Amanda Johansen, but the bid fell short as the Pioneers came up with their ninth straight victory. Denver maintained its spotless 3-0 conference record while the Trojans fell to 2-2 halfway through the league schedule.

Johansen tied for game-high honors with five points as she added two assists to her final line. She led all players with eight draw controls and had a caused turnover and a ground ball. Cordrey came off the bench to score her four goals, one of which came on a free-position shot.

Freshman attack Paige Bonomi had two goals, a ground ball, a caused turnover, and a draw control for the Trojans while fellow first-year attack Caroline de Lyra scored one goal and picked up a draw control. USC's only other goal came from sophomore midfield Kaila Sommi who had the first Trojan goal of the game. Defensively, the Trojans were led by freshman Courtney Tarleton's four ground balls and three caused turnovers. Junior midfield Elizabeth Eddy had three ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers. In the cage, freshman goalie Liz Shaeffer logged eight saves in the loss.

For Denver, three players scored hat tricks led by Rachael Dillon's four goals. Dillon added an assist and led her team with three ground balls. Mikayla Clark and Rachael McKinnon also had three goals each. McKinnon did her damage coming off the bench. Sophomore goalie Hannah Hook produced five saves in the game.

The Pioneers got on the board first as Meredith Harris scored on a free-position shot at the 27:48 mark in the first half. Six minutes would go by before Dillon and Clark scored goals 10 seconds apart to create a quick 3-0 lead for Denver. Sommi's goal put USC on the board at 20:28, but the Pioneers fired back with a pair of goals. The Trojans had an answer as Cordrey scored the first of her four, but Denver put up two more points to lead by a fistful, 7-2.

Johansen fed de Lyra from behind the net to get the Trojans their third goal at 7:18 in the first half, but the Pioneers were content to run the clock down before a McKinnon goal made the score 9-3 with just under two minutes to the break. A breakdown in the USC defense allowed Dillon to get through as she scored with just 15 seconds left on the clock and gave the Pioneers a 10-3 lead heading into halftime.

Denver created its biggest lead of the game at 26:46 in the second half as Clark scored off an assist from Jill Remenapp. The Pioneers' eight-goal lead lasted just one minute before USC ripped off a big 4-0 scoring run to get within four at 11-7. Bonomi scored first off an assist from Johansen before two unassisted goals by Cordrey sandwiched one by Johansen to bring the USC offense back to life with 19:26 to play.

After a timeout, the Pioneers caught their breath and got a goal out of the huddle to stop the Trojan run, but Bonomi scored again to cut the lead to 12-8. Denver scored two more times, before the Trojans got another two unassisted goals from Johansen and Cordrey to get within four once more at the 2:32 mark. Denver stiffened and stopped USC to go up, 15-10, and then made 16-11 the final score on two goals by McKinnon.

USC hits the road for a historic game up in Eugene, Ore., where the Trojans and the Ducks (5-5, 0-1 MPSF) play the first-ever live broadcast lacrosse game on the Pac-12 Networks. First draw is set for 4:30 p.m. PT on Thursday, April 4, at Pape Field.

2013-03-31



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