Trojans Topple UC Davis for MPSF Victory

LOS ANGELES USC (2-2, 1-0 MPSF) knocked off previously undefeated UC Davis (5-1, 1-1 MPSF) and won its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener in a dramatic 15-10 victory against the Aggies at McAlister Field on Friday, March 14. The Women of Troy improved to 2-0 in conference openers and did so on a pair of impressive performances by freshmen Annie Ruland and Michaela Michael who each recorded hat tricks.

Michael led all players with four goals and added an assist to go with four draw controls and two ground balls. She was also 2 for 2 on free-position shots. Ruland scored three goals, one from the eight-meter arc, and picked up one ground ball. The Trojans also got a pair of goals each from sophomore attacker Caroline Cordrey, freshman midfielder Danielle Doherty, and sophomore attacker Caroline de Lyra. Cordrey also notched three draw controls while de Lyra dished out a season-high four assists for a total of six points on the day.

The Trojans were highly effective on offense and scored more goals in the first half (11) than the Aggies finished with. USC out-shot UC Davis, 16-3, in the first half and finished with a 25-17 margin. The Trojans caused four Aggie turnovers but put enough pressure to force UC Davis to lose the ball 15 times. USC picked up 17 ground balls on the day led by sophomore goalie Liz Shaeffer's four ground balls. Sophomore midfielder Amanda Johansen did a little of everything for the Trojans and finished with a goal, three draw controls, three ground balls, and a pair of caused turnovers.

For UC Davis, Kai Murphy suffered her first loss of the season and was pulled from the goal with just 12 minutes of action after the Trojans went up, 5-0. Four Aggies scored two goals apiece: Courtney Neff, Melissa Kellan, Elizabeth Landry, and Ellie Delich. UC Davis also got a goal each from Meghan Jordan and Carly Voris.

Substitute goaltender Jordan Majka had three saves but gave up 10 goals in 48 minutes of action. She led the Aggies with three ground balls. Though the Trojans outdrew UC Davis, 10-4, in the first half, the Aggies came back and won the battle in the center circle, 8-5, in the second half. Mary Doyle and Sara Quero each had three draw controls to lead their team.

After nearly five minutes of scoreless action to open the game, Johansen opened things up with a free-position goal at the 25:08 mark. Just 40 seconds later, Cordrey dodged her way to an unassisted goal to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead. Not to be outdone, Michael took a pass from Cordrey and went to the goal to win a free-position attempt. Just 25 seconds after Cordrey scored, Michael's goal put USC up, 3-0.

Ruland posted her trifecta as she went unassisted (22:46), then scored on a free-position shot (18:09), and took a pass from Doherty (17:24) for three straight unanswered goals and a dominating 6-0 Trojan lead. De Lyra scored her goal on a pass from Michael before Doherty took a pass from de Lyra for a goal at 5:36 left in the first half with an 8-0 USC lead.

Michael came to life down the stretch of the first half as she scored three times within 140 seconds. The first came on a free-position shot (5:05) before de Lyra dished to her on cuts to the net for goals at 4:07 and 2:53. Michael's last goal put the Trojans up, 11-0. The Aggies won the next draw and raced down to score as Kellan found Delich for the goal. Landry hit Voris with a pass for a goal with 51 seconds left to cut the deficit to nine goals heading into halftime.

The second half was about as different from the first half as they come. UC Davis scored first; its third straight goal, but the Trojans answered to get a pair of free-position goals from Cordrey and freshman Kylie Drexel. USC led, 13-3, with 22:05 left in the game, but the Aggies scored six of the next seven goals to cut the Trojan lead to six goals at 14-8.

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