Winners of eight of their last nine games and boasting a perfect 4-0 record in conference play, USC women’s lacrosse will look to keep their winning ways intact this weekend in their final home matchups of the regular season.The Women of Troy return to McAlister Field after a two-week, three-game stretch on the road in which they played games against Dartmouth (W, 9-7), then-No. 2 Boston College (L, 16-12) and Oregon (W, 13-11).During the stint, a duo of sophomore attackers — Michaela Michael and Cynthia Del Core — nearly combined for over half of the team’s total goal output. Both were especially locked in against Oregon, in which each girl scored four goals apiece, with Del Core converting each of her four shot attempts into points.Also notable during the post-spring break stretch was the play of junior midfielder Amanda Johansen, who stuffed the stat sheet to its breaking point with six goals, seven ground balls, nine draw controls wins, three forced turnovers and three assists. Johansen was named MPSF Offensive Player of the Week for her efforts in the Boston College and Oregon matchups, the first time she has won the award in her career.Junior attacker and team scoring leader Caroline de Lyra was also productive, scoring five goals of her own and assisting on six others. Freshman goalie Gussie Johns made 19 saves while staying active and alert around the net with 12 ground ball pick-ups.Now home, the Women of Troy turn their sights toward two weekend visitors from the Centennial State, as Colorado and Denver will visit Southern California in hopes of ruining USC’s bid for a perfect conference record.The Buffaloes enter Friday’s match with a 6-4 record after dropping a close match to No. 13-ranked Stanford, 16-14, this past Sunday. All four Colorado losses this year have been to ranked opponents, an indication that they will be battle-tested when they square off with USC.The loss to Stanford dropped the Buffs to 1-2 in the MPSF conference after falling in their Feb. 11 matchup with then-No. 19 Denver 10-6 before beating UC Davis 13-5 on April 3 to earn their first conference victory of the season.Leading the Buffs will be two dynamic playmakers in sophomore attacker Johnna Fusco and freshman midfielder Darby Kiernan, who lead the team with 35 and 30 points, respectively. A majority of those points have been amassed through goals, as 31 of Fusco’s 35 points and 24 of Kiernan’s 30 have come via scoring shots, rather than assists. Kiernan also leads the team with 19 ground balls and has 24 draw controls, while Fusco boasts 27 draw controls of her own.Also noteworthy for Colorado are sophomore midfielder Marie Moore (18 ground balls, 31 draw controls) and dangerous freshman midfielder Blair Sisk (19 goals, 14 draw controls). In goal for the Buffs will be sophomore Paige Soenksen, who has made 86 saves this season while surrendering 91 goals.Sunday’s matchup with Denver will be the last home game of the regular season for the Women of Troy before playing games at UC Davis on April 17, No. 15 Stanford on April 19 and San Diego State on April 25 leading up to the MPSF Tournament beginning on April 30.The Pioneers will enter Sunday’s contest following a Friday bout with San Diego State. Currently, their record sits at 7-3 overall and 2-1 in the MPSF conference, with their aforementioned February victory over Colorado and an April 5 home win against UC Davis, 9-5. The team lost at home to then-No. 13 Stanford, 14-7, on April 3.Denver will be lead offensively by senior attacker Jill Remenapp, who has tallied 32 points on 14 goals and 18 assists, and redshirt freshman attacker Nicole Martindale, who has 22 points on 17 goals and five assists.A trio of seniors in midfielders Kiki Boone (16 goals, 23 draw controls, 11 ground balls, seven caused turnovers) and Rachael Dillon (12 goals, 21 ground balls, 11 draw controls, seven caused turnovers) and defender Ali Proehl (18 ground balls, 13 caused turnovers) lead the rest of what is a very scrappy bunch for the Pioneers, who at one point were ranked as high as 19th in the nation earlier this season. Guarding the goal for Denver will be redshirt senior Hannah Hook, who has made 87 saves while allowing 90 scores this year.The weekend contests will likely be the last opportunity to see the Women of Troy at home this year. Friday’s game against Colorado kicks off at 3 p.m., while Sunday’s matinee with Denver is set to begin at 12 p.m.
Competition Premier LeagueDate 25 August 2012Game week 2 Kick-off 14:00Venue Old Trafford (Manchester)OFFICIALSReferee:K. FriendAssistants:M. MullarkeyJ. FlynnFourth official:P. Gibbs