In a dramatic regular-season finish, the USC Women’s Lacrosse team earned a 12-11 victory over San Diego State to seize fourth place in the final Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings and claim the final spot in the conference tournament. The victory gives the Trojans an intriguing first-round matchup with Denver University, a scenario the Women of Troy have dreamed about.
“For us, our main goal has been improving throughout the year, and we did that,” said head coach Lindsey Munday. “We’re really excited to have the opportunity to play in the MPSF tournament. It’s really special and I’m really proud of the girls.”
The Trojans (8-9, 5-3) first matchup with the nationally ranked Pioneers was a tale of two halves, as the Trojans came out sluggish and physically overwhelmed from the start, suffering a 16-11 loss. The Women of Troy fell behind 10-3 at the half, but came out strong in the second half of action, pushing the pace of play thanks to Caroline Cordrey (4 goals), who led the charge on offense.
Denver poses quite the threat offensively with the conferences top scoring attack, led by the dynamic duo of Kara Secora and Jenn Etzel. The upperclassman have combined for 90 goals this season, making them the top duo in the conference. The biggest catalyst for the offense is team-oriented star Jill Remenapp who is leading the nation in assists.
In the sport of Lacrosse, draw control makes all the difference in setting up the attack and limiting the other teams possession. The Trojans are blessed with freshmen Amanda Johansen in the draw circle; she is leading the conference and is seventh in the nation with 5.81 per game. Johansen will most likely square with Kiki Boone, a thrilling matchup that Johansen won 8-5 in their only meeting this season on March 31st.
The best matchup of the night will most likely be in front of the posts as underclassmen Liz Schaefer and Hannah Hook will be vital for both teams success. The Women of Troy are led by freshmen goaltender Liz Schaefer who has stopped the most shots in the MPSF conference this season.
Hannah Hook is a menacing figure in net for Denver, the 5’9″ sophomore has good vision and is very agile in net, allowing her to record a top-20 GAA (8.73) to anchor the stingy defense.
This matchup will test the Women of Troy, who are in the midst of their inaugural season with little expectations moving forward. If the Trojans can control the draws, and keep the ball in the Denver defensive end, they have shown a spark-plug ability to score quickly. Expect this playoff matchup to come down to the wire since the young Women of Troy are playing with house money.
The Trojans will return to Eugene, Oregon for the MPSF Tournament. The Women of Troy have been quite successful in Eugene, upsetting the defending MPSF-champs Oregon 12-10 in their first meeting.
Here is an updated schedule of tournament action, with the winner securing a guaranteed berth in the NCAA Tournament.
2. Stanford (11-5, 6-2) vs. 3. California (9-6, 6-2)
Thursday, May 2 – 7 p.m. PT
Semifinal Winner #1 vs. Semifinal Winner #2
Saturday, May 4 – 1 p.m. PT