The Trojans bounced back from a loss to No. 1 Stanford last week with wins over Arizona on Thursday and Arizona State on Sunday at McAlister Field.
Against Arizona State, the Women of Troy had a great offensive start in the first half in a 3-1 win, making aggressive plays and creating dangerous opportunities. The Sun Devils’ defense shut down many Trojan attempts in the first part of the half, with the Trojans only able to put five of their 17 shots on frame.
The USC offense stayed strong throughout the latter part of the half by controlling the possession and pace. The offensive prowess paid off with a goal from redshirt sophomore midfielder Savannah DeMelo off a corner kick in the 36th minute. The Trojans took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Freshman attacker Penelope Hocking brought some excitement to the second half with a goal in the 62nd minute off a cross from junior defender Julia Bingham, making the score 2-0.
The Sun Devils responded, as senior forward Casey Martinez took advantage of an opening in the Trojan defense and fired a shot late in the half to bring the score to 2-1. Arizona State fought for another goal to tie the game; however, redshirt sophomore forward Samantha Bruder scored her first goal as a Trojan in the 83rd minute, securing a 3-1 victory.
“In the first half, we started with a great tempo, moving the ball, putting them under pressure, creating opportunities. I thought we did a really, really good job in the first half,” head coach Keidane McAlpine said. “[In the] second half, we got a little sloppy in our defending, but all in all we continued to move the ball well, still created some chances, and ultimately got the 2 goals that we needed to finish it.”
On Thursday, the team secured its 10th win of the season after beating Arizona 2-0. The win marked the Trojans’ ninth shutout win of the season.
The Wildcats only had two shots on goal, highlighting the Trojans’ intense defensive pressure, and redshirt sophomore goalie Kaylie Collins was solid throughout.
USC’s offense took no breaks this game, charting 10 shots on goal compared to the Wildcats’ two. The offense pushed hard and controlled possession for the majority of the game, tiring out the Wildcats and forcing them to defend for longer periods of time. Senior defender Ally Prisock nailed a penalty kick in the 32nd minute to secure the Trojans’ first goal of the game and her first career goal.
The Trojans added a goal in the 49th minute. Redshirt junior forward/defender Natalie Jacobs received a pass into the box from sophomore midfielder Arlie Jones and hammered the shot into the net to bring the score to 2-0.
“It’s always good to bounce back in a game like this, especially in the fashion that we did,” McAlpine said after the Arizona game. “I thought we did a really great job in our possession and forcing them to have to defend for longer periods of time, which we struggled with a bit last week.”
With all parts of the Trojan offense, defense and midfield working together, USC was able to anticipate and shut down the Wildcats’ attempts for the remainder of the game. The Wildcats snuck in one shot on goal in the second half, which was saved by Collins, keeping the final score of the game at 2-0.
The two wins marked the Trojans’ 10th and 11th victories of the season and their fifth consecutive double-digit win season with McAlpine at the helm.
The Trojans look to keep the momentum against Washington State in Pullman, Wash. Saturday at 7 p.m.