Women’s soccer takes down Colorado

first_img(USC 19) Sydney Sladek scoring the second goal | Photo by Mohammad Alsubaie | Daily TrojanSporting pink uniforms in support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the No. 6 women’s soccer team hosted Colorado last Friday. Entering the match, the Women of Troy boasted a 4-0-1 conference record compared to the Buffaloes’ 1-3-1 mark. The Trojans were coming off a strong two-game stretch in Arizona, and they were able to bring the intensity back to Southern California — dominating Colorado 2-0. Unlike their recent performances, the Trojans’ fast-paced offense struck early against the Buffaloes. In the sixth minute, freshman forward Tara McKeown worked herself deep into the Colorado defensive zone and played a beautiful cross up to the top of the six-yard box. With a one-touch shot, redshirt senior forward Alex Anthony slammed the ball off the crossbar and into the Colorado goal to put the Trojans up by one. The goal was Anthony’s fifth of the season; she now leads the team in that category.In the 17th minute, the Women of Troy drove up the center of the field, and freshman midfielder Savannah DeMelo advanced the ball through the Colorado defense to senior midfielder Sydney Sladek. With a cross-body shot, Sladek slotted the ball to the far post to score USC’s second goal.It is no secret that the Trojans have struggled with in-game consistency. In several matches this season, USC got off to an early lead but found difficulty closing the match. However, that was not the case in this game. The Women of Troy found success in breaking down the Colorado defense and generating scoring opportunities — tallying 23 shots to Colorado’s nine.Due to redshirt senior Dominique Randle’s red card against Arizona State, freshman defender Jessica Haidet stepped into the backline during Randle’s suspension. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Kaylie Collins was out of commission with an injury, leaving senior goalkeeper Julia Murphy responsible for tending the net.The Buffaloes’ best scoring chance came in the 85th minute. Several steps outside the 18-yard box, Colorado midfielder Cassie Phillips delivered a rocket on target on the USC goal. But Murphy was able to get a finger on the ball to deflect the shot onto the crossbar. That save, in conjunction with the Trojans’ stellar defense, earned the team its sixth shutout of the season and Murphy’s first career clean sheet.The Women of Troy kept the pressure on the Buffaloes until the very last second. In the final minute of the match, junior forward Leah Pruitt played a cross to fellow junior forward Erika Okuma directly in front of the Colorado goal. Okuma placed back-to-back shots on frame but was denied by the crossbar and then by redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Jalen Tompkins.USC closed the game with a 2-0 victory. The win improved the team’s overall record to 11-1-1 and conference record to 5-0-1. The Women of Troy will now travel to Washington for a two-game stretch against Washington (Thursday) and Washington State (Sunday).last_img