Lacrosse Stymied by No. 9/10 USC
April 8, 2017
SAN DIEGO -- Facing the nation's top scoring defense and fifth-ranked scoring offense, San Diego State remained within striking distance of No. 9/10 USC for over 40 minutes on Saturday, before ultimately dropping a 15-3 decision in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation contest at Aztec Lacrosse Field.
SDSU trailed just 6-3 at the 19:31 mark of the second half, before the Women of Troy closed the game with a 9-0 run to win going away. With the defeat, the Aztecs lost their second straight, falling to 8-5 overall and 2-3 in conference action, while USC captured its fifth in a row, improving to 11-3 on the year and 5-0 in the MPSF.
SDSU fell behind 2-0 with just under nine minutes elapsed in the first half, before receiving a pair of free position goals over the next 3:10 from freshman Taylor Sullivan and senior Ijeoma Ikpe to forge a 2-2 tie.
The Women of Troy soon responded with a 4-0 spurt capped by Michaela Michael's tally with 9:06 left in the period; however, the Aztecs kept their guests off the scoreboard for the remainder of the half. In the interim, sophomore Harlowe Steele recorded her sixth goal of the season off a pass from senior Kayla Deitz at the 5:21 mark to give the contest its 6-3 score by intermission.
The two sides slugged it out on defense during the first 10:29 of the second half, combining for seven turnovers. During that span, SDSU misfired on three shots, before Cynthia Del Core found the back of the net to spark USC's big finishing run.
The Women of Troy outshot the Aztecs 34-18 for the evening, including a 25-11 margin in attempts on goal, while maintaining a 13-7 advantage in draw controls and an 18-14 edge in ground balls. Both sides finished with a 2-for-8 clip on free position shots.
Ikpe paced the Scarlet and Black with five shots to go with two caused turnovers, while junior Mackenzie Lech tied for game-high honors with four ground balls. In addition, Steele finished with two draw controls and one caused turnovers.
Senior goalkeeper Katrina Reeves played all 60 minutes for the Aztecs, recording 10 saves, including seven in the first half, while her USC counterpart Gussie Johns made eight stops of her own.
Michael set a career best with seven goals on the night to go with a game-high six draw controls for the Women of Troy, while Kerrigan Miller notched a hat trick as well. In addition, the visitors received two assists and four draw controls from Kylie Drexel.
San Diego State closes out its regular-season home schedule on Sunday, April 16, when it plays host to No. 6/5 Colorado, starting at noon PT to highlight Senior Day festivities.