USC Advances to NCAA Second Round

Cynthia Del Core, USC (Photo by John McGillen)
May 12, 2017

NCAA First Round

USC 13, Jacksonville 10

Recap by USC

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The USC lacrosse team (17-3) posted a 13-10 win over Jacksonville (14-6) in the first round of the 2017 NCAA championship at Donald R. Dizney Stadium on Friday, May 12. The Women of Troy advance to the second round where they will face third-seeded No. 2-ranked Florida (17-2) on Sunday, May 14, at noon ET (9 a.m. PT). The Trojans outshot the Dolphins, 36-24; outgained JU, 26-21, in ground balls; and won the center circle with a 15-10 edge in draw controls. USC went 4-for-7 from the eight-meter arc and was 4-for-4 to open the game. For the second game in a row (sixth time in program history), four Trojans scored hat tricks in the same game. Senior attacker Michaela Michael led all players with seven points (4g, 3a) and nabbed 10 of the 15 draw controls. Senior attacker Kylie Drexel had six points with three goals and three assists to go with one ground ball and one draw control. It was Michael's 41st-career hat trick and the 16th of Drexel's career. Senior attacker Cynthia Del Core scored three goals for her 13th-career hat trick, and had two ground balls. USC's fourth hat trick came from freshman midfielder Kaeli Huff--the third of her career--who also had a ground ball and a caused turnover. Freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller had one assist and was a defensive presence with four ground balls and a game-high four caused turnovers. She was one of four Trojans with four ground balls. Sophomore Jackie Gilbert also had four with one draw control and a caused turnover; and senior Gabby McMahon secured four ground balls with one caused turnover. Also on defense, senior Nina Kelty picked up three ground balls and had a caused turnover. Though she only had one ground ball, junior Lydia Sutton was key to USC's 22-for-22 clearance rate. In goal, junior Gussie Johns had seven saves with four ground balls. For the Dolphins, Danielle Della Rocca scored a hat trick to go with a pair of assists. Jamie Chapman had two goals and two assists while MacEllen McDonough and Jody Julmice scored two goals apiece. Ashtyn Hiron had four draw controls to go with four caused turnovers and three ground balls. Hiron also scored a goal for JU. In goal, Sydney Matthews and Mariah Cudlipp each had six saves. The Trojans needed 60 seconds to get on the board and did so when Del Core scored from free position at 28:59. The Dolphins had an immediate reply as they won the next draw, went down, and equalized with a goal from Erica Beal at 28:01. Almost six minutes elapsed before USC netted its second goal. Huff, off the eight-meter arc, put the Trojans ahead and sparked a 7-0 run that would get USC ahead, 8-1, by the time the dust had settled. Drexel (at 21:35) and Michael (at 19:35) scored back-to-back goals from free position to extend the USC lead to three at 4-1. Drexel then earned assists on back-to-back goals by Huff and Michael to push the Trojans ahead, 6-1. Miller dished to Huff for the seventh Trojan goal at 8:50 and then Michael got the ball to Del Core who scored the 8-1 lead with 7:18 to play. The Dolphins snapped the run and got back-to-back goals from MacEllen McDonough to close the gap to five at 2:43, but Del Core scored unassisted at 1:33 and then Drexel hit Michael with a pass for the goal with just 11 seconds to halftime for a 10-3 USC lead. Seven minutes came off the clock before either team scored in the second half. Jacksonville drew first blood when Julmice broke through for the goal at 22:54. Seven minutes later, Della Rocca trimmed USC's lead to five on her goal at 15:37. The Trojans stopped the Dolphins' two-goal run when Drexel scored off a pass from Michael, but JU had the answer again when Chapman took a pass from Della Rocca to close the gap to five, 11-6, at 12:21. Della Rocca took it to the net by herself on the next play and scored over Johns' shoulder to get Jacksonville within four goals at 11-7 with 10:44 to play. The Trojans pushed their lead back to five goals when Michael found Drexel for the shot at 9:55. Drexel tried to return the favor, but Michael needed to gather a ground ball before she fired a shot for an unassisted goal with 4:14 left to play to put the Women of Troy on top, 13-7. Jacksonville scored the last three goals of the game with one each from Chapman, Della Rocca, and Julmice, but the Trojans held off the Dolphins to close out a 13-10 win. With the win, USC will face No. 2-ranked Florida for a second time this season. The Trojans fell, 15-10, in the teams' first meeting on Feb. 24, at Dizney Stadium. It was USC's third game of the spring. The USC-Florida rematch will be shown live on the UF YouTube Channel with live stats on FloridaGators.com and at NCAA.com. For more information on the USC women's lacrosse team, a complete schedule, and results, please visit USCTrojans.com. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow the team on Instagram and on Twitter @USCTrojansLax.

GAME NOTES

USC and Jacksonville met for the first time. The Trojans improved to 3-2 in all-time NCAA tournament games. USC will play in an NCAA second-round game for the third consecutive season. The Women of Troy improved to 8-11 all-time in games played on the East Coast. USC's 17th win this season is the second-highest total in program history (20 in 2016). The Trojans won their 11th straight game; the team's longest winning streak this season and the second longest in program history (20 in 2016). USC has now won 37 of its last 41 games. USC had at least three players score hat tricks in the same game for the ninth time this season. The previous eight were: Stetson (Feb. 26); New Hampshire (March 13); Dartmouth (March 19); Ohio State (March 26); Fresno State (March 31); UC Davis (April 23); San Diego State (April 28); and Colorado (April 30). For the second time this season and in the second straight game, the Trojans had four players score hat tricks. It was the sixth such game in program history. The school record is five players with hat tricks (Feb. 15, 2013; vs. Presbyterian). Senior attacker Michaela Michael scored four goals (or more) in a game for the 18th time in her career and secured a hat trick for the 41st time in her career. She extends the USC and MPSF single-season record for goals to 75. Michael grabbed 10 draw controls and reached double-digits in a game for the 10th time in her career. She moved her 2017 total to 136 draw controls, which extends a USC and MPSF single-season mark. Senior attacker Cynthia Del Core scored three goals for her 13th-career hat trick. Freshman midfielder Kaeli Huff scored three goals for her third-career hat trick. Senior attacker Kylie Drexel scored three goals (and had three assists) for her 16th-career hat trick.