USC Repeats NCAA Quarterfinal Appearance

Photo by John McGillen

MPSF Lacrosse Release 15

NCAA Quarterfinals

Saturday, May 20

Boston College 20, USC 14

Recap by USC

NEWTON, Mass. -- In front of a raucous crowd of 1,008 fans at Newton Lacrosse Field, the No. 7-ranked USC lacrosse team (18-4) put up a fight against the host school before ultimately falling to No. 14-ranked Boston College (16-6) by a 20-14 score on Saturday, May 20. The Women of Troy had their 12-match winning streak snapped by the Eagles and bow out of the 2017 NCAA Tournament in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive season.

After falling behind by as many as six goals late in the second half, the Trojans pulled to within three with 15 minutes left to play before the Eagles ran away with the 20-14 victory. The Trojans outgained the Eagles, 22-17, in ground balls, but were outshot by a 38-25 margin. Boston College also won the center circle with a 23-12 edge in draw controls. In total, USC went 1-for-3 from the eight-meter arc.

USC was led by senior attackers Drew Jackson and Cynthia Del Core, who each had hat tricks on the day. Jackson finished with four points (one assist) and added five ground balls, while Del Core also had four points (one assist) and caused one turnover. Senior attacker Gabby McMahon added two goals and two ground balls, while freshman midfielder Kaeli Huff had two goals, two ground balls, and one caused turnover. Freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller had three points on two goals and one assist while picking up five ground balls and four draw controls. Senior attacker Michaela Michael also had four draw controls to go along with two points (one goal) and two ground balls, while fellow senior attacker Kylie Drexel finished with four points on one goal (three assists), two draw controls, and two caused turnovers.

On the defensive end, McMahon caused three turnovers, while freshman Morgan Kuligowski had two ground balls and two caused turnovers. Junior midfielder Lydia Sutton had one ground ball and one caused turnover while helping the Trojans clear at a perfect 14-for-14 clip. In goal, junior Gussie Johns recorded 8 saves, two ground balls, and one caused turnover.

The Eagles had five different players with at least four points, led by Kate Weeks' nine points on three goals (six assists). Kenzie Kent scored a game-high six goals, while Kaileen Hart and Kayla O'Connor each had a hat trick. In goal, Zoe Ochoa finished with two saves, while Lauren Daly had six saves in the second half.

USC found itself on the defensive end to start the game, losing the center circle battle to the Eagles 13-3 in the first half. The Trojans fell into an early 3-0 deficit, but got on the board with a goal twelve minutes into the game by Jackson. It was a physical first half with yellow cards assessed to Drexel and Michael, but Johns and the USC defense denied the Eagle attack on the man-up advantage both times. However, after a goal by Huff, Boston College would score four more goals to take the 7-2 lead.

Though the Trojans would also find themselves with a man-up advantage off an Eagle yellow card, the offense could not convert and instead, Boston College received goals from O'Connor and Kent to increase their biggest lead to six. A caused turnover by Miller eventually led to a free position goal by Jackson--her third of the half--and a goal by Drexel with just seven seconds left to play brought USC to within four at 9-5. However, Boston College's Emma Schurr would get one final shot past Johns in the cage as the halftime buzzer expired to double up on the Trojans, 10-5.

It was a back and forth affair to start the second half, with both teams going on mini scoring runs to open up play. USC would score twice in the first two minutes, starting with Huff's goal off a feed from fellow freshman Miller. Del Core then found herself open to score unassisted and cut the lead to three just two minutes into the half. Boston College would go on to score the next three goals of the game before Del Core found the back of the net twice more to earn herself a hat trick and trim the lead to four, 13-9.

USC tried to chip away at the lead even more in the middle of the second half, but the closest the Trojans would get was three goals when McMahon scored off a feed from Drexel at the 15 minute mark. Goals by Hart and Kent eventually extended the Boston College lead to five at 17-12. USC's all-time leader in points and goals, Michaela Michael, would finally score her first of the day with five minutes to go to bring USC within four at 18-14, but missed opportunities for the Trojans and successful conversions on the offensive end for Boston College would allow the Eagles to put the game away and seal the 20-14 victory, dashing USC's hopes for the program's first-ever NCAA Final Four appearance.

For more information on the NCAA women's lacrosse championship, a complete schedule, bracket, social content, and results, visit 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 had its 12-game winning streak snapped. It was the second-best winning streak in program history (20 in 2016). The Trojans were handed their first defeat since losing at Stony Brook, 7-9, on March 24th. For the second-consecutive year, the Trojans were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans are now 0-3 all-time against Boston College (.000). USC is now 4-3 all-time in NCAA Tournament games and 1-3 in NCAA Tournament road games. The Trojans fell to 9-12 in all-time games played on the East Coast. Boston College's 20 goals are the most scored against USC by an opponent this season. USC's 18 wins this season is the second-highest total in program history. Senior attacker Michaela Michael finishes her USC career first all-time in points with 305 (234g, 71a) and goals (234) and second all-time in assists (71). Michael also scored her 78th goal of the season, which puts her first all-time for single-season goals at USC. Senior attacker Kylie Drexel finishes her USC career fourth all-time in points with 175 (108g, 67a); third all-time in assists (67); and third all-time in draw controls (63). Senior attacker Cynthia Del Core scored a hat trick for her 15th-career game with at least three goals and finishes her USC career fifth all-time in points with 137 (94g, 43a), goals scored (94), and assists (43). Senior attacker Gabby McMahon finishes her USC career sixth all-time in points with 97 (74g, 23a); fifth all-time in caused turnovers (49); sixth all-time in assists (23); and seventh all-time in goals (74) and ground balls (75). Senior attacker Drew Jackson scored a hat trick for her sixth career game with at least three goals and finishes her career tied for eighth all-time at USC with 59 points (41g, 18a). Senior defender Nina Kelty finishes her USC career fourth all-time in caused turnovers with 50 and fifth all-time in ground balls with 85. Freshman Kerrigan Miller is now tenth all-time at USC with 54 points (36g, 18a).