USC scores seven points against Utah to stay on top of Pac-12

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The Trojans beat the Utes by their biggest margin of victory this season in the Pac-12 game. (Polina Past | Daily Trojan Horse)

Women’s football recorded its tenth straight victory on Sunday in a comfortable 7-0 victory over Utah, tying USC’s program record for consecutive wins. The bout maintained USC’s position atop the Pac-12 conference standings, keeping the Trojans three points ahead of Washington State, second and Stanford, third.

Utah proved to be a competitive opponent in the opening 30 minutes, as the game went scoreless despite some attempts by the Trojans. In the 37th minute, first-year forward Simone Jackson provided a through pass to second-year defenseman Zoe Burns, who converted her first goal of the season and the second of her career at USC.

Almost six minutes later, Jackson lobbed a cross to freshman midfielder Helena Sampaio, who led the ball into the net, scoring the first college goal of her career. Jackson provided his second assist of the game and made the difference on the bench.

“I thought that Simone [Jackson] was awesome, ”said head coach Keidane McAlpine in an interview with the Daily Trojan Horse. “She had the chance to see what the team was doing and agree to make the corrections we wanted to make. When she came in she played really well playing on the flank.

USC continued to run past halftime, scoring the first of five second-half goals in the 57th minute, when junior midfielder Croix Bethune sprinted past a few Utah players before sending an assist. deep into senior midfielder Savannah DeMelo, who scored his third of the season. Two minutes later, Bethune received a pass from Burns in the penalty area before turning around and passing to junior forward Hannah White for the game’s fourth goal as White rounded a defender and converted her third of the season. .

In the 62nd minute, second-year midfielder Jaelyn Eisenhart crossed the left flank and passed to senior striker Penelope Hocking for Hocking’s fifth and 50th goal of his college career, adding to his new goalscoring record. at USC.

After a goal against his Utah side in the 83rd minute, first-year defenseman Izzy Kimberly posted a missed clearance in the 87th minute to score the seventh in the victory. The match score marks the most significant game of the USC Pac-12 season so far.

Despite the score, Utah’s strategy of playing from the baseline proved to be an obstacle for USC in the opening minutes, with the Trojans eventually finding their first goal in the 37th minute.

“I thought that the postponement of [Thursday’s Colorado game], defensively in the top group, was fantastic, ”said McAlpine. “And this commitment from this top group to defending and defending for the group makes all the difference in making the game predictable for this group of grassroots players.”

The result was Utah’s biggest loss of the season since a 3-0 loss at Stanford.

“The most important part of that score is the 0,” McAlpine said. “This is the one we really love to see [and] want to have it every time we go out to the park. But having that many people on the scoreboard… only makes the team better. The energy of this team is good.

USC will hit the road and face Oregon, which is 3-1-1 in conference and fifth in the Pac-12 standings. Kick-off will be on Thursday at 4 p.m.

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