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USC women’s lacrosse fell short in a tough NCAA quarterfinal matchup against Boston College on Saturday, losing 20-14 in Newton, Mass. Despite travelling to New England riding a 11-game win streak, the No. 7 Trojans were unable to advance to the semifinals for the second year in a row. The No. 14 Eagles were able to figure out USC’s defense, which up until Saturday had been one of the best in the country, and for the first time all season, USC gave up 20 goals, getting outshot 38-25.
The Trojans started the game slow, giving up three unanswered goals in the first seven minutes. Senior attacker Drew Jackson finally opened up the scoring for USC close to 10 minutes into the first half with her 25th goal of the season. But the Trojans slipped further behind as the half progressed, finding themselves down by five goals with about 10 minutes to go until the break.
Coming out of the locker room trailing 10-5, freshman midfielder Kaeli Huff and senior attacker Cynthia Del Core each scored to trim the deficit to 3 less than two minutes after the second-half restart. But the Eagles’ offense could not be stopped, countering with three goals of its own. After exchanging goals, USC found itself three goals behind at 15-12, but that was the closest the Trojans would get. BC extended its lead with goals from junior attackers Kaileen Hart and Kenzie Kent.
Senior attacker Michaela Michael brought the Trojans closer with a goal to make it 18-14, but the Eagles iced the game with goals from senior attacker Kate Weeks and freshman midfielder Sam Apuzzo, sending the Trojans home with a 20-14 loss. USC is now 0-3 all time against BC, and head coach Lindsey Munday’s squad has yet to make it to the Final Four in the program’s short, five-year history.
For USC, Jackson and Del Core finished the day with hat tricks, while freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller, Huff and senior attacker Gabby McMahon notched two goals apiece. Michael, the Trojans’ all-time leading goal scorer, was held off the score sheet until the final five minutes of the second half. Junior goalie Gussie Johns finished the day with eight saves, two ground balls and one turnover.
Weeks was the catalyst for the Eagles’ offense on Saturday, leading the team with 9 points (three goals and six assists). In addition to Weeks, four other BC players contributed at least four points. Kent scored six goals, while Hart and senior attacker Kayla O’Connor each recorded hat tricks.
Despite the disappointing loss, the Trojans finished the 2017 season with a program-best 18 wins, and in just half a decade of existence, the women’s lacrosse program has emerged as a contender in the MPSF and beyond. Eight seniors played in their final game as Trojans, including all-time points leader Michael, but the class of 2017 leaves the team stronger than they found it, boasting back-to-back conference championships. While USC has found immense success in the regular season in the past couple of seasons, Munday and company will look to take the next step in 2018.