Soccer

USC dealt back-to-back losses in the mountains

A subpar offensive performance on Friday followed by a Colorado comeback on Monday kept USC out of the win column.

A trip to the mountains is often an adventure.

That was certainly true for the USC women’s soccer team this weekend, but it was not an adventure the Trojans hope to remember. After a disappointing loss to Utah on Friday, USC traveled to Boulder to take on Colorado. But early Sunday morning, just hours before kickoff, the game was postponed to Monday due to a blizzard. Unfortunately for the Trojans, the extra day did not help, as they fell 3-2 to Colorado in overtime.

Five minutes into overtime, it looked like USC was destined to strike. As the ball was bouncing around in the box, senior forward Tara McKeown was fouled, giving USC a penalty kick with the chance to win. Senior midfielder Savannah DeMelo got the opportunity, but a diving save by redshirt senior goalkeeper Dani Hansen kept the score tied 2-2.

Colorado answered with an opportunity of its own. A few minutes after the penalty, junior forward Libby Geraghty put the ball into the box where Colorado freshman forward Shyra James and USC redshirt senior goalkeeper Kaylie Collins collided as the ball rolled right past the net for a goal kick.

Finally, in the second overtime, Colorado cashed in. In the 108th minute, freshman defender Lawson Willis crossed it into the box where James’ spinning shot found its way past Collins to give Colorado the victory.

It was a disappointing finish after an excellent start for the Trojans.

Early in the match, USC found its footing, scoring a flurry of goals in the first 15 minutes. The first goal came in the 11th minute off a line drive corner kick by junior midfielder Madeline Vergura that found the foot of McKeown, who flipped it over the head of Hansen. The goal marked McKeown’s first since the season opener.

Just three minutes later, Vergura once again found one of USC’s dynamic forwards off a cross. This time, junior Penelope Hocking received it and put it into the back of the net to give USC a 2-0 lead.

USC had a few chances to extend its lead, but Colorado was the team to answer, as Willis dropped a ball in past the USC defense for Geraghty in the 21st minute. Geraghty’s first shot was saved by Collins, who came out of the net, but the rebound went right back to Geraghty, who used her second opportunity to get Colorado on the board.

USC’s lead did not last long into the second half. A foul in the 56th minute by Vergura gave the Buffaloes a penalty kick that was converted by senior midfielder Shanade Hopcroft. The goal tied the game at two apiece before the Buffaloes went on to win in overtime.

The blown lead in Boulder was not the bounceback performance the Trojans were hoping for after their loss to Utah.

In Salt Lake City on Friday, the Trojans’ offense could never get started in the 2-0 defeat.

The Trojans had 10 shots and just three on goal but the game remained scoreless until, in the 64th minute, Utah junior forward Anna Escobedo found the goal off an assist from sophomore midfielder Courtney Talbot.

The duo followed that up with another goal by Escobedo off an assist from Talbot in the 80th minute that essentially closed the door on any comeback hope for USC.

Following the back-to-back losses, USC will return to the relative warmth and sunshine of Los Angeles where it will take on UCLA Thursday at 7 p.m.