The USC women’s lacrosse team had a lot at stake Sunday after they dropped a heartbreaker this past Friday against Arizona State. They needed to get back in the win column to help their chances at keeping a spot on the IWCLA Poll Rankings.
The Trojans rose to the occasion and won 20-7 against Fresno State on Sunday.
“Today, we were focusing on us,” coach Lindsay Munday said. “I think first and foremost, focusing on our energy and really our mental approach to preparing and really going out there and playing a full 60 minutes. It really was more mental and more mindset than it was anything physical.”
The flurry of scoring was led by sophomore attacker Ella Heaney and junior midfielder Katie Ramsay, who each finished with four goals. Freshman midfielder Madison Waters also had a big game, scoring her first hat trick of the season.
Heaney helped start things off quickly for the Trojans, getting them on the board within the first three minutes of the game.
“We play better when she’s aggressive and when she has that no-fear attitude,” Munday said of Heaney.
Initially, Fresno State goalkeeper Courtney Walburger helped keep the Trojan attack in check, saving eight shots within the first 10 minutes of play. But the Trojans kept pursuing and soon, a barrage of points followed. Once Ramsay scored USC’s second goal of the game midway through the first half, the Trojans completely pulled away.
USC continued their scoring the rest of the half, controlling possession, which helped it go on a 9-0 tear. The Trojans extended their lead to 14-3 at the end of the half. They attempted 31 shots compared to the Bulldogs’ 10 shots.
The second half was much of the same dominance by the USC. After the Bulldogs’ senior attacker Megan Walaitas started off the half with a score, the Trojans rallied again to fend off any chance of momentum for the Bulldogs.
The Trojans scored six more times in the second half on an efficient nine shots attempted. After maintaining more than a 10-point lead for all of the second half, Munday was able to get most of her players on the field.
A big reason for the Trojan victory was the defense. Senior goalkeeper Riley Hertford had 8 saves and the defenders caused 12 turnovers. Additionally, USC controlled the draw 22-6, taking advantage of any loose balls.
“[Against Arizona State], we looked flat,” Munday said. “Today, we saw a big difference, starting in warm-up. The team’s mental approach of really wanting to step on the field and be proud and have pride in wearing the USC jersey, I mean, I think that was the biggest difference today.”
USC returns to action to play Colorado Friday at 4 p.m. at McAlister Field.