As the final seconds came to a close, so did the Trojans’ adventures on McAlister Field.
On an Easter-Sunday Senior Day, the Trojans celebrated their last home game of the season with a fitting 10-7 victory over Stanford. USC improved to a perfect 8-0 at McAlister Field on the season and honored graduate defender Emma Wightman, senior attacker Ella Heaney, graduate midfielder Katie Ramsay, senior defender Olivia Dooley, senior defender Danielle Carson and senior midfielder Sloane Murphy.
“This game was so emotional,” Ramsay said. “It’s the last time we’ll all be playing on this field because it’s about to get renovated, so it was a final goodbye for everyone.”
After surrendering a season-high 15 goals against the Cardinal last Sunday, the Trojans allowed a single-digit goal total for the ninth time this season. Stanford’s seven goals are the Cardinal’s lowest since February 18, 2022.
The USC defense forced 13 turnovers, with Wightman’s four leading all players. Stanford only forced four turnovers on the Trojans.
“Our defense is incredible, and they continue to set the bar higher and higher each game,” head coach Lindsey Munday said. “We’re lucky that they’re on our side and that we get to work with them every day.
Junior goalie Kait Devir recorded seven saves in the cage, collected two ground balls and picked up the winning decision.
However, the main difference was draw control. Last Sunday, The Trojans earned just six of 31 draws against the Cardinal. This time, USC claimed 10 of 21 in the main circle, with junior midfielder Claudia Shevitz and Ramsay winning three each.
“Our main focus this week was to scout the draw and really focus on those possessions,” Ramsay said. “The draw team did a really good job replicating what we were going to see.”
On offense, Shevitz and redshirt sophomore attacker Isabelle Vitale scored three goals each. In all, six different Trojans scored.
The first half saw the Trojans shoot 22% from the field, contributing to a back-and-forth period. However, the Trojans improved to 60% shooting in the second half, rattling off four straight goals near the end of the game to pull away.
“Coming out of halftime, we weren’t shooting the best,” Munday said. “Their goalie made some saves early, but then we got intentional with the shots we were selecting, and we really put them away.”
USC’s victory ends a four-game losing streak against Stanford. The Trojans are now 106-18 against unranked opponents and 36-11 in the Pac-12 all-time.
“Our team has the best connection in the country,” Vitale said. “We make stops and score goals.”
USC has three more road games on its schedule before the Pac-12 Championships. The Trojans will face the Colorado Buffaloes in a rematch on Friday in Boulder. USC is currently tied with the Buffaloes for first place in the Pac-12.