By Kurt Plaster
The Southern Cal Trojans came out strong against BYU, winning the hard fought contest and earning a 1-0 victory over the Cougars Saturday, Sept. 21.
“They came after us pretty hard,” said BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood.
The Trojans out shot BYU 12-3 in the first half. USC”s only score came in the 32nd minute when Southern Cal senior midfielder Ali Fennell split two Cougar defenders and booted the ball by goalkeeper Mandy Gott.
“In the first half they really high pressured us,” said BYU freshman defender Charlene Lui.
BYU made some adjustments in the second half and out shot USC 7-3 but could not find the back of the net.
“We settled down and played much better in the second half,” said Rockwood.
In the second half the Cougars repeatedly tried to even the score but could not break through. In the closing minutes junior forward Lydia Ojuka almost tied the game on a diving header that sailed just wide of the goal.
“USC is a very, very good team. We had chances but couldn”t score,” said Rockwood.
The Cougars continue to struggle to find an offensive spark. “We need to find someone to step up and score,” said Rockwood.
BYU drops to 3-4 for the season. The team will next face perennial power UCLA with a record of 5-1 on the season. The UCLA Bruins have been ranked in the top five all year.
“They are considered by many to have the most talent in the country. They could be the best team we”ve ever played,” Rockwood said.
The Cougars will travel to Los Angeles to play the Bruins on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 2 p.m.
BYU will then return to Provo to play St. Mary”s on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. The contest will be telecast on BYU Television/KBYU.