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Gussie The Great

After shutting out Colorado in the second half to help her team pull off an upset win, USC women's lacrosse goalie Gussie Johns was named the MPSF Defensive Player of the Week.

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In Friday's battle against the Buffaloes at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, Johns posted nine saves and picked up three ground balls. With 289 career saves and 156 career ground balls, she sits atop USC lacrosse's all-time charts.

Johns also leads the nation this year in goals-against average (6.69 gaa) and ranks fourth in ground balls (4.0 gbpg).

Johns has now earned four MPSF Defensive Player of the Week awards in her career (two this season), in addition to one Rookie of the Week award in 2015. Plus, her excellence in the classroom has put her in good position to be selected as an Academic All-American.

The Washington, D.C. native has been so dominant during her college career that she was recently selected to the U.S. Women's National Lacrosse Team, which will compete at the 2017 FIL Women's Lacrosse World Cup in Surrey, England this summer. Johns is one of two collegians on the roster, and one of just two goalies. The other keeper: USC Associate Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator Devon Wills.

Johns, a team captain this year, has put her team in a position to take the top seed in the MPSF Tournament with a win at Stanford on Friday.

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Lockdown D At The Coli

On Friday evening, USC's ninth-ranked women's lacrosse team celebrated Senior Day by taking its talents to the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and upsetting No. 6 Colorado.

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Prior to the showdown, USC honored its six seniors: Cynthia Del Core, Kylie Drexel, Drew Jackson, Nina Kelty and Michaela Michael -- all of whom were key in pulling off the 11-5 victory.

Drexel led all scorers with three goals (the 13th hat trick of her career), while Del Core and McMahon both scored braces and added one assist each. Michael dished out two assists and scored a goal of her own.

The Trojans trailed, 5-4, at the break, but Kelty and Jackson helped the Trojans shut out the Buffaloes in the second half (7-0) to charge ahead to victory.

The Trojans now sit atop the MPSF standings with two regular season games remaining.

Check out team photographer John McGillen's photos of the USC victory at the Coliseum:

Clash At The Coliseum

USC_lacrosse_stanford_coliseum_mcgillen_HR-1437.jpgTomorrow evening, USC's ninth-ranked women's lacrosse team heads to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to host No. 6 Colorado in its last home game of the season.

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USC heads into the conference clash riding a 15-game MPSF win streak and a 22-game win streak at home (including two games at the Coliseum). USC's seniors, who will be honored ahead of the game, have played a huge role in those streaks.

Senior attacker Michaela Michael has won MPSF Offensive Player of the Week four weeks in a row for her goal-scoring prowess recently. Michael is USC's all-time leading goal-scorer and needs just seven more points to become USC's all-time leader in points scored.

Fellow seniors Kylie Drexel and Cynthia Del Core rank fourth and fifth in all-time goals, respectively, while Nina Kelty ranks fifth in USC history in ground balls. Michael, Drexel, Del Core and Kelty, along with fellow seniors Drew Jackson and Gabby McMahon, will all be honored ahead of the game.

The matchup will also be significant for USC head coach Lindsey Munday, who played alongside Colorado head coach Ann Elliott at Northwestern for three years.

The Trojans are 11-3 on the season with a 5-0 mark in MPSF play, positioning them at the top of the conference standings. Colorado sits just behind USC, with a 4-0 conference mark and a 12-1 overall record.

Tomorrow's tough matchup kicks off at 5 p.m. at the Coliseum. Admission is free and open to the public. For those unable to attend, the game will be broadcast on Pac-12 LA and Pac-12 Mountain.

Meet Kerrigan Miller

New Jersey native Lindsey Munday has built USC women's lacrosse into the sport's first western power by recruiting coast-to-coast to find the country's best talent. To that end, the Women of Troy's scoring leaders are Michaela Michael from Hillsborough, CA, and New Yorkers Cynthia Del Core and Kerrigan Miller.

Miller, a freshman from Bayport, NY, is the new name on the list. She has made an immediate impact for the No. 9 Trojans, scoring 26 goals in 14 games and earning MPSF Rookie of the Week honors twice this season.

Before USC takes on Colorado at the Coliseum on Friday night (5 p.m.), get to know Kerrigan Miller:


Four-Peat

pac-12player-michael4.jpgFor the fourth week in a row and the ninth time in her career, USC women's lacrosse captain Michaela Michael has been named the MPSF Offensive Player of the Week.

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The Bay Area native scored six goals against Oregon last week and tied a career high with seven against San Diego State to earn the award.

Michael has come on strong down the stretch, scoring at least four goals in each of USC's last five games. Her impressive performances of late have helped her maintain the top spot in the MPSF in scoring, points and draw controls this season. Her 53 goals also rank second in the nation.

After scoring 13 goals this week, Michael moved up to second place in the MPSF's all-time scoring charts and fourth in all-time points.

The two-time All-American and 2017 Tewaaraton Award nominee has a few more chances to rewrite the record books in USC's three remaining regular season games. The Trojans' last home game of the regular season comes this Friday at 5 p.m. at the LA Memorial Coliseum against No. 5 Colorado. After that, No. 9 USC has two road games before returning home for the MPSF Tournament, then potentially traveling to the NCAA Championships.

Follow the Women of Troy on Twitter to stay up-to-date!

Michael's Monster Games

USC_lacrosse_stanford_coliseum_mcgillen_HR-2271.jpgLed by senior captain Michaela Michael, USC women's lacrosse won both games of a zigzagging road trip this weekend to improve its season record to 11-3 (5-0 MPSF).

On Friday, the No. 9 Trojans traveled north to Eugene, OR to face the Ducks. Michael notched six goals in the win for the sixth time in her career, lifting USC to a dominant 17-7 win.

The two-time IWLCA All-American managed to top that stat line in the very next game. At San Diego State on Saturday, she tied a career high with seven goals, including six in the first half. USC beat the Aztecs, 15-3.

Michael, who has won MPSF Offensive Player of the Week three times in a row, has scored at least six goals in each of USC's last five games.

The senior now has 53 goals on the season -- 13 more than the next highest scorer in the MPSF. With three regular season games to go before the MPSF Tournament and potential NCAA Championships, Michael has the potential to rewrite USC's record books yet again.

She already holds USC's top two single-season scoring marks (with 68 goals in 2016 and 63 in 2015) and set records in points, shots, shots on goal and free-position goals last year.

Michael and the Trojans return home for their last regular season game of 2016 this Friday night. No. 9 USC takes on No. 5 Colorado in a showdown at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Racking Up Miles

After netting three wins to open up MPSF play, USC's ninth-ranked women's lacrosse team hits the road this weekend looking for two more.

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Tomorrow at 1 p.m., the Trojans take on Oregon in Eugene, where USC has never lost. The very next day, USC play in San Diego, CA against the SDSU Aztecs at 6 p.m.

These games represent the first time this season that USC plays on back-to-back days -- valuable practice for the upcoming MPSF Tournament.

Tomorrow, the Trojans will go up against the only player in the MPSF averaging more points per game than USC's own Michaela Michael in Oregon's Shannon Williams. While Michaels, the back-to-back-to-back MPSF Offensive Player of the Week, boasts 40 goals and 12 assists, Williams has netted 37 goals and 18 assists.

Follow the Women of Troy on Twitter and Instagram for updates!

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MPSF Masters

pac-12player-michael3.jpgFor their efforts in USC women's lacrosse's two wins this week, attacker Michaela Michael and midfielder Kaeli Huff were named the MPSF Offensive Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively.

Read the full story here!


Michael, who leads the MPSF in scoring, has now earned the Offensive Player of the Week three weeks in a row. In USC's two most recent wins, she scored 10 goals, had 17 draw controls and added an assist, a ground ball and a caused turnover. The wins represented Michael's 33rd and 34th career hat tricks, the most in USC history. Her 196 career goals are the most in USC lacrosse history as well.

While Michael has earned nine MPSF weekly honors in her career, Huff just earned her first. The freshman from Eastport, NY led USC with a career-high five goals in Friday's win over Fresno State.

Huff, who comes from a family of lacrosse players, has 13 goals on the season.

Michaela, Huff and the ninth-ranked Women of Troy have just five regular season matches remaining, and only one at home: a Friday evening clash with Colorado at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum (April 14 at 5 p.m. on Pac-12 Network).

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Weekend Warriors

Over the weekend, USC women's lacrosse racked up two dominant wins to extend its home win streak to 22 straight contests.

The Trojans put up nearly identical performances against both Fresno State and Cal, beating the Bulldogs on Friday by a 21-5 margin and the Bears on Sunday, 21-4.

The wins helped No. 9 USC improve to 9-3 on the season and 3-0 in MPSF action. Sunday's win also marked USC's 20th straight win at McAlister Field and 22nd straight home win, including two games played at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

Click here for the highlights of USC's win over Fresno State and here for highlights of USC's win over Cal!

Senior attacker Michaela Michael scored 10 goals across the two games, giving her 40 on the season -- the most in the MPSF this year. She now boasts 196 career goals, third-most in MPSF history.

The Trojans hit the road for matches at Oregon and San Diego State this weekend before coming home for the final regular-season home match of the season on Friday, April 14 against Colorado. That match will be played at 5 p.m. at the Coliseum.

Check out USC team photographer John McGillen's photos of USC's win over Cal!

Back On Solid Ground

After four straight road games, USC women's lacrosse returns home to host Fresno State and Cal this weekend.

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The No. 9 Trojans are 7-3 (1-0 MPSF) on the season as they head into the rest of their conference slate.

USC has a chance to extend its 11-match conference win streak and 20-match home win streak during tomorrow's bout against the unranked Bulldogs.

Fresno State brings a matching 7-3 record into the battle, but an 0-2 mark in conference play. Cal is also 0-2 in MPSF play this season, with a 2-9 record overall.

USC's game vs. Fresno State kicks off at 4 p.m. and will be streamed live on Twitter, while Sunday's vs. Cal will be broadcast live on Pac-12 LA at 2 p.m.

Michaela Michael Goes Back-To-Back

pac-12player-michael2.jpgFor the second week in a row, USC women's lacrosse senior Michaela Michael has been named the MPSF Offensive Player of the Week.

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Michael earned the honor for scoring eight goals across two games, along with seven draw controls, three ground balls and two caused turnovers.

The Hillsborough, CA native helped No. 9 USC mount a comeback against No. 7 Stony Brook, but the Trojans couldn't get over the hump, falling 9-7 on the road. In USC's bounce-back game against Ohio State, Michael led the way with six goals -- the third time she's hit that mark in her career. The Trojans got back in the win column with a 16-7 beatdown of the Buckeyes.

Michael, a two-time IWLCA All-American, has earned more MPSF weekly honors than any player in program history.

She and the Trojans get back to business on Friday at 4 p.m. against Fresno State.

Michael and Miller Make Moves

pac-12player-michael.jpgYesterday, two members of USC women's lacrosse earned conference honors, as senior attacker Michaela Michael was named the MPSF Offensive Player of the Week and freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller was named the MPSF Rookie of the Week.

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Michael earned recognition for scoring 11 goals in USC's three games last week: three against New Hampsire, four against Dartmouth and four against Cornell. By the end of the week, she had recorded her 31st career hat trick, the most in program history. She also boasts more MPSF weekly honors than any player in program history; this is her seventh. The Hillsborough, CA native also finished the week with six assists, 17 points and 14 draw controls.

While Michael earned her seventh weekly honor from the conference, Miller earned the second of her young career. The Bayport, NY product scored 10 goals and added one assist, eight ground balls, six draw controls, and four caused turnovers for the Trojans this week. Her 19 goals this season are second only to Michael's 22.

Michael and Miller's efforts helped USC top New Hampshire, 15-4, and Dartmouth, 19-8, but couldn't help the  No. 4 Trojans take down No. 11 Cornell.

The 6-2 Trojans hope to get back on track when they travel to face Stony Brook and Ohio State this week.

Follow the Women of Troy on Twitter to stay up-to-date on scheduling, scores and awards.

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Home Sweet Home

USC women's lacrosse sets up for two home matches this week, looking to extend its winning streak at McAlister Field.

Tomorrow and next Monday, the No. 4 Trojans (3-1) square up with two teams they've never faced before.

USC has won 16 straight at McAlister Field, and will kick off its quest for 17 against Boston University (1-3) at 2 p.m. tomorrow. The game will be streamed live on Pac-12.com.

Next Monday, the Trojans host New Hampshire (0-5) at 4 p.m. on Pac-12.com and Pac-12 Los Angeles.

USC's three Tewaaraton Award watch list members -- goalkeeper Gussie Johns, attacker Michaela Michael and defender Lydia Sutton -- will lead the Trojans into battle. After a five-goal loss at Florida last month, the Trojans are hungry to start a new win streak.

Trifecta

Three members of USC women's lacrosse were named to the Tewaaraton Award watch list, the organization announced this week.

The Tewaaraton Award is given annually to the top male and female collegiate lacrosse players in the nation, and the organization has tapped goaltender Gussie Johns, attacker Michaela Michael and defender Lydia Sutton as potential candidates.

Johns is following up an outstanding sophomore season by leading the MPSF in ground balls (4.5 per game) so far this year. In 2016, she led the nation in goals-against average and this summer, she'll compete with Team USA at the 2017 Women's Lacrosse World Cup.

Michael is on the watch list for the second straight year. So far this season, she leads the team with nine goals and is second in the conference in draw controls (8.25 per game).

Sutton, meanwhile, has forced 1.67 turnovers per game this season, which ranks eighth in the conference.

The Tewaaraton Foundation will announce 25 nominees on April 27. Before then, though, USC has 13 games to play, starting with next Wednesday's battle with Boston University at McAlister Field.

Sunshine State Split

USC women's lacrosse split its road matches against Florida and Stetson this weekend.

The No. 3 Trojans battled with No. 4 Florida in Gainesville, suffering their first loss of the season. USC trailed at the half for the first time since May 10, 2015, and ultimately dropped a 15-10 decision to the Gators. Cynthia Del Core led the Trojans with four goals, while Michaela Michael had 10 draw controls.

USC quickly got back on track with a win over Stetson in DeLand, FL, to move to 3-1 on the season. Freshman Kerrigan Miller (pictured) led all scorers with four goals, while Michael, Gabby McMahon and Alexis Kardias all netted three apiece to lift the Trojans to an 18-3 win. Michael's hat trick was the 28th of her career -- more than any Trojan has ever accomplished.

The Trojans enjoy a week-long break before getting back into action against Boston University on March 8. The match kicks off at 2 p.m. at USC's McAlister Field.

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Early Season Studs

A veteran and a newcomer from USC women's lacrosse earned recognition

Junior goalie Gussie Johns was named the MPSF Defensive Player of the Week, while freshman midfielder Kerrigan Miller earned MPSF Rookie of the Week and ILWomen National Rookie of the Week honors.

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Both Johns and Miller played key roles in No. 3 USC's 11-10 overtime victory against No. 9 Northwestern.

Johns, who was recently named to the U.S. National Women's Lacrosse team, posted a career-high 17 saves against the Wildcats -- the second-most in program history. She allowed just 10 goals on 35 shots, and made a crucial stop on a one-on-one opportunity for the Cats in overtime. Last year's national leader in goals against average seems to be picking up right where she left off.

Miller, meanwhile, has established her presence in a short period of time. The nation's No. 1 recruit this year is tied for the team lead with five goals so far, including the sudden death game-winner vs. Northwestern. She finished the game with three goals, three caused turnovers, two ground balls and one draw control.

Johns, Miller and the Trojans are 2-0 heading into Friday's matchup with Florida in Gainesville. Follow the team on Twitter to stay up-to-date on scores and information!

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Off to a Good Start

USC women's lacrosse came out strong in its first game of the 2017 season, delivering a 20-2 win over Saint Mary's.

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The No. 4 Trojans built up a 14-1 halftime lead behind a Michaela Michael hat trick. Michael finished the game with three goals, 12 draw controls and an assist. The senior was one of 12 Trojans to score against the Gaels, whom USC has now defeated in all five meetings by a cumulative score of 95-24.

The resounding victory was USC's 18th straight at home and its second straight win in a season opener.

The Trojans hope to take their momentum into their next matchup, a Saturday clash with No. 9 Northwestern. That game kicks off at noon at McAlister Field.

R-E-L-A-X

USC_Lacrosse_San_Diego_state_mcgillen_1763.jpgUSC women's lacrosse kicks off its 2017 season tomorrow at McAlister Field against Saint Mary's.

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After an undefeated regular season last year, the Trojans enter 2017 ranked No. 4 in the nation -- the highest ranking in program history and the highest a West Coast team has ever been slotted.

USC is familiar with the Gaels, having defeated them in all four matchups in program history by a total margin of 75-22.

The odds are in the Trojans' favor once again, as they have an impressive record at home over the last few years. Sporting a 23-8 all-time record at McAlister, the Trojans haven't dropped a match there since April 18, 2014.

USC returns core group of players who hope to continue to build the tradition of lacrosse at Troy. Michaela Michael, the 2015 MPSF Player of the Year, is the senior leader of a strong offense that includes Kylie Drexel, Gabby McMahon and Cynthia Del Core.

The Trojans have made their name on the other side of the ball, though, sporting the nation's best defense last year (5.8 goals against average). Goalkeeper Gussie Johns, who was recently named along with associate head coach Devon Wills to the U.S. Lacrosse Women's National Team, commands the defense.

USC also welcomes the nation's top recruit in midfielder Kerrigan Miller, who hopes to contribute immediately.

The fun starts tomorrow at noon at USC's McAlister Field.

New Heights

After a 2016 season that saw the Trojans go 20-1 with a trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals, USC women's lacrosse is ranked No. 4 in the IWLCA preseason coaches poll.

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The No. 4 ranking is not only the highest in the program's five-year history, but the highest a West Coast team has ever been ranked leading into the season. The three teams ahead of USC are defending national champion UNC, Maryland and Florida. Syracuse, which knocked USC out of the tournament last year, comes in at No. 5.

Last year, the Trojans far outperformed their preseason ranking. They entered the season as the No. 19 team in the nation, only to go undefeated in the regular season and in the MPSF, coming out on top of the conference. The Trojans boasted the No. 1 defense in the nation last year, and they return goalie Gussie Johns and defenders Nina Kelty and Lydia Sutton.

The No. 4 Trojans kick off the 2017 season at home vs. St. Mary's on Feb. 11.

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High Expectations

USC women's lacrosse team, which finished the 2016 regular season undefeated and won the MPSF, was tabbed the No. 1 team in the MPSF heading into the 2017 season.

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The Trojans, who went 20-1 last season with a trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals, received each of the eight first place votes in the Coaches' Poll. It's the first time in the program's young history that the team has been the conference's preseason favorite.

This season, USC returns its top-notch goalkeeper, Gussie Johns, who led the nation in goals-against average last season and was recently named to the U.S. Women's National Lacrosse team. The USC defense is bolstered by Nina Kelty and Lydia Sutton, while Kylie Drexel and Michaela Michael will take hold of the offense.

The Trojans kick off their 2017 season on Feb. 11 vs. St. Mary's. Follow the team on Twitter for updates before the season opener!

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