San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

SDSU women’s lacrosse gets dropped by No. 19 USC 16-7

The Trojans overpowered the Aztecs on the draw 20-7 while SDSU committed 27 fouls, giving USC multiple scoring chances that led to their win
SDSU Athletics
Senior midfielder Maggie Marion (in the middle) taking the ball up field versus Ohio State on Feb. 17.

The Aztec women’s lacrosse team (1-4) has struggled mightily against the University of Southern California Trojans throughout the program’s existence.

Before their third home game of the season, they came into the game 1-11 overall versus the Trojans and 0-5 at home. To come up with a huge win, the Aztecs had to take down No. 19 USC (2-1), who defeated Ohio State 18-10 on Feb. 19 and is backed by senior attacker Ella Heaney who leads the team with eight points.

“We are not scared of USC,” head coach Kylee White said after their 11-9 win against Cal Berkeley. “They are a very skilled team, and they are ranked but we always step on the field knowing we can compete with them.”

The Aztecs stuck with the Trojans in the first period and the early part of the second but were overpowered by USC’s consistent draw controls the rest of the way, as those led to a ton of goal-scoring opportunities. The Trojans won 16-7.

It was a very defensive first quarter for both teams. Although the Trojans got off to a quick start with goals by redshirt-sophomore attacker Isabelle Vitale and junior attacker Shelby Tilton, the Aztecs stood with USC.

Senior attacker Deanna Balsama buried her 12th of the season to keep SDSU within striking distance, but Vitale made it a two-goal game on a free-position attempt and the Trojan defense stood their ground the rest of the first period.

After the two-minute intermission, the Aztecs started the second period with some heat, despite the cold windy day. Junior attacker Brook Waddell and Balsama both scored quickly to tie the game at three.

The next possession, Balsama struck again for her third of the game to give the Aztecs a 4-3 lead.

The heat started to subside, and the cold weather began to enter the Aztecs’ veins. USC scored six-straight goals and played like the ranked team they are.

The Aztec defense started to let up in the second period, as the Trojan offense was able to maneuver its way toward senior goalkeeper Sam Horan to score. USC had consistent draw controls finishing with 12 in the first half. On top of that, they were too quick for SDSU and led 10-4 by halftime.

White explained what the Aztec defense changed in the second period, leading to multiple scoring opportunities for the Trojans.

“I thought our defenders started playing tall, less physical and crashing with our sticks high,” White said postgame. “Everything that we were doing well in the beginning, we did the opposite.”

The Scarlet and Black were undisciplined in the first half with 17 fouls, and when White looked at the stat sheet and saw that number she said, “mother of pearl” and “it is frustrating.”

Vitale and Tilton were an electric force offensively. They each had three goals in the first half.

The Aztecs lowered the scoring deficit with two early free position goals by redshirt-freshman midfielder Kate Christos and Balsama but weren’t able to get much closer in the third period. 

The Trojans tacked on three more goals, were ruthless defensively and had four more huge draw controls to help maintain offensive possession.

USC, with a comfortable lead going into the fourth, extended it with two goals by junior attacker Claudia Shevitz and one by sophomore attacker Maddie Dora.

The Trojan defense continued to pound the Aztec offense with a lot of stick checks when they tried to attack the net, which steered them to the outside. SDSU tacked on one goal in the fourth period, but just like the Ohio State game, a little too late. USC went on to win 16-7 to improve to 2-1 and drop the Scarlet and Black to 1-4.

“I think when you are playing a great opponent like USC, you expect them to have some players go off like they did and you just hope to stop their runs a little bit sooner,” White said postgame. “I think when we had possession, we were doing a lot of great things on our offense. We just need more possessions, and we need more draw controls, that is our Achilles heel.”

Trojan sophomore midfielder Catherin Lord was an all-star on the draw. She had 11 of USC’s 20 draw controls in the game and the Aztecs only secured seven.

Shevitz, who had a great second half, and Vitale both finished with four goals each and combined for 11 of the Trojans’ 22 shots on goal.

Senior goalkeeper Sam Horan, who came into the game ranked No. 3 in saves per game with 14, made six saves on 22 shots on goal. Her counterpart, junior goalkeeper Kait Devir, only had to make three saves on 10 shots on goal.

The Scarlet and Black had 10 second-half fouls to bring their total to 27 at the end of the game. The Trojans were not much better and finished with 22. Only one yellow card was given to senior midfielder Katelyn Murphy for a cross-check, while senior midfielder Cailin Young was given a green card for making two of the same fouls back-to-back. No yellow cards were called on USC which upset White. 

“I lost my cool a little bit,” White said postgame. “I’m going to fight for my athletes’ safety and there were three blatant checks to the head. Those are blatant misses; they are right in front of the official.”

White went on to say that was not the “reason” they lost, and she is just happy that the Aztecs are “moving in the right direction right now.”

The Aztecs continue to play ranked competition at home, as they take on No. 6 Stony Brook on Wednesday, March 1.

About the Contributor
Adam Correa, Senior Staff Writer
Adam is a senior at San Diego State University studying journalism and media studies. This is his second year with The Daily Aztec. He loves watching sports, reading, and going to the gym in his free time. He mainly writes for the sports section, but also loves doing on-camera reporting and multimedia content. He previously was the assistant sports editor and blog editor for The Telescope newspaper at Palomar College. In the summer of 2022, he did an internship with Thesocialtalks digital newspaper, where he wrote for the latest news, opinion, and sports section. When he graduates from San Diego State University, he wants to be a sports writer for a popular newspaper organization or a sports reporter for a tv station.
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SDSU women’s lacrosse gets dropped by No. 19 USC 16-7