LOS ANGELES, Calif. – USC used a balanced attack to tally three goals and out-shot NAU 23-11 as the Trojans notched a 3-1 victory to conclude play in the Trojan Invitational Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. NAU returns home from a five-game road trip with a 1-3-2 record while the previously-ranked Trojans improved to 4-1-2.
The Lumberjacks placed four players on the All-Tournament team, with seniors Kristi Andreassen and Brenna Boies, junior Jenna Samora and freshman Lauren Weaver earning the accolade. USC won the tournament with Sunday's win and a victory over Auburn on Friday.
The scoring began in the 23rd minute, when USC freshman Haley Boysen found teammate Courtney Garcia open down the left side of the field. The Trojan sophomore sent a cross to the right side of the NAU goal, where sophomore Samantha Johnson dove to head the ball into the Lumberjack goal and give USC the lead.
NAU had a near goal in the 32nd minute when junior defender Georgia Foltz was awarded a free kick from near midfield. Her feed into the goal mouth was initially caught by USC goalkeeper Shelby Church but fumbled into the goal on a collision on her way back to the ground, but a foul was called on NAU to nullify the potential equalizer.
The Trojans had a chance to double their lead in the 40th minute on a rebound off a free kick from just outside the NAU box. The initial try was blocked and the rebound came to junior Carly Butcher, who fired a shot ticketed for the bottom left corner but was denied on a superb diving stop by Weaver. NAU's freshman netminder made another fantastic sliding play to deny a potential breakaway for USC in the final minutes of the half to take the game to the break at 1-0.
Less than nine minutes into the second half, the Trojans would add to their lead. A corner kick from senior Karter Haug found junior Ashley Freyer for a header into the Lumberjack goal and a 2-0 lead.
The Lumberjacks would answer back ten minutes later off a scramble inside the USC box. A failed clearance by the Trojans came to Samora for a shot into the left side of the goal to cut the Trojan lead in half.
The teams would trade attempts into the final minutes, when USC would add a goal at the 82:56 mark to cement its lead. Off a Trojan corner kick, Boysen deflected the ball of a scramble to freshman Mia Bruno, who would fire a shot to the top left corner to end the scoring and give the Trojans a 3-1 win.
Weaver was outstanding throughout, totaling eight saves including several exceptional stops. Church made six saves in the win, while Samora led all players with four shots in the game. NAU tied a season low in attempting only two corner kicks in the contest.
After their long road stretch, NAU will now play eight of its final 11 regular season games at home, opening a four-game homestand next Friday at 4 p.m. against Air Force.