Trojans to battle Princeton in Round of 32

first_imgTigers vs Trojans · The Women of Troy will face Princeton in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Friday. – Brian Ji | Daily TrojanThe women’s soccer team will take on Princeton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Friday.The Women of Troy  (15-5-1) are coming off of a dramatic win over Cal State Fullerton in the first round of the tourney. USC downed Fullerton on penalty kicks after a 3-3 draw. Midfielder Morgan Andrews scored a hat trick in the game but knows there is still work to be done, especially on the defensive side of the ball.Against Fullerton, the defense allowed three goals, the most it has let in under head coach Keidane McAlpine in his two seasons at USC. However, Andrews feels this first postseason game simply gave USC the chance to clear out some of the cobwebs. In fact, Andrews praised the team’s defensive prowess.“Everyone is a defender first,” Andrews said. “You’re always going to find that one case of the forwards who don’t want to defend — except on this team.”USC’s defense has been outstanding this season, with goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme conceding well under a goal per game.USC’s central midfielders, like Andrews, backtrack and work incredibly hard on defense. So do the wingers, which is important for a team playing a 4-3-3 formation, as extra defensive support in midfield is essential.The offense carried the team through the first round and proved to be enough to put away a talented Fullerton side. Looking ahead to the Princeton clash, Andrews stressed that the team will need to take advantage of its opportunities by generating quality shots.“It just comes down to finishing opportunities,” she said.Andrews has been integral to the team’s success this season. With five goals in the last two games, the junior has further legitimized her first team all-Pac-12 status. The goal-scoring machine is part of a dynamic midfield corps that also includes Mandy Freeman and Nicole Molen.Freeman’s defensive shape and organization will be important for USC against a Princeton team scoring more than 2.5 goals per game.Friday’s contest will feature two high-powered offenses. USC’s attacking moves against Fullerton were borderline unstoppable, as the Women of Troy generated 33 shots on the afternoon.The USC-Princeton game will be played in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Tigers  (14-3-1) lost three straight in early September but then got their season back on track.Princeton finished first in the Ivy League and was able to carry its momentum from the regular season into the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers took care of business in the first round, defeating Boston College 4-2.USC will be favored, but this is a new era for Princeton soccer. The Tigers were a mediocre 7-6-3 a year ago, but first-year head coach Sean Driscoll has his team on quite a run at the moment.The Tigers’ last NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2012. This is Princeton’s 11th postseason appearance in history. This will be the first time Princeton and USC will have collided on the pitch. In fact, the Women of Troy have only faced one Ivy League team in program history, which came in the form of a 2-0 win over Harvard in 2006.The game is set for Friday at 1 p.m. in Charlottesville, Virginia.last_img

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