Soccer splits games on the road in the Midwest

first_imgMatt Karatsu | Daily TrojanThe last two matches for the women’s soccer team could best be described as a roller coaster. The No. 12 Trojans split their two games over the weekend, topping Missouri and falling to Kansas.On Friday, the Trojans started their road trip in Columbia, Mo. facing off against the Tigers. Going into the game, the Trojans knew they needed to apply pressure for the entirety of the game, establish their back line and capitalize on scoring opportunities. The first half was a struggle for the Trojans. Going up against a makeshift defense — as a result of four Mizzou injuries — USC may have been expected to dominate against the Tigers early on. However, two substantial missed scoring opportunities resulted in a scoreless first half. Although the Trojans missed opportunities on offense, they were able to establish a reliable defense and limit Mizzou to four shots on net. The Tigers were left scoreless in the first half thanks to a magnificent diving save by redshirt freshman Kaylie Collins and a goal line stop on a corner kick by sophomore defender Julia Bingham.In the second half, the Trojans came out strong. Thirty seconds in, freshman forward Tara McKeown found the back of the net on a cross from redshirt junior midfielder Sydney Myers to give the Trojans the lead. After taking the lead, the Trojans did not take their feet off the pedal. Eight minutes later, the team struck again as freshman midfielder Savannah DeMelo put away a cross from fellow freshman Tara McKeown. The Trojans’ goals marked both McKeown’s and DeMelo’s first scores in Cardinal and Gold.The second half saw a dominant USC performance. But head coach Keidane McAlpine was still not satisfied with the way his team played. “It was not our best performance, but it was good to get a result tonight on the road,” McAlpine said. “We hope to get better as we head into our game on Sunday at Kansas.”If USC wants to continue to win, it must demonstrate intensity from minute one until minute 90. McAlpine and company knew that as they headed to Kansas to battle the Jayhawks. USC’s gameplay against the Jayhawks was surprisingly similar to its performance against the Tigers a couple of days prior — a lackluster first half followed by a roaring second half on offense. Unfortunately for the Trojans, this time they weren’t so lucky, as Kansas went up early with a goal from sophomore forward Katie McClure in the 13th minute. Moving into the second half, the Trojans managed to put shots on net and create scoring opportunities, but were met with resistance. In the 69th minute, the Trojans played a ball back to keeper Kaylie Collins, who was unable to field the pass. The ball bounced into the Trojans’ net to put the Jayhawks up by 2. In the 74th minute, Trojans redshirt senior forward Alex Anthony capitalized on a penalty kick to halve KU’s lead. The Trojans outshot the Jayhawks 13-6, five of which came from Anthony. Nonetheless, they were unable convert on their scoring opportunities to tie the score and fell to Kansas 2-1. “I was very disappointed with our performance in the first half,” McAlpine said. “We did not bring enough energy to compete in a game of this magnitude. We played a better second half, but when you give away 45 minutes to a good team, you don’t give yourself the best chance to win, and that’s the lesson that we learned tonight.”This game means a lot for the No. 7 Trojans, as a loss to an unranked Kansas will likely drop them in the rankings. The Trojans concluded their road trip in Kansas and return to Los Angeles to prepare for a two-game stretch against Santa Clara and Iowa State.last_img read more

Rivers, Crawford say Clippers grew during 6-1 road trip

first_imgSixth-man Jamal Crawford had another fine game Saturday, scoring 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field – 4 of 9 from 3-point range. He, too, believes this team grew over the 11-day trip.“I think it shows a lot of character, first off,” Crawford said. “It’s hard to win on the road. It really is, especially when people outside the locker room are panicking a little bit. I think it shows a lot of heart and a lot of character.“It shows our growth, for sure. We’ve kind of found our identity and how we’re going to play on both ends of the floor. Hopefully, it can be a great starting point for us.”Crawford averaged 19.2 points on the trip and scored at least 21 points in each of the last four games.Homestand beginsThe Clippers (11-5), currently in seventh place in the Western Conference standings, open a four-game homestand today when they play host to the Minnesota Timberwolves (4-10) at Staples Center. Then they’ll take on Orlando on Wednesday, New Orleans on Saturday and Phoenix a week from today.The Timberwolves on Friday defeated the Lakers 120-119 at Staples Center. Minnesota, which played Sunday at Portland, is led in scoring by shooting guard Kevin Martin (20.4 points per game), but he’s out with a broken wrist. Small forward Thaddeus Young averages 13.9 points and went for 22 points against the Lakers. “I think you grow all season, and that’s what I’ve been saying from the beginning,” he said. “Whether we went 6-1 or 4-3, we would have been better when this trip was over. It was guaranteed. I think defensively we grew the most.“I think offensively we have been pretty good lately anyway. I think our defense is just getting better and better. You can hear the talk now. Guys are in the right spots. They trust each other. When you do that you get a lot of stops.”Certainly, there was plenty for which to be thankful. But it means only so much, Rivers intimated.“That’s nice,” he said, when asked about going 6-1. “We don’t get a trophy for it or anything. But it’s still nice.” Crawford chimes in It may not have seemed like the Clippers were hitting the road at the right time when they embarked on a seven-game trip Nov. 19. They were 5-4, didn’t seem to know who they were and they were coming off a 105-89 loss at home to Chicago on Nov. 17.Many of the players, as well as coach Doc Rivers, said that perhaps some time away from home would bring the team together. That seems to have been the case, because the Clippers completed their trip with a 112-96 victory on Saturday over the Utah Jazz (5-12) at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. They led the Jazz 35-18 after one quarter.That gave the Clippers a 6-1 record on the trip, and their most victories ever on a seven-game jaunt. Of the six victories, two came against probable playoff teams (Miami and Houston) that were injury-depleted and the other four came against teams that will be hard-pressed to make the postseason. Still, the Clippers played solid basketball, except for the 16-point loss at Memphis, currently the top team in the NBA.Rivers was stoked.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more