Soccer opens conference play

first_imgJunior midfielder and English native Ashleigh Plumptre has recorded seven shots with five on frame this season. (Tal Volk | Daily Trojan)After staying undefeated with a win over Long Beach State last weekend to improve to 7-0-1 this season, the No. 3 women’s soccer team will look to keep its record intact against Washington at McAlister Field on Saturday. Off to one of their best starts in history, The Trojans have gone undefeated in non-conference play this season for the first time, and their goal differential of 23-3 is the best throughout eight games of any team in history.In its last game against Long Beach State, USC secured its sixth shutout in eight games and posted a 3-0 victory, all while celebrating the accomplishments of the team’s five seniors. Sophomore midfielder Alea Hyatt gave the Trojans a 1-0 lead heading into the half with her first goal of the season in the 31st minute. Senior Leah Pruitt racked up 2 goals in the second half when she found the back of the net in the 56th minute and headed in a cross from freshman defender Ashley Soto in the 89th minute. The Trojan defense was strong, allowing only one shot in each half by the 49ers while the offense fired 21 shots, outshooting their opponent 21-2 in the game. A combination of players on both ends of the field helped the Trojans maintain their multi-goal lead throughout the game. Redshirt sophomore goalie Kaylie Collins received her fifth solo shutout of the season. USC has now outscored opponents 23-3 this season, with Pruitt leading the team with 6 goals and 15 total points. She is ranked No. 3 in the most recent coaches poll and No. 4 in Top Drawer Soccer rankings. “I think we are doing really well on the field and off the field,” Pruitt said after their last game. “I think our relationship off the field helps bring us closer together on the field. And I think we are really competitive in practice and I think that really helps translate on the field when we really trust each other on the field, too.”The Huskies will also be starting Pac-12 play on Saturday with a season record of 5-2-1. They head into conference play with a four-game undefeated streak, having defeated Seattle University in a 5-0 shutout last weekend.  Washington dominated defensively throughout the game, allowing no shots on goal. Senior forward Pascale Dumesnil scored the only goal in the first half with a chip shot over the goalie’s head. The offensive aggression picked up in the second half, with 4 goals from four different players to bring the total to 5 goals at the end of the game. Washington has now outshot their opponents 69-22 and in its last three games outscoring opponents 9-2. The Huskies have only allowed 2 first half goals and scored first in seven of their eight games this season.The Trojans head into this game with a 14-8-2 record all-time against Huskies. The match is set to start at noon at McAlister Field and will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.last_img