[ELITE 8]In contrast to fellow semifinalists UCLA, Notre Dame and Florida State, which all played in last year's Women's College Cup, USC continued its trek through uncharted territory by posting a 1-0 win at West Virginia on Friday night that moved the Women of Troy to the final four for the first time.
FreshmanKasey Johnson delivered the winning blow for the second straight game, scoring on a sharp header in the second half.
Before this season, USC had never advanced past the second round. Now, the Trojans have won four games in a row, all by shutout. USC's reliable back line -- anchored by sophomore goalie Kristin Olsen -- limited the Mountaineers to nine shots.
“Usually when we line up against another opponent, we pretty much dominate with regard to size," West Virginia coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “USC was big and very quick. When you get a quick and a big player, it can give you trouble.”
USC pounded the Mountaineer goal but couldn't put a second goal past Kerri Butler.
“I thought we had a lot of good looks in the run of play and we were unfortunate not to finish off any of those opportunities,” USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said. “Tournament play always comes down to set pieces. There are scenarios where the ball gets played in front of the box and if you have good positioning in there someone will get a good look. That is what happened today.”
An unofficial crowd of 3,000 -- the second largest of the NCAA Women's Tournament -- set a new Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium record and is the most for any soccer event hosted by West Virginia University.
Nov. 30 in Morgantown, W. Va.
West Virginia 0 USC 1.Goal: Johnson (Currier, Nick) 63.
West Virginia --Butler, Barnes, Rushton, Kallman, Cocchi, Cicchini, DuCote, Blank, Banks, Bonilla, Everrett. Subs: Fowler, Harris, Molinari.
USC --Olsen, Strong, Johnson, Currier, Sandoval, Haug, Nick, Tomer, Ohai, Brown, Rodriguez. Subs: Davila, Finch.