College Women: Bittersweet win for USC's McAlpine

USC advanced to the Women's College Cup for the second time when it edged Auburn, 1-0, at McAlister Field. Alex Anthony put the Trojans ahead with a goal in the fourth minute, and the Trojan defense held off Auburn for the remaining 86 minutes to earn its 15th shutout of the season.

Anthony scored on a ball played to the near post by Julia Bingham. Auburn's best chance for an equalizer came in the 73rd minute when Kiana Clarke played a ball into the box to Kristen Dodson, whose header was saved off the line.

Third-year USC head coach Keidane McAlpine had spent six years as an assistant at Auburn before becoming the Washington State head coach in 2006.
 
"Having spent a lot of time there personally, today is bittersweet,” he said. “A lot of joy and a lot of sadness all at the same time. I think Thanksgiving is the perfect time to have this game, because for me I had family on both sides and Thanksgiving is definitely about family. I am super proud of the Trojan family and the work we did today. Unbelievable game. It was a gritty performance and exactly what we needed.”

The Trojans won the NCAA title in their only other trip to the College Cup in 2007, the first by a Pac-12 school. Since then, Stanford and UCLA have won titles.

"Congratulations to USC," said head coach Karen Hoppa. "They're a great team and Keidane is one of my best friends, so I'm happy for him and they played a great game. Like most sports, soccer is a game of inches and they caught one break early. I felt it was a great soccer game. There were chances both ways, it was wide open and both teams played their game. I'm really proud of my team. They laid it all on the line and played their hearts out."

Auburn finished the season with a school record 17 wins.

Nov. 25 in Los Angeles
USC 1 Auburn 0. Goal: Anthony (Bingham) 4.
USC -- Prudhomme, Bingham, Freeman, Prisock, Levin, Rooney, Andrews, Molen, Mills, Anthony, S.Johnson. Subs: Petredes, Sladek, Plumptre, K.Johnson, Pruitt.
Auburn -- LeBeau, Kiana, S.Solaru, Gutsche, B.Ramsier, C.Ramsier, Montini, Schell, Folds, Troutman, Dodson.
Subs: D.Solaru, Leek, Batson, Gerken.
Att.: 650.
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