Feb. 24, 2013
IRVINE, Calif. - Less than 24 hours after No. 3 UCLA scored in the final seconds to beat No. 6 UC Irvine, the second-ranked USC Trojans got a game-winning goal with two seconds left to beat the Bruins, 11-10, in the semifinals of the UC Irvine Invitational on Sunday afternoon. UCLA drops to 15-2 on the year.
USC got on the board first when Dominique Sardo scored on a power play at the 5:58 mark. Sophomore Emily Donohoe tied it at 1-1 with a power play goal with 4:47 to go in the first period. Olivia Cummins scored on a 6-on-5 opportunity to put the Trojans back up by one. Then Sardo scored her second of the game to give USC a 3-1 lead with 2:52 left in the first. Donohoe then registered her second of the game (1:34) to end the first period scoring with USC leading 3-2.
Freshman India Forster tied it at 3-3 at the 6:10 mark of the second period with an exclusion goal. But the Trojans got another power play goal, this one from Anni Espar, two minutes later. Junior Kelly Ronimus then tied the game at 4-4 with 2:06 remaining in the second with a power play strike. Kelly Mendoza ended the scoring in the second period with a goal at full strength (1:42) to give the Trojans a 5-4 lead into the break.
Monica Vavic put the Trojans up by two (6-4) on the first possession of the third period. The Bruins tied it at 6-6 with back-to-back power play goals by freshman Rachel Fattal (5:59) and senior Natasha Schulman (3:56). Hannah Buckling gave USC the lead back with a score at the 2:32 mark, but Forster tied it at 7-7 with a power play goal, her second of the game, with 1:59 to go in the third period. Espar scored her second of the game on an extra man opportunity to give USC an 8-7 lead at the end of three periods.
Fattal converted a penalty shot to open the fourth period and tied it at 8-8. But again, USC had an answer, as Espar completed her hat trick a power play goal to make it 9-8 with 6:18 to go. Fattal completed her hat trick for the Bruins to knot the score at 9-9 with 5:38 left, but the Trojans regained the lead 10-9 on a power play goal by Vavic with 3:33 to go. Donohoe scored her third of the game on a power play with 1:10 remaining to tie it at 10-10. But as they did all day, the Trojans kept the Bruins from gaining a lead with opportune stops and timely goals. Kaleigh Gilchrist made the game-winner with just two seconds on the clock.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Sami Hill played the entire game in goal for the Bruins, picking up 13 saves. Junior Flora Bolonyai was credited with eight stops in the cage for USC.
No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 2 USC
UCLA Goals: India Forster 2, Natasha Schulman
UCLA Saves: Sami Hill 13
USC Goals: Anni Espar 3, Monica Vavic 2, Dominique Sardo 2, Olivia Cummins, Kelly Mendoza, Hannah Buckling, Kaleigh Gilchrist
USC Saves: Flora Bolonyai 8