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USC Women's Soccer Crushes UC Riverside In Impressive Home Debut

Paolo Uggetti |
September 6, 2014 | 1:13 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Midfielder Jamie Fink had her first career hat trick in Friday's game. (Charles Magovern/Neon Tommy)
Midfielder Jamie Fink had her first career hat trick in Friday's game. (Charles Magovern/Neon Tommy)

Meeting someone for the first time can be an interesting, sometimes awkward experience. You try to get to know their personality, gauge their tendencies and notice their habits. In most cases, as time goes on, you slowly get to know who they really are. 

But meeting someone for the first time can also be a complete and sudden shock. 

For the Lady Highlanders of UC Riverside, that shocking experience came Friday afternoon. Their first-ever meeting with the USC Women’s Soccer team resulted in an eye-opening 8-1 loss. It was USC's biggest soccer win in the team's history. 

The two squads came into the match as foreigners not only to each other, but also as foreigners to the concept of losing. 

The Women of Troy boasted a 3-0-1 record and had just shocked 11th-ranked Notre Dame in South Bend. Their counterparts (2-0-1) had racked up nine goals in three games before traveling about 60 miles from Riverside to McAllister Field for Friday’s match. 

Something had to give.


The sun was out on this September afternoon and although the forecast said 85 degrees, the sun made it feel like we were hitting the upper 90’s. 

But both sun and heat were ignored by the 370 Trojan fans who came out to McAllister Field to see the team play its first home match of the season in an attempt to continue their three-game winning streak. 

The excitement and anticipation of an opening game was in the air as fans for both teams filled the stands and even local middle-schoolers found seats on the grass to enjoy the beautiful game. 

Free hot dogs were handed out to the first 100 students, but for those who simply came to see a bit of Trojan soccer, the product on the pitch did not disappoint.

Junior midfielder Megan Borman started the party with a shocking 40-yard laser of a goal that caught the Highlander goalkeeper off-guard and off her line. In the 12th minute, Borman quickly glanced up after controlling the ball in the middle of the pitch and calmly placed a perfectly calibrated delivery over the keeper’s arms and into the net giving the Women of Troy the early 1-0 lead.  

Celebration was short-lived, however, when, in the 20th minute, Riverside forward Tyler Cunningham took advantage of a turnover near the Trojan goal and did not hesitate in equalizing. 

It was the only goal the Lady Highlanders wound up getting. "I’m a little disappointed we gave up the goal," first-year coach Keidane McAlpine admitted even after the 8-1 win.  

“Tighten up!,” he yelled to his defense, as the Lady Highlanders took their post-score offensive momentum and looked for a second one. 

And tighten up they did.

Forward Katie Johnson celebrates on of the eight Trojan goals. (Charles Magovern/Neon Tommy)
Forward Katie Johnson celebrates on of the eight Trojan goals. (Charles Magovern/Neon Tommy)


On a day with plenty of offense, sophomore defenders Kayla Mills and Dominique Randle, alongside senior goalkeeper Caroline Stanley and the rest of the defense, held UCR to a miniscule four shots on goal. 

Then came the goals. Lots of them. 

Recent Pac-12 standout and junior transfer, Reilly Parker, scorched down the left flank on one of her many outside runs and sent a cross straight through the penalty box where team captain Jamie Fink perfectly deposited the ball into the back of the net in the 26th minute. It was the junior’s second of the season, but it would only take her seven more minutes to get her second of the game. 

A daring run down the right side and into the 18-yard-box by junior sub Tamara Mejia in the 31st minute of the match drew a penalty for the Women of Troy, and another goal for Fink as she finished perfectly from the spot. 

The midfielder would eventually get her third goal and her first hat trick of her career in the 76th minute of the second half. Fink, who seems to be the engine running this team, personified the team’s impressive ball movement throughout the match, but credited her goals and their success to her teammates. 

“It's definitely the movement off the ball from my team that provides me that space and I couldn't have it done without them,” she claimed afterwards. “This team is just unreal right now.”

Reality never seemed to settle in for the Women of Troy as the goals just kept coming. 

Scattered chants of “USC! USC! USC!” were heard in the stands during the goal frenzy, but for most of the game fans could do nothing but admire the exquisite offensive display.  

Even defender Kayla Mills had her shining moment when she put a deflected shot past the visitor keeper and increased the team’s scoreline to 5-1. 

In such a lopsided affair, there was plenty of playing time to go around, and none took better advantage of it than senior Alex Quincey. 

Quincey, who was actually a transfer from UC Riverside, entered the game late in the first half and immediately made her presence known on the pitch by towering over defenders with her 6’ 1’’ frame and winning balls left and right with her sheer strength. 

Her hard work paid off and she earned a hat trick in her own right, scoring by way of an outside shot, a close one-touch finish and even a header towards the end of the match. This complete, three-goal performance against her old team also resulted in the first time that the Women of Troy had ever had two players with hat tricks in one game. 


It was truly a day of firsts at McAllister Field, as this new-look squad showed why they are now deservedly in the Top 25 rankings by winning their first home match in such commanding fashion and keeping their winning streak alive. 

With consistent defense, constant attacking, great ball movement, and clinical finishing, McAlpine has motivated this squad to play the way he wants them to even this early into the young season and especially on the attack. 

“Our offensive movement was very good today,” McAlpine confirmed. “We’ve spent this past week trying to get our forward runs and our movement to the box and our shape around the box a bit cleaner, and today I think you saw the by product of that.” 

Perhaps more surprising has been the team’s ability to come from behind and win games, especially those close contests that plagued them with losses last year.

“We’ve shown that we can continue to respond when teams make plays” he emphasized. “[Today] I do think our response was great [after the equalizer].” 

Above all, this team’s best quality may be that they are always looking to improve in light of the tough competition they know they will face in the Pac-12

“The Pac-12 is a physical league. All those players are excellent,” claimed McAlpine. 

Fink reiterated, “Every game is preparing us for the Pac-12 conference, and we play every game like it’s a Pac-12 game."

If Friday's scoreline in McAlpine's home debut is any indication, the product that he has already drawn out of this team is proving to be both appealing and effective. Once conference games roll around, this team will be ready.

In the same way that the Lady Highlanders were shocked when they met their match at McAllister Field, USC's Pac-12 foes on the horizon may also be shocked when they realize that these Women of Troy they used to know and overlook is no more. 

Reach Staff Reporter Paolo Uggetti here or follow him on Twitter



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