So...remember how we were talking last week about USC teams feeling optimism?
Well, the Arizona Wildcats made quick work of that. In addition to losing the ND game, USC also suffered brutal defeats to Zona in two sports. One was an overtime steal at home, and the other was a shocking road upset of the top team in the nation.
Women's Soccer, hot off upsetting Stanford on the road, challenged the Wildcats at the Coliseum last Friday. SC could not get a goal despite 12 shots in the first half, but after the 75th minute, the scoring came in droves. Arizona forward Kaitlyn Lopez knocked a hard shot into the top left corner and then drew a penalty that was successfully converted to put SC down by two goals.
But sophomore Marlee Carrillo -- who committed the penalty on Lopez -- helped SC get back up off the mat with the help of two set pieces from freshman Kayla Mills. First, a corner from Mills resulted in a loose ball that Carrillo slipped inside the right post, and then a free kick was launched into the box by Mills and knocked in by a Carrillo header to force the game into overtime. But four minutes into OT, an Arizona free kick was bent into the goal past the reach of Caroline Stanley, resulting in another USC defeat despite outshooting their opponents by a wide margin. USC is now 6-7-2 (1-4-1) and tied with Oregon for last place in the Pac-12. With five games left in the season, USC needs to come out on top this weekend against Colorado and Utah on the road in order to avoid finish a third straight season with a losing record.
Two days later, the women's volleyball team was stunned in Tuscon when they were swept by Arizona and handed their first Pac-12 defeat. Even though all three members of their starting front line scored 11 kills (including the third double-double of the season by Samantha Bricio), USC was outhit by their opponent for the first time this season with a .277 team average compared to Arizona's .324.
The defeat ends USC's reign as the top team in the AVCA poll, knocking them down to #4. Defending national champion Texas now takes the top spot with a 13-2 record, followed by Penn State and Washington. USC is now 17-2 (7-1) and will take on the Huskies on Sunday in a critical match that will determine who takes the lead in the Pac-12 standings. But first, USC must get through Washington State, whom they play at the Galen Center tonight at 6 PM.