In 2016, the USC women’s soccer team left their mark and captured their second NCAA National Championship inside of 10 years, over a top ranked West Virginia. That 2016 Cinderella year was defiantly one to admire. USC entered the NCAA Women’s College Cup for only the second time in program history. Five of the 2016 Women of Troy team members were drafted into the National Women’s Soccer League. But now, as the season opener approaches on August 18, what must the girls do to raise that trophy for a second straight year?
USC needs to ride the wave of momentum from last year. They start the year ranked third in the NCAA, just behind last year’s runner up West Virginia at #1 and Stanford at #2.
As mentioned before, the Trojans lost five starters to the pros. They will have a new keeper between the pipes since last year’s starter Sammy Jo Prudhomme was drafted by the Boston Breakers. In addition, a big loss for the Trojans is midfielder Morgan Andrews, who was USC’s first Hermann Trophy finalist ever. The key to the team’s success begins with the emergence of new faces and roles.
But even with all that USC has lost, USC stands strong with six new faces joining the team this year and many more world class athletes returning to the squad. It appears USC is no longer in rebuilding mode from 2013, Coach McAlpine has the girls in championship mode.
To stay in that picture against teams like West Virginia and North Carolina, USC needs to keep that champion mindset. They have climbed the mountain and slayed the beast. Now more teams will be prepared for them, so USC has to fight harder knowing they are the Champions. So if another team wants their title, they are going to have to take it from them.
The home opener for USC is August 18th against UC Davis at McAlister Field. The USC Women of Troy will definitely be a show worth watching all season long.