USC ends season with 3-2 comeback win against No. 2 UCLA in overtime
LOS ANGELES -- After plenty of practice playing in overtime contests, USC made good in its ninth OT game of the year and capped off the season with a 3-2 comeback victory against rival No. 2 UCLA on Friday at McAlister Field.
After UCLA scored in the first half, USC would fire back with two second-half goals, and when the game stretched into OT, USC was well prepared to dig in for the final push. After 122 minutes and 41 seconds of overtime action for USC in 2012, Jordan Marada shot the winner with three seconds left in OT, and the Trojans grabbed Los Angeles bragging rights with a 3-2 victory. USC finishes the season at 6-10-3 overall and 3-6-2 in Pac-12 play, with eight overtime games played during conference play this year. No. 2 UCLA now sets up for the NCAA Tournament with a 15-2-2 overall and 8-2-1 Pac-12 record.
UCLA's strikers proved a handful in the first half of play, as Bruin forward Zakiya Bywaters charged on the attack and finished her shot low in the 42nd minute against USC goalkeeper Caroline Stanley. UCLA would take a 1-0 lead into halftime.
In the 55th minute, junior Haley Boysen blasted the equalizer for the Trojans. With the score even 1-1, both teams pushed for an advantage.
In the 81st minute, senior Samantha Johnson grabbed the lead for USC. Johnson collected a pass upfield from Elizabeth Eddy and made her move, scoring the go-ahead goal to give USC a late lead.
UCLA found a chink in USC's defense as Jenna Richmond slipped a pass central for Sam Mewis, who was in the box for the finish that pulled the game even again at 2-2 with a minute and a half left in regulation. USC hadn't been victorious in an overtime game since its conference opener on Sept. 21, but the Trojans had been through plenty of extra minutes during Pac-12 play.
With time draining quickly in overtime, Marlee Carrillo got the call to take a deep throw-in for the Trojans. She launched the ball into the box, where Erin Owen was there for a header that dropped the ball back at the feet of junior Jordan Marada. Marada made the most of the opportunity, burying the ball in the top corner for the winning goal.
That wraps up the year's action for the Trojans, who were on the losing end of eight one-goal games in 2012 and also played a program-record nine overtime games. They finish out of reach of a postseason bid.
Senior Samantha Johnson and junior Jordan Marada finished as USC's top scorers on the season, as both netted their fifth goals of the year in Friday's win. Johnson finished her USC career ranked No. 11 all-time in career scoring with 15 career goals.