Southern California Athletics

PALO ALTO, CALIF. – No. 2 USC kicked off the 2011 season with a pair of solid wins on day one of the Stanford Invitational. The defending national champions first topped No. 15 Indiana 9-1 before turning around for an evening 10-8 win against No. 4 UCLA. 

Nadia Dan led USC with a hat trick in each game, with Kristen Dronberger pinning up one against Indiana and three against UCLA to help lead the Trojans’ balanced attack of eight scorers on the day.

USC had a shutout going through the first 21 minutes of play in the Trojans’ season opener against Indiana to start their tournament action today. Indiana would strike late in the third period, but USC already had a 7-0 lead at that point. The Trojans had seven different scorers on the board by that point, with Nadia Dan tallying the last two strikes to lead USC with a hat trick in the game. In her Trojan debut in the cage, USC freshman goalie Flora Bolonyai registered eight saves while allowing just the single goal by the Hoosiers.

Up against crosstown rival UCLA in the second game of the day, the Trojans were up to the task. The Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but USC would regroup and fire back. Nadia Dan tied it up 3-3 in the second period, and Joelle Bekhazi got USC on top before UCLA leveled it again. Patricia Jancso’s strike pulled the Trojans to a 5-4 halftime lead. In the third it was a back-and-forth battle, until USC managed to get ahead 8-6 thanks in part to Dan’s third goal of the game on her score with six seconds left in the frame. The Trojans would ward off comeback attempts by the Bruins in the fourth, and held on to tack up a 10-8 win.