On a humid Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles, Calif., the University of Minnesota women's soccer team fought hard in a physical battle with USC to defeat the Trojans, 4-1. The Golden Gophers were led by sophomore Taylor Uhl, who tallied two goals and an assist, and senior Allie Phillips, who notched one goal and an assist, in the victory.
For the first time in the young 2012 season, the Maroon & Gold didn't tally the first goal of the match as USC capitalized on a long throw in. Marlee Carillo slung a ball into the six-yard box where Alex Quincey met the ball at the near post and flicked it backwards. Quincey's flick fell to the feet of Katie Johnson, who struck a ball past a sprawling Cat Parkhill and inside the right post to take a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute.
Not even a minute after allowing the Trojans score, freshman Haley Helverson poked a ball away from the USC defender and strided to the endline. The West Des Moines, Iowa native turned and crossed a ball through the box to Uhl, who took two touches and dribbled the ball under Caroline Stanley to even the score at 1-1 in the 26th minute.
Uhl's score extends her school record of consecutive matches with a goal to nine and her streak of matches with a point to 10.
The Golden Gophers kept the pressure on as they were granted their fifth corner kick of the match in the 28th minute. Senior Olivia Bagnall would service the ball into the near post where she found the feet of Lauren Bauer. Bauer's touch was deflected by the keeper, but sophomore Taylor Wodnick rebounded and tapped in her first goal of the season, giving Minnesota a 2-1 lead.
The one-goal Gopher lead would hold the remainder of the half as each team generated opportunities. At the break, Minnesota held a slight advantage in shots, 11-10.
The second half would be back-and-forth between the two foes until the Maroon & Gold extended its lead midway through the period with a pair of goals.
The first came in the 69th minute when Phillips slipped a through ball to Uhl, who was streaking through the USC backline. Uhl would control the pass and dribble a ball under Stanley, who was rushing to beat Uhl to the ball, from 20 yards out.
Phillips and Uhl would switch places in the 73rd as the sophomore forward played Phillips along the left sideline. The Vadnais Heights, Minn. native would take a few touches towards goal before bending a ball inside the back post.
Minnesota would continue to hold the Trojans scoreless the remainder of the half to solidify their 4-1 triumph and move to 2-2-0 on the season.
The win completes the Golden Gophers' road swing through California, and they now return home for a four-match home stay at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. Their first contest is only four days away as they welcome Bowling Green on Thursday, August 30 at 7 p.m.
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