Doheny Memorial Library transformed into a ballroom on Saturday night for the 29th annual USC Libraries Scripter Awards. The black-tie gala was held in the Los Angeles Times Reference Room.The Scripter awards, established in 1988, recognizes screenwriters along with the authors of the original works they adapted. Originally the awards were given only to film adaptations, but last year a new category was created to recognize TV adaptations.At the event, Provost Michael Quick shared the key role that libraries play in the academic life of the University.“They are the core of what we stand for in higher education,” Quick said. “The unfettered search for truth, the accumulation over time of the knowledge that allows us to progress as humans, our launching point for future leaders. The libraries represent the absolute best of what it means to be human, of what it means to revere the truth, of what it means to make a difference in the world.”This year’s winning author, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and screenwriter Barry Jenkins, were recognized for the film Moonlight.There was also a tie tonight for the TV category between screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski with author Jeffrey Toobin for FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and screenwriter David Farr with author John Le Carré for AMC’s The Night Manager.According to the Scripter Awards website, the Scripter selection committee is “comprised of Writers Guild of America Members, Academy Award-winning and -nominated screenwriters, authors, film industry executives, faculty, and select members of the Friends of the USC Libraries.” This year’s committee, chaired by USC professor Howard Rodman, chose finalists from 80 film and 45 TV adaptations.“One of the things I love about the Scripter Awards is that it’s the only award, that I’m aware of, that honors written work into film,” Rodman said to Red Carpet Report TV. “And, unlike many other awards that honor just the movie or television show, this actually goes back to honor equally, the writers of the original work.”This year’s finalists for film adaptation included Eric Heisserer for Arrival, August Wilson for Fences, Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi for Hidden Figures, Luke Davies for the screenplay for Lion, and Barry Jenkins for Moonlight, adapted from In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney.The finalists for television episodes included David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for the episode “The Winds of Winter” from Game of Thrones, adapted from the series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, Erik Oleson for the episode “Fallout” from The Man in the High Castle, Tara Herrmann and Jenji Kohan for the episode “Toast Can’t Never Be Bread Again” from Orange Is the New Black, and Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski for the episode “Manna From Heaven” from The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.Every year the Scripter Award funds specific projects around USC. Sponsorship levels ranged from a $500 “Supporter” level which included dinner for one and a formal invitation to the Scripter Reception, to a $30,000 “Gold” level, which included dinner for a group of 16, transportation to and from the event, membership in the Dean’s Council of the Friends of the USC Libraries, and a private dinner with the Dean.
In addition, students who subscribe to International Student Careers’ free newsletter receive the International Student Job Search Guide, a 33-page document that gives aspiring professionals a strong base for their job search, including two sections that explain H-1B in extensive detail. The Institute of International Education The college landscape is an uneven playing field. With nearly 100,000 undocumented high school graduates every year, the vast number of undocumented students preparing for college will have to transition without the same access to financial aid and scholarships as many other students. Edupass – International Student Loan Finder NAFSA also provides guides for international students to educate them about the costs of going to school in the United States and to help them organize their spending. The glossary of financial aid terms defines any potentially confusing wording that students may encounter on their paperwork, while the simple budget spreadsheet breaks down everything a student will need to spend money on. Resources for any college student Joining communities of students with similar experiences offers an intimate way to build a second home. The International Student Assembly is a group for students from all countries and backgrounds and hosts events such as Global Cultural Month, Globefest and other activities. Students can also join cultural assemblies with more specific demographics, such as the Asian Pacific American Student Assembly and Latinx Student Assembly. However, undocumented students are not entirely excluded from scholarships — the Undergraduate Student Government created a resource list for such students, which include scholarships for undocumented students such as the Los Hermanos de Stanford Scholarship and the La Unidad Latina Foundation Scholarship (specifically for Latinx students). Interstride USC-specific resources Graduates who aren’t sure what country they want to live in yet can use the Jobs tool, which searches for opportunities at H1-B sponsoring employers both in the United States and internationally. Interstride also provides advice from its employees on job search strategies and posts frequent webinars for students looking to enter any professional area, with topics ranging from job search optimization by country to education on how to begin a startup company. The Institute of International Education’s website connects students to potential opportunities, including fellowships and internships in countries abroad. The website also publishes news and studies on developments that impact international students and launched a fund earlier this month to provide $1 million to aid international students affected by the coronavirus. USG’s Guide for Undocumented Students Interstride’s Visa Insights feature allows students to look up which employers have sponsored H-1B visas in the past. The Country Insights tool provides descriptions of the economic states of countries across the globe and links to important information including health recommendations, cost of living guides and job postings. International Scholarships Attending universities in the United States can be very expensive — finding relevant scholarships can be crucial to affording higher education. Internationalscholarships.com provides a comprehensive list of scholarships international students can qualify for in addition to grants and loans. Students can use the site to discover more than 1,600 scholarships, which can then be filtered to find major-specific scholarships. Navigating which loans are available can be a daunting task for international students. The International Student Loan Finder on edupass.org, a site dedicated to informing international students in the United States about financial resources available to them, allows students to learn about a variety of educational loans. After the student inputs whether they are a U.S. citizen, have a U.S. cosigner and other information related to their degree, the International Student Loan Finder provides a list of loans the student qualifies for. USC Cultural Assemblies The following organizations and tools provide international students with answers to questions about visas, financial issues and their job search. NAFSA’s Financial Aid for International Students page Students can find the link to Interstride on the “Explore Resources for International Students” page on the University’s Career Center website. Interstride is a career services page that has partnered with USC and other higher education institutions throughout the country to help graduating international students in their career search. The guide also lists specific search engines for finding scholarships, including the Act on a Dream’s database of national scholarships for DACA students. The Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund also provides scholarships for undocumented students, focusing on those with Central American and Latinx backgrounds. One such post is a guide to finding jobs abroad, giving students a defined checklist of goals to accomplish on their search that will make them more attractive to potential employers. This checklist style is replicated in other posts that describe how to stand out at an international career fair, how to write an American CV and how to ace an informational interview. A quarter of USC’s student population is international, and yet this community is often underrepresented in the stories that are told at the University. In our special “A Long Way From Home” supplement issue, the Daily Trojan aims to spotlight the perspectives of international students who shape the culture of USC. Find all the stories here. The site outlines many methods of funding one’s education, with links to pages that provide scholarships, grants and loans. There’s also a section on tax credit, providing students with the resources to find out when they are tax-exempt. On USC’s Career Center website, International Student Careers provides guidance to international students hoping to work in the United States. The site hosts similar resources on H-1B-friendly companies to Interstride, including a tool that outlines the best global cities for tech jobs. For those frustrated with H-1B, ISC has a number of educational blog posts that explain the processes that help students get jobs step-by-step. International Student Careers The National Association of Foreign Student Advisors’ sole mission isn’t focused on assisting international students, but its page for international student financial aid is useful. Financial aid is scarce for international students, so NAFSA designed a page that provides information on many common financial concerns and links to sites that specialize in those areas. The Institute of International Education is a multifunctional organization that finds many ways to accomplish its mission statement, which is “to help people and organizations leverage the power of international education to thrive in today’s interconnected world.” Its top service is managing global scholarship programs, but it also uses its vast network of 1,600 higher education institutions to connect members across the world. Design: Mia Isla | Daily Trojan Read more about how international students adjust to USC here.
For all of the USC basketball team’s success in recent years, the Galen Center and its crowd is still far from being considered one of college basketball’s best home-court advantages. A group of students, with the help of new Trojan basketball coach Kevin O’Neill and the USC athletic department, is trying to change that this season.The Trojan Fever Fanatics, a new group founded by USC junior Eric Ronan, have made its mission to improve student attendance at home basketball games and create a unique game atmosphere.“Coach has been extremely involved,” said Ronan, the co-executive director of the Fanatics and a junior majoring in public relations. “He said he would do anything in his power to promote the group and support it so that we get more people at basketball games and have a better experience.”The Fanatics held their first informational meeting Tuesday evening, with a special appearance by O’Neill.O’Neill told the gathered students that he is committed to helping improve the atmosphere at home basketball games.“If you let me know, I’ll be there to help you,” O’Neill said. “If you need me to go speak at rallies, I can do that. I will really do whatever.”O’Neill also discussed his expectations for this year’s team and the selling points for USC basketball.“I think our team is gonna be better than what people expect,” O’Neill said. “Our team is gonna work harder than every team in the county. To me, if you’re watching guys playing hard, that’s fun to watch.”About 40 students attended the meeting, and most were enthusiastic about the potential of both the group and the team under O’Neill.“I’m definitely excited because I feel like he’s a very personal coach,” said Madison Ainley, a junior majoring in film production. “He’s hands-on not only with his players but also with the student section, like he wants to be a part of it.”O’Neill realizes that a large factor in students’ willingness to attend basketball games is the success of the team on the court.“The more we win, the easier it is for students to get interested,” O’Neill said.Michael Serna, a sophomore majoring in business administration, put it more bluntly.“If USC basketball doesn’t win, there’s not gonna be fans that want to go to the game,” Serna said.One of the more immediate goals for the Fanatics is to have a consistently full student section, especially for conference games.“Right now, we can definitely improve our attendance and this year. I think if the student section is full for all Pac-10 basketball games, that’s the biggest goal,” said David Kern, the co-executive director of the Fanatics and a sophomore majoring in business administration.“[Last year] we could have 200 [student] fans for one game and 1,200 for the next,” Associate Athletic Director Craig Kelley added. “Our goal is to get that 1,200 for every game.”Kelley was already encouraged by the turnout at the meeting.“We tried this five years ago and the turnout wasn’t anything like this,” Kelley told the students.The Fanatics will be made up of a group of about 20 members, whose responsibilities include leading chants at the games and coming up with new USC basketball traditions.“Ultimately, the sky’s the limit,” Kern said. “Growing up around Duke, the Cameron Crazies, if we could ever become something like that, it would be amazing. It’s just gonna come down to the creativity of the group and the people in it.”
The goal for the USC women’s swimming team is simple.“We want to win every dual meet,” senior co-captain Lyndsay DePaul said.Big push · Senior captain Lyndsay DePaul was part of a USC relay team that finished with the lowest time in the 200-yard medley. – Tim Tran | Daily Trojan The Women of Troy took the first step to accomplishing that goal Friday, defeating Oregon State 141-112 at McDonald’s Swim Stadium.A USC swimmer or team relay posted the lowest time in every event of the afternoon.“The competition today really came more from ourselves than it did from Oregon State,” USC coach Dave Salo said.The Women of Troy got off to a fast start in the day’s first event, the 200-yard medley relay. USC’s top team featured three returning All-Americans — DePaul, senior Presley Bard and junior Katinka Hosszu — and freshman Kasey Carlson. They finished in 1:40.68, nearly five seconds faster than the runners up.The same team ended the meet with the lowest time in the 400-yard freestyle relay, finishing in 3:22.63.“Our relays did great,” DePaul said.Hosszu went on to win the 200-yard butterfly in 1:56.78 and the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:14.85, while Bard finished first in the 100-yard backstroke in 54.32.DePaul posted the fastest time in the 100-yard butterfly at 53.22.The day’s biggest star, however, was sophomore Haley Anderson, who won the 200-yard (1:49.54) and 500-yard (4:48.79) freestyle events in convincing fashion.“Haley Anderson did an outstanding job,” Salo said. “She showed some real sprint speed that we didn’t think we had out of her, so she’s going to be a player.”Salo also left the meet impressed with the performances of some of his top freshmen.Freshman Meghan Hawthorne captured victories in the 200-yard individual medley (2:03.45) and the 200-yard backstroke (2:01.88), and Carlson won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.21.“It’s tough for freshmen to understand what the whole dual meet environment is like because it’s very, very quick and they’re not used to that,” Salo said. “So for freshmen to come in and win events, I think is pretty good. So we’re real happy with it.”Senior Ellie Doran won the 1,000-yard freestyle in 10:07.85, sophomore Jessica Schmitt placed first in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:03.63, and sophomore Christel Simms won the 100-yard freestyle in 51.49.“We wanted to put up some times that anyone across the nation would look at this early in the season and know that our program is serious and is focused on being a top-five program at NCAAs this year,” Salo said. “I think we did that.”The Women of Troy will next compete at their own USC Invitational on Friday at McDonald’s Swim Stadium. Salo, however, is already looking forward to the team’s first big challenge.“Our next big push is toward Arizona, and they’ve always been one of the top three or four teams in the country the last few years,” Salo said about the Nov. 12 meet. “We want to see if we can’t mix it up with them come the beginning of November.”
The setup: Then-No. 20 USC came into Corvallis, Ore., fresh off a 24-21 win at then-No. 18 Arizona and looked to build off that momentum as the Trojans tried to break the Corvallis Curse, as they hadn’t won at Oregon State since 2004, after losing their last two games there when ranked No. 1 and No. 3.A sorry sight · Sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley was helped off the field Saturday after suffering a high-ankle sprain during the second-to-last play of the first half on Saturday. The timetable for his return is unknown. – Brandon Hui | Daily Trojan The story: Sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley could be done for the season.Barkley received a high-ankle sprain on his right foot after he was sacked on the second-to-last play of the first half. He was carted off the field and did not re-enter the game. He came out of the locker room in the second half with a walking boot on and using crutches.“I don’t know the depth of the injury,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said. “Obviously we’ll work to get him back but otherwise we got to move forward.”Barkley said that being out for the remainder of the year is the last thing he wants to happen and did not know after the game if he will be able to play this week.Down and out: USC got down early and never came back. Like the previous two losses, the Trojans dug themselves in a deep hole early. A pass from Barkley was intercepted and returned for a touchdown to put the Beavers up 10-0 early in the second quarter.Seven minutes later, Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers ran the ball in for a three-yard score to put Oregon State up 17-0. The Beavers tacked on a field goal before the half, creating a deep deficit that proved too much for the Trojans.“The problem with [the interception] is that play happens and you have the feeling, ‘Here we go again,’” Kiffin said. “I’m sure everyone had that feeling. That’s the blueprint for coming in here and playing a team that hadn’t played well the last few weeks before. We handed them the ball and seven points.”USC found itself in more trouble when Barkley injured his ankle.As a result, senior backup quarterback Mitch Mustain led the Trojan offense in the second half and gave it some spark coming out of halftime. He led a drive that ended in a 13-yard touchdown run from senior running back C.J. Gable with three minutes left in the third quarter that brought the Trojans within 16.On USC’s next possession, Mustain put together a nine-play drive but turned the ball over on downs after his pass fell incomplete to freshman receiver Robert Woods on fourth-and-four at the Beavers’ 46-yard line. That incomplete pass would be USC’s last chance to get back in the game as Oregon State scored a touchdown on its next possession to put the game out of reach.Mustain finished with eight-for-17 passing for 60 yards.“You can’t put a guy in a much worse situation,” Kiffin said. “On the road against a defense that’s playing really well that day, and we’re not playing great on offense anyway, and we’re down by much. But it was very good for Mitch’s experience especially because he might be our quarterback next week and the week after.”Mustain said he didn’t feel much pressure going in and enjoyed competing with the outcome of the game still in limbo.“It’s nice to be playing for something, per se,” Mustain said. “Not that it doesn’t always matter, you can put it on film, but this is different. This is a chance to get in with these guys and really make a difference. The hardest part for me especially is that we didn’t execute in times that could’ve helped us.”The game was over when: USC walked into the stadium. Even with Barkley running the offense in the first half, he was inconsistent and couldn’t establish any rhythm. The farthest the Trojans ventured into Oregon State territory in the first half was on their first drive to the Beavers’ 26 yard-line, but redshirt junior running back Marc Tyler was stuffed on fourth-and-two.“If you turn the ball over, don’t make many third downs, barely make any fourth downs and don’t get any turnovers, that’s what happens,” Kiffin said. “Obviously, our offense was terrible.”The resurgence of Gable: For the first time this year, Gable saw extended playing time and was arguably the best Trojan on the field. After Tyler hurt his ankle in the first half, senior running back Allen Bradford dropped a pitch in the second quarter — and with freshman tailback Dillon Baxter absent after possible contact with a registered NFL agent — Kiffin gave Gable a shot.Gable’s 56-yard kickoff return in the third quarter set up the Trojans’ only score — his 13-yard touchdown run. He finished with 10 carries for a team-high 57 yards.Key injuries: Several Trojans were injured in Saturday’s contest. Barkley went down with a high-ankle sprain, Tyler hurt his ankle, junior right tackle Tyron Smith hurt his knee and redshirt junior linebacker Chris Galippo suffered a concussion.Galippo should be back next week but the timetable for the return of the other three players is unclear.
As the opening days of the 2010-2011 season are upon the USC basketball team (2-0, 0-0), gauging an upcoming opponent can often prove to be an arduous task.Focused · Senior forward Alex Stepheson has played the role of the big man this season for the Trojans alongside junior forward Nikola Vucevic. USC is currently 2-0. – Brandon Hui | Daily Trojan From watching tape, to scouting tendencies and personnel, evaluating foes from obscure conferences on short notice — like tonight’s opponent Rider University (1-1,0-0) from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference — is difficult to say the least.But on the heels of their impressive 2-0 start — only the second time in the past decade the team has raced out to two straight victories — the Trojans know that the biggest adjustments are made internally rather than externally.Going into its 7:30 p.m. tussle at the Galen Center against the visiting Broncs, the team is riding high behind true freshman guard Maurice Jones’ early season play including a career-high 29 points against Santa Clara on Monday.Looking inside, junior forward Nikola Vucevic has picked up rather nicely from his breakout season last year. The team’s lone member of the John Wooden Preseason Top 50 List has posted back-to-back double-double performances (19 points and 14 rebounds against UC Irvine and a career-high 22 points and 11 rebounds against Santa Clara).Largely overlooked by the team’s newfound offensive firepower through their first 80 minutes is the status of 6-foot-10 senior center Alex Stepheson. The former University of North Carolina transfer received word hours before Monday’s tipoff that he had fractured his hand in USC’s home opener against UC Irvine.Although Stepheson was able to suit up against Santa Clara, while also managing to play all 40 minutes in a cumbersome black cast, the big man appeared to be hindered offensively by the fracture most of the night, scoring only six points.Heading into tonight’s nonconference clash, it appears the defensive-savvy center will be ready to go against Tommy Dempsey’s squad from Lawrenceville, N.J.“We know they are a tough team, and it’s going to be a challenge,” Stepheson said.Dempsey’s deep MAAC squad comes to town after defeating Lafayette 80-73 Saturday afternoon, thanks in large part to the experienced play off its bench, who outscored the Leopards’ bench 37-7.Although USC’s point guard Maurice Jones has looked anything but gun shy in his first two collegiate games, Wednesday night will prove to be his first big on-court test.The Broncs’ leader and most-experienced player is guard Justin Robinson, who comes in averaging 15 points and 5.5 assists per game.Robinson, a native of London, is surrounded by an adequate supporting cast led by three talented freshmen — Danny Stewart, Tommy Pereira and Anthony Myles.While second-year USC coach Kevin O’Neill has no intention of overlooking tonight’s opponent, there was no need to rummage through video and preseason scouting reports to find Wednesday’s gaping disparity: size.On paper, Vucevic and Stepheson look as if they will encounter little trouble on the boards during their first game of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.Rider will take to the court tonight, boasting an average team height of 6-foot-4. In addition, the Broncos have only one center traveling with the team, 6-foot-10 sophomore Dera Nd-Ezuma, who through two games has logged a total of seven minutes of action.But as the Trojans head into this early three-game tournament, the message in the locker room deviates far from underestimating their little known opponents.“This is a great tournament, big-time,” Stepheson said. “It’s simple: We want to win it.”Following Wednesday night’s contest, O’Neill and company will head on their first mini-road trip of the season to the site of the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.USC will face Bradley on Friday afternoon, followed by a turnaround game against New Mexico State to conclude the tournament on Sunday.
Sophomore two-meter Kaleigh Gilchrist scored five goals to lead the Women of Troy in two convincing wins in the final day of the Stanford Invitational on Sunday, as the squad claimed third place in the tournament to start their season.USC concluded the weekend with a 10-5 win over No. 2 Cal to clinch the third-place game, just hours after routing No. 14 UC-Davis 13-6.Opening weekend · The No. 3 Women of Troy kicked off their season with a third place victory at the Stanford Invitational this weekend. Sophomore Kaleigh Gilchrist led the young squad with five goals. – Courtesy of USC Sports InformationThe Women of Troy dominated a pivotal second quarter against Cal, outscoring the Golden Bears 4-1 to take a 6-2 lead into the locker room at halftime.They continued that pace in the third period to take an 8-3 lead, having held the Golden Bears to one goal in each of the first three periods.Gilchrist recorded a hat trick against Cal, and freshman driver Monica Vavic scored two goals. Sophomore goalie Flora Bolonyai held steady between the posts, racking up seven saves.UC Davis hung close with the USC for the first half of Sunday’s opening match, staying within 6-4 at halftime.But USC woke up in the third quarter, outscoring UC Davis 4-1. The Women of Troy added three more goals in the fourth period for a final score of 13-6.Gilchrist, Vavic and juniors two-meter Patricia Jancso and driver Chelsea Silvers scored two goals apiece to lead USC’s balanced attack.Bolonyai recorded three saves before giving way to senior goalie Morgan Vickers halfway through the fourth quarter.USC went 3-1 overall in the tournament, beating No. 5 San Jose State 14-6 before narrowly falling to No. 1 Stanford 8-7 on the first day of play.San Jose State and the Women of Troy were tied 3-3 after the first period, but USC exploded for 10 goals in the next two quarters to pull away from the Spartans.The Women of Troy spread the wealth around in their first official game of the 2012 season, as 10 different players scored against San Jose State. Three freshman — Vavic, 2-meter Eike Daube and driver Savannah Fletcher — scored their first career goals.In Saturday’s nightcap, USC took its first loss of the season against No. 1 Stanford after falling behind 5-1 by halftime.The young squad, which has three seniors on its roster, fought back valiantly in the second half, but fell short against the top ranked Cardinal in its home pool.
For the No. 4 USC women’s sand volleyball team, its entire season has led up to this tournament.The team will finally be put to the ultimate test in the second-annual American Volleyball Coaches Association collegiate sand volleyball national championship in Gulf Shores, Ala., beginning Friday.This will be the Women of Troy’s second consecutive appearance in the tournament, making them two for two in their two years of eligibility as a varsity sport.“We are looking forward to going down to Alabama and playing our style of beach volleyball,” USC head coach Anna Collier said. “It should be challenging but we have prepared ourselves enough to do well through competing a lot this season.”USC will begin team play on Friday against No. 5-seeded North Florida at 7 a.m. The winner of that match will face undefeated and top-ranked Pepperdine, a team that has not lost a single match in its two-year-old program and is 18-0 this season.Pepperdine also defeated the Women of Troy twice earlier in the season and owns the title of defending national champion. That match would take place at 10 a.m.USC (14-6) will first have to take care of North Florida (16-3), who earned an automatic bid to the championship by winning the Atlantic Sun Conference championship.The Ospreys went a 8-0 in conference play this year, and the team’s only losses came out of conference to Georgia State, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Louisiana Monroe. Monroe is the No. 6 seed in the tournament. All of these losses came in five sets.USC will be joining a six-team field that includes many top teams in the nation. Defending national champion Pepperdine is set to participate, as is No. 2 seed Long Beach State and No. 3 seed Florida State.The two teams in the tournament that the Women of Troy have not faced this season are North Florida and No. 6-seeded Louisiana Monroe.In addition to the team tournament, there will also be a single-elimination, 16-team pairs championship featuring the top duos in the nation.Both the No. 1 pair, composed of junior Kirby Burnham and graduate student Stevi Robinson, and the No. 2-ranked pair, senior Katie Fuller and freshman Cinnamon Sary, will be representing USC.Burnham and Robinson are coming off an exhibition tournament win against the USA Junior National Team, which should prove beneficial to the pair’s momentum going into the championship.“Right now, we are trying to focus on our first match against North Florida,” Robinson said. “But we will worry about the two-on-two matches when the time comes.”The Women of Troy’s two pairs teams will begin play in the pairs championship on Sunday at 6 a.m. Portions of both the team and pairs competitions will also be available on the CBS Sports Network.USC’s exhibition against the USA Junior National Team was additionally beneficial in that it gave the Women of Troy a look at the same style employed by its future AVCA competition.“These games really gave us a look at the scrappy, beach-style games of teams like North Florida or Louisiana Monroe,” Collier said. “That should help us a lot for the AVCA [championships].”Whatever the results of the tournament are, USC has made an immediate impact in just two years of competition to become one of the top-ranked programs in the nation. Though the team has fared well at brand-new Merle Norman Stadium, it has yet to knock off a top-three-ranked team in the nation.This weekend’s tournament will provide USC with the opportunity it needs to join the nation’s upper echelon of elite programs.
A third of the way into the 2014 campaign, the USC women’s Soccer team continues to evade defeat.The No. 14 Women of Troy beat Pacific 3-0 Friday afternoon and left Orange County with an extra-time draw against UC Irvine Sunday evening, improving their record to 5-0-2.Sole goal · Junior striker Katie Johnson came up with USC’s only goal in Sunday night’s 1-1 extra-time draw at UC Irvine. The Monrovia, California native has two goals so far this season, pushing her career total to 10. – Samuel Chang | Daily TrojanAnother successful weekend began with a tough first half against the Tigers that saw USC struggle to score.Despite a number of opportunities, head coach Keidane McAlpine was displeased with the team’s first-half performance.“[The first half was] sloppy,” McAlpine said. “I didn’t think we were sharp in our movements and our passing, especially around the box and around the goal.”The first-year coach’s halftime messages and adjustments have already proven to do wonders for this team, as the Women of Troy continue to turn tough first-half deficits into stellar second-half performances.Just two minutes into the second half against Pacific, junior forward Tamara Mejia finally put the Women of Troy on the board. Mejia, who entered the game as a substitute, finished her run down the left flank by netting her first-ever career goal as a Trojan into the lower left side of the net.Sophomore defender Kayla Mills followed up with a beauty of a shot into the upper left corner at the 63-minute mark, giving the team room to breathe and giving herself her second goal in two games.“I do what I gotta do for the win,” Mills said. “I just do what the team needs me — drop back [or] push up when they need me.”Senior midfielder Alex Quincey finished off the win with a clinical header off of junior Reilly Parker’s corner kick. Coming off a hat trick against UC Riverside, the midfielder added to her team-high season tally of five goals and capped off the much-improved second half that Coach McAlpine wanted.“I thought our response in the second half was pretty good,” McAlpine said.More importantly, McAlpine was impressed with the defense’s ability to shut out Pacific, one of the primary goals this squad looks to achieve in every single match.Senior goalkeeper Caroline Stanley was also thrilled about the shutout, but she credited her hardworking defensive front for it.“The defense definitely earned it today,” Stanley said. “They single handedly got the shutout themselves.”Though the shutout kept their winning streak intact, the Women of Troy were forced to forget the win against Pacific quickly and travel to Anteater Recreation Center Field to take on a UC Irvine squad that had won three straight games.The Sunday night match between the Women of Troy and the Anteaters was a clash of winning streaks, but it also quickly became a clash of defenses.McAlpine was finally given the fast start he has been looking for all year when junior forward Katie Johnson scored her second goal of the season in the seventh minute off a Mejia cross and a flick by junior midfielder Natalie Donaldson.It looked like the Women of Troy were well on their way to their fifth straight win, but the Anteaters would not go down that easily, and the match suddenly evolved into a defensive battle.USC relentlessly sought the match’s all important second goal, but the UCI defense refused to back down.It was only a matter of a time before great defense turned into productive offense for the Lady Anteaters. Home fans finally rejoiced in the 75th minute when Kiana Palacios put the ball past Stanley, ending the shutout and tying the game.The late goal — which came off a free kick — pushed the duel into extra time.Two 10-minute extra periods still failed to separate the two squads, and the Women of Troy could not manufacture a second goal even while dominating the game offensively.A draw allows USC to retain its undefeated record, but a win certainly seemed within reach. Nevertheless, McAlpine welcomed and appreciated the tough challenge that UC Irvine gave his team.“This was great preparation for us,” McAlpine said. “Irvine played great and brought good energy. I am glad we got a result in this type of game.”The Women of Troy return to action during a two-game, non-conference set that pairs them against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Pepperdine on Friday and Sunday at McAlister Field.
After another dominant victory over a nonconference foe, the USC Trojan football team has wrapped up the easy part of its schedule. After two games — both blowout wins — it’s hard to really tell how USC will fare against quality Pac-12 opponents.So far, there are very few complaints about the team. Against Idaho, the offensive line and special teams performed better than they did in the season opener when they faced Arkansas State. The offensive line opened up gaping holes for all five of USC’s stellar running backs, and the Trojans also blocked an extra point.At 2-0, the 2015 Trojans have done everything they are supposed to, which is a positive sign. There were no close calls against inferior opponents like Auburn and Notre Dame this past Saturday. Additionally, the team has yet to suffer any major injuries that would negatively affect the Trojans’ potential for the rest of the season. The most noteworthy aspect of the season thus far is that it has been entirely predictable, which is a breath of fresh air when it comes to USC football.The highlight so far this season has been the tremendous play of the Trojans’ skill position players. Both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Adoree’ Jackson picked up right where they left off a season ago, with the dynamic duo leading the charge for the Trojans.Smith-Schuster has further refined his route-running abilities, improving his dependability and admirably filling the shoes of departed first-round draft pick Nelson Agholor. Smith-Schuster brings a level of smash mouth physicality to the wideout position that makes him an even more formidable threat than former standouts Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and Agholor. Additionally, his speed and catch radius are already at an elite level and will give opposing Pac-12 defensive backs nightmares for the rest of the season.If contending with Smith-Schuster and the rest of USC’s talented wide receivers wasn’t enough, now defenses have to worry about Jackson making a big play whenever he touches the ball, which so far has been much more frequent than last season. Jackson, who is also one of the surest tacklers on defense, had a catch-and-run that was about as close to Reggie Bush’s famous run against Fresno State as anything the Coliseum has seen in the last 10 years.Both Smith-Schuster and Jackson have lived up to their billing as ballyhooed recruits, and USC’s potent and explosive offense is reaping the rewards. The talent extends beyond the receiving corps to the backfield where USC is absolutely loaded at tailback.Junior Justin Davis made his 2015 debut in electrifying style, bouncing his first run outside and taking it to the goal line. After scoring on the subsequent play, Davis’s uncanny vision and cutback ability was on display on the next drive with impressive runs. Though frequently injured, Davis has natural instincts that just can’t be taught, and if he can somehow stay healthy all season, the Trojans will have the perfect complement to Tre Madden’s running style.Madden had another impressive game, displaying his versatility as a runner, pass-catcher and blocker. Though he has missed a lot of the last two seasons, Madden hasn’t really skipped a beat from his elite performances in the early 2013 season.The real revelations, though, have been the freshmen trio of running backs. Ronald Jones II followed up his terrific debut with another stellar performance against the Vandals. In what was one of the most impressive runs of the game, Jones exploded through the middle for a dynamic 40-plus yard touchdown run. Though it was called back because of holding, this run, in conjunction with his long scamper against Arkansas State, is indicative of Jones’ tremendous big play ability.While Jones has dominated the headlines so far, both Dominic Davis and Aca’Cedric Ware have also made quality impressions. Davis, who is too light to be an every-down back, makes explosive plays every time he touches the ball. With his ability to split out wide, Davis could be a matchup nightmare for opposing linebackers who can’t match his quickness. Ware has only flashed glimpses of his potential, but the brief introduction has exhibited a physical downhill runner who complements the quartet of USC’s other running backs.It’s certainly too early to get overly excited about the Trojans’ postseason potential after only two wins against substandard opponents, but the team definitely has to feel good about their first two victories.Both Stanford and Arizona State have looked suspect so far this season, and if the Trojans can somehow beat both the Cardinal and Sun Devils, then they will enter their early season bye in the best position they have been in since the end of the Pete Carroll era. The team has a long way to go to match the performance of those teams, but so far it is trending in the right direction.Jake Davidson is a junior majoring in accounting. His column, “Davidson’s Direction,” runs Mondays.