Sept. 1, 2008
PORTLAND, Ore. --- The No. 6 Portland Pilots dominated possession and opportunities throughout the run of play, but needed overtime to knock off top-ranked USC on Canadian National Teamer Sophie Schmidt's first goal of the 2008 season. A crowd of 3,280 erupted when Schmidt corralled a shot off the right post and tapped in the golden goal in the 97th minute.
The winning goal sequence started when sophomore Elli Reed gained possession in the Trojans' final third and made her way down the right sideline. Just before reaching the endline, Reed looped a cross that freshman Charney Burk gathered. Burk's shot attempt got by All-American goalkeeper Kristin Olson, but bounced off the inside of the right post. Schmidt took the rebound at the top of the goal box and drilled it between two defenders for the victory.
"It was a moment of brilliance by Elli getting down the sideline and sending a quality cross," Portland head coach Garrett Smith said. "Charney got off a quality shot and Sophie did a great job of being opportunistic."
Portland (2-1-0) bounced back from a narrow 1-0 loss to No. 3 UCLA on Saturday, while the Women of Troy (2-1-0) dropped their first match of the season.
"We have to win games to get playoff games," Smith added. "If we went to 1-2, our chances for home playoff games come into jeopardy."
The Pilots took control from the early going and maintained a significant advantage in possession and offensive threats, but USC's stellar defense thwarted every opportunity throughout regulation. Portland held a 16-9 edge in shots for the match and 7-3 advantage in corner kicks.
In the fourth minute, Pilot freshman Danielle Foxhoven took a cross from senior Megan Rapinoe and just missed putting it inside the left post. Portland also had a shot off of a corner kick by freshman Kassi McCluskie that appeared goal-bound, but was cleared off the goal line by USC defender Stacey Strong in the 43rd minute.
Rapinoe continued the offensive assault a minute before halftime with a 35-yard blast on a free kick that forced USC keeper Briattany Massro to make a difficult save.
Portland continued to gain a majority of the possession and frequented USC's final third throughout regulation, but the Women of Troy nearly struck in the 61st minute on a defensive miscue by the Pilots.
A poor back pass was taken away by Megan Ohai who was left 1-v-1 with only UP goalie Kelsey Davis to beat. Davis came off her line as Ohai tried to drive her shot from the top of the box through the keeper's legs, but Davis knocked the ball down and dismissed the threat.
"Our legs were off a little maybe in the first half, but we showed some resilience in the second half and overtime," Smith said. "We created quality opportunities and it finally paid off. Kelsey Davis came up huge, as did the USC goalkeepers. It was a quality game with quality opposition and I expect both teams to be in the playoffs."
Portland will look to continue the momentum into the weekend when they travel to the Husky/Nike Invitational in Seattle, Wash. The Pilots will face Kennesaw State on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and then take on Colgate on Sunday at 11 a.m.
NOTES: Redshirt senior Rachael Rapinoe started the contest but came off the field after injuring her knee in the 11th minute. Rapinoe suffered a season-ending knee injury four games into last season and was granted a medical redshirt. She is expected to see a doctor later this week for further evaluation.