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Cal Poly Women's Soccer Falls at No. 8 USC, 6-1

Cal Poly Women's Soccer Falls at No. 8 USC, 6-1

LOS ANGELES — The USC women's soccer team, which moved up to No. 8 in this week's coaches Top 25 poll, scored all six of its goals by halftime at its home opener Friday against Cal Poly, going on to win 6-1 at McAlister Field.

USC, national champions in 2016 (becoming the first Pac-12 program to win multiple College Cups, adding to the 2007 NCAA title), took the lead a minute & 22 seconds in, as Julia Bingham played a long ball ahead to Leah Pruitt, who finished a 1-v-1 opportunity.

The Trojans (2-0-0) doubled their advantage in the eighth minute, as Pruitt notched a brace off a feed from Savannah DeMelo, the USWNT's leading scorer at this past summer's U-20 World Cup.

Natalie Jacobs made it 3-0 via a 10th-minute penalty kick ensuing from a takedown, before Tara McKeown extended the lead in the 21st by taking a cross from DeMelo and burying a shot inside the far post. DeMelo was on the preseason Watch List for the Hermann Trophy, awarded to the National Player of the Year.

Ashleigh Plumptre provided a 5-0 lead thanks to a header in the 36th minute (assisted by Madeline Vergura), shortly followed (37') by Penelope Hocking capitalizing far-post on a 1-v-1 matchup with the keeper, again stemming from a setup by Vergura.

Cal Poly got on the board in the 39th minute, when junior forward Jessica Johnson put away a rebound of a shot by freshman Megan Hansen that USC keeper Kaylie Collins was unable to corral.

The Mustangs (0-1-1) also created a chance before intermission in the 27th minute, when freshman Monserrat Hernandez Marquez placed a shot on goal, but Collins stepped in front for the save.

Hernandez Marquez placed her second shot on goal of the evening in the 70th minute, not long before Johnson also forced another save with a 74th-minute attempt, staved off by Anna Smith.

USC, which last fall advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, began 2018 ranked No. 12 in the preseason Top 25. The Trojans finished with a 20-8 advantage in overall shots for the day (including 7-3 after the break).

Sophia Brown made three first-half saves for Cal Poly, stopping DeMelo attempts in the sixth, eighth and 26th minutes. Ava Dorvillier came on in goal in the second half for the Mustangs, making saves in the 50th, 71st and 73rd minutes.

Cal Poly returns home to host Boise State at 12 noon Sunday in Alex G. Spanos Stadium. Aug. 26 against the Broncos is also the first Youth Day of this fall, as all Sunday games feature free admission to Spanos Stadium for kids 13-and-under.