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WOMEN'S SOCCER

UCLA Beats USC, 1-0

November 18, 2002|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

Frustrated by its inability to put the ball in the net, UCLA was well aware that USC had been remarkable in overtime this season and the upset-minded Trojans were gaining confidence throughout the NCAA Division I women's soccer second-round playoff game.

USC's previous five victories had come in overtimes. Kendal Billingsley made sure there was not a sixth, scoring in the fourth minute of double overtime to give the Bruins a 1-0 victory Sunday at Drake Stadium.

The Bruins (18-3-0) advanced to a third-round game against Texas A&M at home on Saturday night. But the victory wouldn't come easily against their Pacific 10 Conference rival. Billingsley scored her third goal this season and her second game-winner.

Defender Nandi Pryce got the ball outside the right post off a corner kick and slid a pass in front. Forward Crystal James shielded goalkeeper Julie Peterson from the ball and Billingsley chipped it in to set off a wild celebration.

"Everyone was yelling to get in the [penalty] box," said Billingsley, a sophomore defender. "Nandi was doing her job in getting the ball on the right side. I just happened to be there."

The Bruins, who are seeking their second Final Four appearance in three years, outshot USC, 23-2, and got several quality scoring chances.

Peterson foiled several. In the 59th minute, UCLA was awarded a penalty kick when forward Iris Mora was taken down in the box by defender Nikki Goza.

Pryce took the kick and shot to the right side of the net, but Peterson made a kick save. In the first overtime, the sophomore goalie got a hand on a Stacy Lindstrom header in front of the net and the Trojans cleared the ball after a scramble.

"She did a nice job for them," UCLA Coach Jillian Ellis said of Peterson, who made 10 saves. "We know she's very athletic. A lot of times, she was able to bat balls out of there. We told our forwards to run straight at her and put her under pressure."

USC Coach Jim Millinder said he hoped to get the game into a shootout, particularly after watching Peterson's stop on the penalty kick. The Trojans (11-8-3) had defeated San Diego in overtime on Friday and were 5-0-3 this season.

"We were six minutes away from executing what I wanted," Millinder said. "If you try to play with UCLA straight up, you could get hammered. I thought after Julie's stop on the penalty kick that the soccer gods were looking down on us today."

*

Freshman forward Jenna Fodor scored with under a minute remaining in the first overtime to give Pepperdine a 2-1 second-round victory over Wisconsin at Marquette.

Pepperdine (18-1-2) rallied from a 1-0 deficit 12 minutes into the game. Lacey Ubaldi tied it, 1-1, with a shot from 12 yards in the 83rd minute.

The Waves will play at Michigan in the third round.

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