LOS ANGELES - Led by four points from Chase Tornquist, a hat trick from Clay Goldthwait and another strong defensive performance, the Trojans downed the No. 14 ranked UCSB Gauchos by a score of 7-6 on Saturday afternoon.
This marks the first time in the history of the program that Southern Cal beat the Gauchos.
As always, Peter Hollen got the Trojans going with a fast-break goal to start the game. From there, the Trojans jumped out to a 4-1 advantage after the first quarter.
The game slowed down after the first frame and the score leading in to the fourth quarter was 6-3 in the USC's favor.
“Our defense is without a doubt one of the best groups in the country and I have no problem saying it," said USC coach Dan Moriarty. "Despite going 2-for-16 at the faceoff X, we were able to get stops, make saves and hold a great UCSB team to six goals."
But as well-coached programs do, the Gauchos responded with three straight goals in the fourth quarter to tie the game at six with 5:59 to go in the game.
The Trojans were able to make a stop and on the ensuing possession Tornquist hit Goldthwait with a great cross-crease pass for the game winner.
“When we lost Ryan Rogers to an injury in the middle of the SDSU game, it was a crushing blow to our team," Moriarty said. "Ryan is monster of a player, which I have no doubt he’ll prove next year, and he was our unquestioned leader on that end of the field. We struggled with our identity for a few games for sure.”
“Chase and Clay have responded as well as you can ask," added Moriarty. "They had to take on new roles and I probably cost us a game with how much I got after Chase, but they took the coaching and went out and showed everyone what they are capable of, which is making big plays in big moments.
"Even though we only scored seven, we actually played well offensively. If we can win a faceoff going forward, and continue to improve with good practices, who knows, we might actually be pretty good.”
The Trojans look to improve upon their 4-3 record as they take on Utah State in their home opener on Wednesday night on Cromwell Field at 7 p.m.