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USC has a great start, but a bad ending

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For the USC women’s soccer team, it must have looked like things were finally taking a turn for the better.

Just 14 seconds into USC’s Pac-12 opener against Washington State at McAlister Field on Sunday, Trojan forward Samantha Johnson scored off a pass from Hayley Boysen, breaking the school record for the fastest goal scored in program history.

Unfortunately, that was the only goal in the match for USC, while Washington State scored twice in the second half and handed the Trojans their fourth straight loss with a final score of 2-1.

The Trojans held the 1-0 lead until the 67thminute when Cougar defender Rachel Doyle headed in a free kick from Delaney Zalud for the equalizer. Freshman midfielder Jocelyn Jeffers scored the game-winner for Washington in the 86thminute, assisted by Brandi Vega.

USC had a few scoring opportunities, the best being senior midfielder Carly Butcher's shot that struck the upper crossbar, but deflected out of the goal. Butcher led the Trojans with three shots, while Johnson had two shots.

Trojan goalkeeper Shelby Church matched her career high of seven saves.

USC drops to 3-7-0 overall and 0-1 in conference play, while Washington State improves to 7-3-1, 1-0.

Although USC entered the preseason ranked 25thin both the NSCAA and Soccer America polls, the Trojans quickly fell out of the rankings after losing 2-1 to Long Beach State and 3-1 to San Diego during the season-opening weekend.

The Trojans (3-7-0, 0-1) have now lost five at home - the most losses on their home field since 1994.

USC will look to snap its losing streak next weekend when the Trojans host Oregon State at 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30, and Oregon at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2, at McAlister Field.