The USC women's soccer team is hosting the Trojan Invitational this weekend and a clash of Palisadians could take place Sunday afternoon when the Trojans meet Texas in the final game, set to kick off at 12:30 p.m. at McAlister Field.
Texas (5-1) is led by Palisadian and former 's standout Amanda Lisberger, who has started every match this season at left marking back and is second among field players in total minutes played. The Longhorns will kick off the four-team tournament Friday at 1 p.m. against San Diego State (4-2).
The opening game will feature the two players who shared the Los Angeles Times High School Player of the Year Award as seniors in 2008. Lisberger was named the most outstanding offensive player in Southern California after breaking the career scoring record at Brentwood School, while the Toreros’ Dani Russell was the Southern California Defensive Player of the Year while playing at Long Beach Wilson.
Texas boasts one of the best defenses in the nation with four shutouts in its first six contests, along with an offense that averages 2.5 goals per game. Lisberger is playing defense for the first time this season and is growing into her new role.
"It's different since I have to stay back more and be more careful what I do with the ball, but I really enjoyed playing back there," Lisberger told her hometown Patch after a 3-0 exhibition victory over TCU in August—her first game at left back. "It gives me the opportunity to get into the attack, too, which is what I'm supposed to do. I just have to pick and choose the moments to push up."
USC (3-3) will face No. 4-ranked Oklahoma State (7-0) in the second game Friday at 3:30 p.m. and the Trojans' roster includes two players with local ties—junior goalkeeper Anne Turner and sophomore forward and midfielder Elizabeth Eddy. Both played for the Pali Blues this season. USC became the first Pac-10 Conference team to win the NCAA soccer championship. Palisadian defender Ali Riley led Stanford to the first of its two consecutive NCAA final appearances in 2009.
Turner, a Palisadian, walked on at USC in 2010 but did not play that season. She was a three-sport athlete at Thacher School in Ojai (soccer, volleyball and lacrosse) and earned All-CIF first team honors in 2009. She also played club for the Westside Breakers. Her sister Kathryn was the captain and MVP of the girls' cross country team at Harvard-Westlake and is now a senior at UC San Diego where she competes in cross country and track.
Eddy played 12 games for the Blues this season and scored two goals.
On Sunday, Lisberger will be charged with defending her Eagles SC teammate, Haley Boysen, the Trojans sophomore whose goal in the final minute of overtime forced penalty kicks and allowed the Eagles to defeat the Kansas City Dynamos at the 2011 U.S. National U23 Championships in July—the Camarillo-based club team's record fourth age-specific national title. Boysen, a Moorpark native who starred at Harvard-Westlake, was recently called up for the U20 National Team.
Texas is riding a five-game winning streak while USC has won three straight. The teams played to a 1-1 draw last season in Austin.
TROJAN INVITATIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, Sept. 9
Texas (5-1) vs. University of San Diego (4-2), 1 p.m.
USC (3-3) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma State (7-0), 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 11
University of San Diego vs. No. 4 Oklahoma State, 10 a.m.
USC vs. Texas, 12:30 p.m.
* All games at McAlister Field (3000 S. Hoover St. in Los Angeles)