After piling up nine consecutive victories, the No. 9 USC women’s soccer team will face its toughest test yet when they head north this weekend to take on No. 1 Stanford and No. 21 Cal.The showdowns in the Bay Area, with No. 3 UCLA also set to take on the Golden Bears and the Cardinal, could go a long way in deciding the eventual Pac-10 champion.Senior goalie Kristin Olsen, who has six shutouts in seven games, looks to be on top of her game against the Bay Area teams. – Katelynn Whitaker|Daily TrojanThe Women of Troy (10-3, 2-0) have recorded shutouts in six of their last seven games and have ridden strong defensive play and timely saves from senior goalkeeper Kristin Olsen to a tie atop the conference standings.“I think we’re getting comfortable with each other,” Olsen said. “At the beginning of the season we had a lot of people injured and a lot of people switching in and out of the positions. Now we have a good comfortable back four and we’re able to produce more opportunities for our forwards.”Olsen and the back four will have their hands full on Friday at 7 p.m. in Palo Alto, Calif., with the Cardinal’s dynamic attacking trio of forwards.Senior forward Kelley O’Hara, a three-time All Pac-10 player, leads the conference with 15 goals on the season, including a hat trick in the Cardinal’s 5-1 romp over Oregon last Sunday.Junior Christen Press is second in the Pac-10 with 12 goals and leads the conference with 10 assists while sophomore Lindsay Taylor, last year’s Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, has posted four goals and seven assists.Stanford boasts the nation’s most prolific offense, averaging 3.7 goals per game, and hasn’t been shut out all season.“I think it’s actually good for us,” junior midfielder Alyssa Dávila said of the test against Stanford. “We have nothing to lose so we can just go up there and play like we can.”USC will then take on Cal (8-3-1, 2-0) on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Berkeley.The Golden Bears got back on track last weekend with victories over Oregon and Oregon State, following a turbulent couple of weeks for the Cal women’s soccer program.After Cal lost 1-0 to Sacramento State at home on Oct. 2, the Golden Bears’ second consecutive loss to an unranked opponent, a reportedly frustrated Neil McGuire resigned as head coach indefinitely.His sudden announcement left Cal without its coach for their game two days later against Santa Clara, a contest they drew 1-1.McGuire returned to the team the next day, citing personal reasons and apologizing for his conduct.“I put myself ahead of our team,” McGuire said in a statement. “I need to be a better coach and mentor and will work towards this goal.”Last weekend’s two wins seem to have stabilized the situation and Cal looks to be a major player in the conference championship race.The Golden Bears are led by Alex Morgan, a junior forward that tops the team in both goals (10) and assists (4).Facing two ranked teams and riding a nine game winning streak, the hype surrounding the USC women’s soccer team is as intense as it’s been all season.“I don’t care about rankings…the streak, the record — to me that stuff is irrelevant,” USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said. “It’s just about improving. If we improve, the result will take care of itself.”
The comparison began the minute running back Joe McKnight committed to play football for USC rather than homestate Louisiana State University in 2007.He was going to be the next Reggie Bush.Bush, who declared for the NFL draft in 2006, left a legacy at USC after winning the Heisman Trophy in 2005 and cementing his place as one of the best running backs the Trojans have ever seen grace the Coliseum.His 2005 rushing numbers: 1,740 yards, 16 touchdowns and an average of 8.7 yards per carry.His 2005 receiving numbers: 37 receptions for 478 yards, two touchdowns and an average of 12.9 yards per reception.And after returning one punt for a touchdown early in the season, Bush simply didn’t receive many more punts to return. Opposing teams opted to kick the ball out of bounds rather than deal with the superstar who had skills that made five-star recruits look like they were playing the wrong sport.Bush’s final line was staggering, and he rightfully took home the Heisman Trophy following his junior campaign.Then, like many expected, he turned pro.USC was left without the flair and excitement that Bush provided when the Trojans played the 2006 season, but 2007 was to be different.Joe McKnight was to be the new man.The new Bush.But he never was.McKnight showed glimpses of greatness at times, but he battled injury problems throughout his stay in the Cardinal and Gold, and he never did seem to grasp the concept of holding onto the ball all that well.Only after declaring for the NFL draft after the 2009 season did McKnight state that the lofty expectations placed on him to be the next Reggie Bush negatively affected his play on the field.“I could have been better,” he said.“That’s what my biggest problem was, trying to be so much like [Bush], instead of just being Joe McKnight and playing Joe McKnight football,” he added.McKnight’s most recent season, his best at USC, ended with 1,014 rushing yards, eight rushing touchdowns and an average of 6.2 yards per carry. He also caught 22 passes for 146 yards, but didn’t score a single receiving touchdown.Those stats are very un-Bushian.So now, the question still remains.Who is the “next Reggie Bush?”That may be impossible to answer. Maybe, just like the NBA question of who is the next Michael Jordan, there is no one that can fill Bush’s cleats.Maybe Trojan football will never see another star juke, jump and, yes, even push like Bush did during his time at USC.Or maybe, just maybe, the next Bush has arrived.Lane Kiffin seems to believe in the latter.The new USC head coach has compared new freshman running back Dillon Baxter to none other than No. 5 himself.And unlike McKnight, Baxter, who graduated early from high school so he could enroll at USC in January and participate in spring practice, likes the comparison.“It’s an honor to be compared to Reggie Bush,” the 19-year-old said.Just like Bush, Baxter hails from San Diego and possesses the quick, make-you-miss moves that Bush had in college.Nothing can be proven until the season begins and Baxter shows what he can contribute as a Trojan, but early in spring practice Baxter is being used at a number of different positions, similar to Bush. Baxter has seen time at running back, receiver and even quarterback on the field.“Hopefully, I’ll get all these positions down,” Baxter said. “I’m not sure where I’ll be playing. They’re going to move me around once I get all the running back plays down.”At Mission Bay High School, Baxter impressed recruits by not only rushing for 2,974 yards but also throwing for 1,922 yards as quarterback.Those are skills even Bush didn’t bring with him to the college level.Baxter has all the potential to make the big plays with his arm and legs.Maybe it’s time to dust off No. 5’s old cleats. We might have a perfect fit.“Soft Hands” runs on Tuesdays. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or e-mail Jon at email@example.com.
“This is huge shock. We had no idea that she was sick. Ifeanyi was one of the most naturally gifted players to have featured for the Super Falcons. Her death at such a young age is a big blow.“She gave 100 per cent of her ability and capacity each time she turned out for country. We will always remember her as a bundle of skill and energy, and as a patriotic individual who wore the green-white-green with a smile every time.”The 36-year old captained the first set of the Falconets that featured at the inaugural edition of the FIFA U19 Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2002. The competition would be renamed FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup six years later.Ifeanyichukwu Stephanie Chiejine featured for the Super Falcons at three FIFA World Cup finals (USA 1999, USA 2003 and China 2007); the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games; four Women Africa Cup of Nations finals (South Africa 2000, Nigeria 2002, Nigeria 2006 and Equatorial Guinea 2008) and; at the women’s football tournament of the 9th All-Africa Games in Algiers in 2007.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The Nigeria Football Federation has said it is ‘terribly saddened’ at news of the death on Wednesday, of former Super Falcons’ attacking midfielder Ifeanyichukwu Chiejine.Reports on Thursday morning said the effervescent and skillful attacking midfielder gave up the ghost in Lagos after a brief illness.General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, was momentarily speechless after being informed of the passing of the former player.