The Trojans of USC enter the 2016-17 school year with their third head coach in as many years, but the program nevertheless is stronger than ever and coming off its first winning season and first playoff berth.
“We continue to teach kids to play, achieve goals and move the program forward,” General Manager Charlie Meister said. “It takes time to change a culture, but more importantly the kids are having fun and representing USC.”
Meister shared a list of things to know about the Trojans heading into this school year. (We asked for five, but Charlie sent along bonus “things to know.”)
Key graduating player: Midfielder Ross Ewing, a two-time team captain (’15,’16).
Roster numbers: The Trojans have nine starters returning from last season and 23 new players joining the program. There are 60 players on the fall-ball roster, and USC expects to carry 40 on the final spring roster, up 14 percent over last year.
New coaches/staff? New head coach Peter Swander takes over for Adam Ghitelman, who left to join the staff at Utah as it prepares to make a rumored jump to NCAA Division I. Ghitleman coached the Trojans for one season, replacing Chris Boland, who enrolled in graduate school at Northeastern after two years as Trojans coach. Teddy Hospodar returns the defensive coordinator. Read more about Swander’s hiring here.
Executive Board: Dan Lammers ’17, president; Casey Kravit ’19, vice president; Harry Ferguson ’19, treasurer; Zach Nanapusur ’19, secretary; Cole Roberson ’19, social chairman.
Team goals for the 2017 season: Earn a winning season against a tougher schedule; make the SLC playoffs; beat UCLA; win a playoff game.
Recent notable achievements: Last year, USC posted a 9-8 winning record, made the SLC playoffs for the first time in the team’s history and beat UCLA 9-8.
Off-field achievements: Luke Holthouse ’17 worked for Teach for America in St. Louis over the summer.
Fall-ball plans: UCSB Fall Ball Tournament at UCSB Nov. 12.
Offseason team-building: City Lacrosse outreach program with Mike Levin.
2017 schedule highlights: USC will be participating in the Pac-12 Shootout tournament at UCLA and the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament in Palm Desert.