"We are adding women's lacrosse with the intention that USC will compete for a national championship," Trojan athletic director Pat Haden announced in November.
Part of this game plan apparently includes former Cavalier attacker Kelly Austin, who has transferred to USC to join their program, scheduled to open play in the 2012-13 season.
As a freshman for Virginia, Austin played in 10 games, starting in two of them. The Alexandria, Va. native scored in each of the Cavaliers' two NCAA tournament wins. Virginia advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals and finished the season ranked No. 4 in the country.
Prior to Virginia, Austin earned UnderArmour All-American and Academic All-American honors as a 2009 senior and was also named the Washington Post All-Metro Player of the Year and made the Baltimore/Washington Tewaarton team. As a junior in 2008, she won the Heather Leigh Albert Award as the "most outstanding schoolgirl lacrosse player in the nation, in spirit as well as athletic ability."
Austin scored three goals as a Cavalier and her absence will be missed. Virginia had an overabundance of attackers last season -- likely contributing to Austin's decision -- and will be looking to junior Charlie Finnigan, who started in 18 of the 19 games she played last season and contributed 49 points, including two game-winning goals, for leadership. Sophomore attacker Josie Owen, who played and started in 14 games, contributed 44 points last season.
Austin's father, Jeff, is a former pro tennis player who is now a sports attorney, while her mother, Denise, is a world-renowned fitness instructor and author. Her aunt is former world No. 1 tennis player Tracy Austin, a 2-time U.S. Open singles champion who won a Wimbledon mixed doubles title with her brother, John.