Like the Green-White exhibition game a week ago, it was the freshmen Kristen Parr who shined for the Oregon Ducks women’s soccer team. Parr scored two goals to lead the Ducks (1-0-0) to a 2-0 victory over the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers (0-2-0) on Sunday in the first game of the season at the new, and improved, Papé Field.
“Overall, I’m very pleased with the win,” said head coach Tara Erickson to GoDucks.com. “I’m pleased to come out and put our stamp on the game right away with the first goal. I think our entire team came to play to win the game. I really like the spark that some of our younger kids brought to the game.”
The scoring started early as Parr lined a shot past the UAB goalie with assists from Bri Pugh and Mariah Powers. Parr’s second goal came in the 60th minute Maryn Beutler 7-yards out to give the Ducks the 2-0 win.
Oregon dominated in every facet of the game, especially on the offensive side of the ball. They outshot UAB 19-5 over the two periods, and the Blazers did not have a shot on goal in the entire second half.
Another surprising statistic is that the Ducks had six corner kicks to none for UAB. While the Oregon defense seemed to play stout and aggressive throughout the game, coach Erickson wants to see more.
“Defensively we got better as the game went along. Abby didn’t have a lot of work to do in the second half and I thought that was because we defended much better in the back line,” said Erickson.
With the win, and more importantly, the early lead, Oregon was able to use a lot of ration of young players and the Ducks’ bench. As coach Erickson believes, Oregon’s depth will be pivotal to their success.
“The biggest strength for us right now is strength in numbers. Before, on average I would play just under fifteen players a game and I think this year’s average is going to far exceed that because of the depth we have,” said Erickson. “It’s nice for us getting fresh legs on the field, and it’s also exciting for the players that they are getting opportunities to get on the field.”
Note– The Ducks will travel to Portland next weekend to play the Portland Pilots on Friday the 24th and Portland State on Sunday the 26th.