Two Bend Freshmen Shine in Green-White Exhibition Game
The annual Green-White Oregon Women’s soccer preseason exhibition game was held Sunday at the new Papé Field now located on the opposite side of Autzen stadium, next to PK Park. With a major upgrade from the old field, the Ducks took the pitch for two 45-minute halves in a friendly, but competitive, contest. The game ended in a 3-0 victory for the Green team, and the game was completely one-sided from the get-go. Players were changing teams throughout most of the second, probably part because of the lopsided teams.
In the sixth minute, junior Gabbie Lindeman went down on a violent collision with another player (who got up quickly) and stayed on the ground for over a minute. Trainers came out to evaluate her, but she was able to stay in the game.
True freshman forward Maryn Beutler opened the scoring in the 18th minute with a deep score that squeezed by Dana Connors, the white team’s goalie. Beutler, from Bend, Ore., was playing for the first time in front of the Ducks’ crowd and in a competitive D-1 setting.
Later in the first half, freshman Brynne Konkel went down in a scary hit that forced her to leave the game. Trainers guided her slowly off the field, supporting most her weight, before she was able to walk on her own to the medical cart where trainers took a look at her leg. No update on her injury status.
Fifth-year senior Lauren Thompson made an incredible pass in the 36th minute to freshman midfielder Cara Wegner for a goal, bringing the Green Team’s lead to 2-0. That score held going into halftime.
In the second half, senior forward Mo Fitzgerald completed a perfectly placed ball to a striking Kristen Parr bringing the score to 3-0 in the 50th minute. Parr, a true freshman out of Bend as well, put the ball just beyond the white goalie’s reach. No other goals were scored in the contest. Both Beutler (Bend Senior High School) and Parr (Summit High School) come from Bend, but they attended separate high schools.
The Ducks return 20 players, including seven seniors from last season’s team that finished a disappointing 8-9-3 record. One thing the Ducks have is veteran experience. Leadership will be in abundance. Two players Oregon will rely on will be all-Pac 12 first-teamer Scout Libke and freshman all-Pac 12 Bri Pugh.
Oregon enters the 2012 season ranked No. 10 in the Preseason Pac-12 Women’s Coaches Rankings, only ahead of the Colorado Buffaloes and Arizona Wildcats. The Stanford Cardinal are projected to win the conference again and had almost four times the number of points in the poll as the Ducks. UCLA was a close No. 2 with a drop at No. where the Cal Bears sit.
The Ducks opened fall camp on August 3rd and have a short period of time to implement lessons learned from the exhibition game. Oregon plays 11 home games (six conference) and nine road games (five conference). The Ducks open their season on August 19th at home against Alabama Birmingham (UAB).