Ducks Win Defensive Game, 1-0, Over UC-Irvine
The Oregon Ducks women’s soccer team continued their season at Pape field Friday night in a 1-0 victory against UC Irvine. Leading up to the match, true freshman Kristin Parr had scored all three goals for the team on the season. The Ducks’ (3-1-0) tremendous freshmen class continued to verify just why they had received all this hype. Irvine drops to 1-4-0 on the season.
In the 67th minute, with 23 minutes remaining in the match, freshman Maryn Beutler scored the first goal of her career in a scrappy play in front of the goal that ended up winning the game.
“I thought that we earned that goal,” added Coach Erickson. “It was a scrappy goal but a hard fought goal. Achijah berry did a great job creating that chance and a very opportunistic and a heady play by Maryn to pounce on that ball and fire it in the back of the net.”
Both teams brought their defensive A-games, as neither team was able to much of anything in the first half of action. Both Oregon and Irvine combined for seven shots, just four shots on goal, in the first 45 minutes of action.
It was the second half where Oregon’s depth began to show. Ducks defenders were able to shut down every run the Anteaters made, and offensively Oregon’s midfielders and strikers played small ball by not turning the ball over often.
“I thought we performed very well,” said head coach Tara Erickson. “Something that we talked to our team about throughout the week was just playing harder and being more physical. We thought that Irvine was going to bring a lot of physicality and a lot of size, and I thought that we not only matched their physicality but I that we were definitely, definitely a grade above where we had been in previous games.”
The Ducks definitely continued their physical play. Oregon committed 11 fouls to Irvine’s 8. Offensively, Oregon outshot Irvine 12-10 during 90 minutes of action. And defensively, Oregon’s stout defense stepped up by forcing the Anteaters to take numerous difficult shots.
Of the Ducks’ 12 shots, eight were “on goal” for a 8-12 ratio. Irvine only had two of their 12 shots be on goal, giving goal keeper Abby Steele one of her less busy games of the season.
Oregon’s depth has been a key all season long. Nineteen Ducks saw the field against the Anteaters to just 15. The Ducks will need that depth in the gauntlet that is the Pac-12 schedule. Getting close wins will be huge in the development of this young team. Oregon’s phenomenal freshman class needs as much tournament-like experience as possible.
“Overall, it was a very solid performance against a good Irvine team. That team is an NCAA tournament team. They haven’t gotten the results they wanted to maybe this year, but they’ve played a heck of a schedule. To come out here and make a statement with the win tonight was great for us,” said Erickson.
Oregon’s next game is in one week on Friday September 7th against Pacific University.