Abby Steele and the Oregon (4-9-3, 2-5-1) defense have throwing up zeros all year long with three draws, two scoreless ties, five outright shutouts, and never giving up more than two goals in a match. But sophomore Maryn Beutler stole the spotlight early in the second half of the Ducks’ final home game of 2013, netting a score in the 55th minute that would not be equalized.
Beutler took three shots Monday, two of them on target and made the most of her last Pape showing of 2013 — playing just 54 minutes as she was subbed out twice for forward Bri Pugh and mid Kira Wagoner. She returned to the turf in the 77th minute and attempted one more shot — the Ducks’ last — and finished the evening.
Beutler’s heroics don’t discount Steele’s stiff goalkeeping, however. The Cal Golden Bears took six of their 17 shots in the final 15 minutes, and Steele got two of her seven saves in that span.
Holding the Bears to just 7 shots on target out of 17 shots was a combined effort from defenders Achijah Berry, Gabbie Lindeman and Riley Smith. All three played all 90 minutes, and for Berry and Lindeman — the lone seniors on Oregon’s roster — it was a very special senior night win.
The four remaining Duck shots on goal were divided evenly among mids Mia Gunter and Kiyomi Cook, and forwards Shanelle Simien and Kristen Parr.
Oregon came close to stealing a win from No. 8 Stanford, but Cardinal Courtney Verloo spoiled Kristen Parr’s 1-1 equalizer leading to Oregon’s ninth loss of the year. But Monday’s win means the Ducks get to split a weekend against top-15 teams.
The Ducks fly south for a weekend set with the L.A. schools before a Thursday season finale in Corvallis against the Beavers. It will be the second competition of the Civil War series, following just a Sept. 25 three-set volleyball win over Oregon State in Corvallis.