Abby Steele

Oregon soccer ends in draw with Sun Devils 1-1

Oregon soccer tied with No. 18 Arizona State 1-1 last night in Tempe, Arizona.

Redshirt junior defender Kelsey Foo got the Ducks on the board first as she scored on a penalty kick in the 71st minute.

An Arizona State player was called for a handball in the box, giving Foo the opportunity to take her first penalty shot this season. Foo placed the ball in the lower left corner of the goal as it whipped past Sun Devil keeper Chandler Morris.

Foo scored her first goal of the season and Oregon now has ten different players who have scored so far on the year.

Oregon stuck with the ranked Sun Devils for the duration of the game. The Ducks’s defense was strong in the first half, limiting Arizona State to just three shots and zero corners heading into half time.

Oregon finished the match with 17 shots compared to Arizona State’s 13.

Oregon’s 17 shots is its third-highest total on the year and its most since the Sep. 7 match against Cal State Fullerton.

However, the Sun Devils were able to get themselves back in the game as Arizona State’s second-leading scorer Aly Moon was able to covert of a header from Brianna Gonzalez to tie up the game 1-1 in the 87th minute.

Both teams could not score in the two overtimes played, although Arizona State came close towards the end of the second overtime as a chip shot over Oregon keeper Abby Steele went slightly wide of the goal.

The Ducks stand now at 5-3-2 and 1-0-1 in Pac-12 conference play.

Steele finished with two saves and Morris had four.

Oregon will travel to its next Arizona stop to face the Wildcats tomorrow at noon. Arizona beat Oregon State on Friday 2-0.

Waggoner’s OT Goal Lifts Ducks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the first time since 2006 the Oregon Ducks won a conference opening match and defeated the University of Washington thanks to Kira Waggoner’s goal in the early minutes of the second overtime Thursday at Pape` Field.

The Huskies out shot Oregon 12-10 and held an 8-3 advantage in corner kicks but were unable to beat keeper Abby Steele who recorded five saves on her way to a program record 17th clean sheet.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Ducks and improved the season mark to 5-3-1 heading toward a pair of matches against the Arizona schools on the road.

The game winner was the first of Waggoner’s career and came off a deflection from a defender in the box, but it was just what Oregon needed to get the conference slate off on the right foot.

Oregon returns to Pape` Field to host Utah on Friday October 10th beginning at 4:00 pm followed by Colorado on Sunday, October 12th with first touch set for 1:00 pm.

~ www.DuckNews.com

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Second Half Goals Give Ducks Win

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOregon opened the 2014 home soccer season with a 2-0 blanking of St. Mary’s Friday evening at Pape` Field.

The teams played to a scoreless have with the Ducks struggling to sustain possession in the front third.

That was less the case in the second and it led to the Ducks breaking through with Riley Smith’s first collegiate goal fifteen minutes in.

Lilly Archer sealed the result just over a minute later with a penalty kick.

Oregon’s defense limited the Gaels to only four shots, making keeper Abby Steele’s 15th career clean sheet perhaps one of her easiest.

Oregon’s attack created 16 shots and the Ducks ended the match with a 7 to 1 advantage in corner kicks.

The Ducks improved to 2-1 on the season and host Loyola-Marymount Sunday afternoon beginning at 1:00 pm.

~ www.DuckNews.com

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Oregon women’s soccer loses to rival Oregon State 2-0 in final game of the year

On senior day in Corvallis, Ore. the Oregon women’s soccer team couldn’t find a way to win its final home game of the season, losing to Oregon State 2-0.

The game meant a lot to several players on both teams, who were playing their final college soccer game. Oregon State had nine graduating seniors on the field while the Ducks had two: Achijah Berry and Gabbie Lindeman.

The Ducks played well for most of the first half before giving up a heartbreaking late goal with only 2:47 left before halftime. The Beavers, who had been steadily ratcheting up the pressure on the Ducks’ defenders, were able to cross the ball into Brandi Dawson. Dawson was able to slot the ball past Oregon goalie Abby Steele into the far post, her second goal of the season.

Concussions proved to be a costly enemy for the Ducks. Star forward Bri Pugh was held out from the match due to a concussion she suffered last week. The lack of Pugh’s speed was apparent on the field as Oregon seemed a step slow at times.

Coming out of halftime, Steele was benched in favor of freshman backup goalie Lauren Holden. Right before half Steele crashed into the post while trying to make a save. Both head coach Mertz and the Oregon training staff decided to hold her out from the rest of the game because she had started to exhibit signs of a concussion.

Oregon State was also playing a backup keeper, though its reasons were very different from those of the Ducks. Senior Audrey Bernier-Larose was given the nod by assistant coach Michelle Voiland because it was her last game for the Beavers. Voiland was filling in as head coach for Linus Rhode because Rhode was suspended for the game after receiving a red card in their previous game. Bernier-Larose completed the shutout in only her second start of the season.

While Holden played admirably in relief of Steele, she couldn’t prevent the second goal by the Beavers which sealed the game. Late in the second Jenna Richardson, who played well for the Beavers all game, received a pass at the top of the box which gave her an easy open shot. Holden couldn’t make the save as Richardson scored her team-high fifth goal of the season.

It was a quiet game for the Oregon offense. They were only able to generate three shots on goal.

With Pugh out Kristen Parr made the most of her extended role as the team’s number one offensive option. She used her strength up top to shield off defenders, holding onto the ball to maintain possession and allow her teammates to join her in the attack.

In the end, her efforts weren’t enough as the Ducks finished their disappointing season on a disappointing note (4-12-3 overall record, 2-8-1 in Pac-12).

Follow Chris Keizur on Twitter @chriskeizur

Oregon women’s soccer falls to No. 2 UCLA 2-0

The Oregon women’s soccer team could not find enough to pull the upset over No. 2 UCLA, losing 2-0 on the road.

At the conclusion of the game, the Bruins rushed onto the field in celebration while they dumped Gatorade on head coach Amanda Cromwell after finding out they had clinched the Pac-12 title outright with the win. This was the 11th Pac-12 title for the school.

For the Ducks, the loss capped off a rough road trip where they also lost to USC in overtime 2-1.

Both of the Bruins’ goals came in the second half. First, Taylor Smith put the Bruins up by one in the 61st minute after finishing a volley that flew past the outstretched arm of Oregon goalie Abby Steele. The goal came on a long throw into the box that the Duck defenders were unable to clear away to safety.

Kodi Lavrusky scored the second goal in the 81st minute, which sealed the game for the Bruins.

While Steele did give up two goals, she played well for the Ducks despite the loss. She ended with three saves, including one where she was able to kick out her foot to deflect a low shot off frame.

For the game, Oregon seemed to be rattled by the UCLA pressure, having trouble connecting passes and getting the ball out of its defensive third. The Ducks had trouble generating scoring chances, ending the game with only three shots. UCLA had 21.

In the second half, the tempo slowed as Oregon looked to pack in defensively, trying to hold onto the scoreless tie for as long as possible. However the Bruins were eventually able to break through, scoring their two goals to claim the victory.

Oregon will look to rebound and end the season on a high note as they face rival Oregon State Thursday in Corvallis for their final game of the year.

Follow Christopher Keizur on Twitter @chriskeizur

Oregon Soccer Takes Down No. 12 Cal 1-0

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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.

Oregon Soccer
Oregon Ducks Soccer | (Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)

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.

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Oregon women’s soccer upset California 1-0, win final home game of the season

The Oregon women’s soccer team was able to win its final home game of the season in memorable fashion, beating California 1-0.

It was Maryn Beutler who broke the tie for Oregon (4-9-3, 2-5-1 Pac-12), scoring in the 55th minute. She shot from distance after receiving a pass from Bri Pugh, slotting the ball past California goalie Kathleen Messinger to score the first and only goal of the game.

“I usually like shooting from outside the 18th,” Beutler said. “I’ve been working on that in practice, so it was nice to get it in the goal.”

California (9-3-5, 2-3-3) was already stumbling coming into the game, losing in Corvallis to Oregon State 1-0.

To hold onto the win it took some heroics from the Ducks’ defense, which was under fire for most of the game.

First Oregon goalie Abby Steele had to make a save against a penalty kick to keep the shutout. In the 50th minute Kiyomi Cook committed a foul against Ifeoma Onumonu, giving California the penalty kick. Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick was the player who stepped up to take the shot, shooting the ball towards the lower right corner. Steele guessed correctly, diving to deflect the shot off the frame.

“It was unbelievable,” head coach Kat Mertz said after the game when asked about Steele’s performance. “The penalty kick was a great save. I’ve said it all along; it means the world to have a great goalkeeper.”

Steele played well for the entirety of the game. She was as strong as ever on set pieces, stopping plenty of searching set piece attacks by California and preventing goals. Steele was especially good against corner kicks, throwing herself at the physical Golden Bears’ forwards to ensure the ball got cleared out of the box.

Another save came later in the second half when a ball sent into the box by the Golden Bears bounced around before finally being redirected towards goal. The ball would have gone in if not for Achijah Berry who made a deflection with her feet on the line.

For Oregon’s offense, it was the story of two halves, as in the first they struggled to connect passes and control the ball. This led to many promising attacks being derailed by unforced turnovers.

In the closing minutes of the first half Mia Gunter had a great scoring chance for Oregon. Gunter took a shot from distance which curved onto the far post and looked to be going in. At the last second California goalie Kathleen Messinger was able to readjust and dive to make the save.

In the second half, Oregon was able to turn things around, moving the ball and generating scoring chances. Sophomore forward Kristen Parr played especially well from her position up top, applying pressure against the California back four. Parr also made nice runs off the ball and served as a target up top for her teammates to find.

With the win, the Ducks were able to end their season at home on a positive note for the seniors.

“It’s awesome to get the win,” Beutler said. “It was a good team effort by everyone.”

Oregon will next gone on the road to face the Los Angeles schools, with USC on Friday and UCLA on Sunday.

Noteworthy:

– Entering the game, California had only been held scoreless three times this season.

– California has two international players on the roster: Thelma Einarsdóttir from Reykjavik, Iceland and Nina Pederson from Silkeborg, Denmark.

– The attendance at the game was 488.

– Abby Steele was shown a yellow card for delaying the game.

Oregon women’s soccer gives up two early goals, losing to Washington 2-1

The Oregon women’s soccer team couldn’t break their losing streak to Washington on Thursday, falling to the Huskies 2-1 in Seattle.

The Ducks found themselves playing from behind early after giving up two easy goals in the opening minutes of the game.

First, the Huskies were able to score in the fifth minute of the game after redshirt junior midfielder Kate Bennett found the back of the net. Bennett got herself open from a distance and took the shot, beating Oregon goalkeeper Abby Steele for the first goal of the game.

Bennett again found herself a part of the action, getting an assist on the second goal. Quickly following the first goal, Husky midfielder Isabel Farrell scored a second one for the Huskies. Farrell beat the Ducks defense, getting the goal by sneaking her shot past Steele into the far post. This was Farrell’s first goal this season.

Despite being down early, the Ducks were able to battle their way back into the game.

Sophomore forward Kristen Parr answered for the Ducks with a goal midway through the first. After Oregon worked the ball up the field, they were able to find Achijah Berry at the corner of the box. She slotted a nice pass through to a wide open Parr, who redirected the ball into the goal, cutting the lead to 2-1. It was Parr’s first goal of the season after she led the team in scoring last year. Berry was credited with the assist.

After the goal, Oregon seemed to find new energy. They began to play to their strengths, using their athleticism and speed to get around the Washington defense and win the 50/50 balls. This alleviated the pressure on the defense as the Ducks midfielders were able to keep the Huskies from controlling the possession and getting shots on goal.

Bri Pugh played a good game for the Ducks, doing a lot of positive things without the ball. She made strong runs forward, forcing multiple defenders to track her. She also did well to keep possession, knowing when to slow the ball down to allow her teammates to join her in the attack.

Steele was strong in the air, preventing the Huskies from capitalizing on their corner kicks. She had good timing, throwing herself at the ball.

In the second half, ShayLee Miner was almost the hero again for Oregon after a shot on goal. Washington goalie Megan Kufeld was barely able to get her hand on the ball, maintaining her team’s lead and handing Oregon the 2-1 result.

The Ducks will take the field again next week when they play host to No. 10 Stanford and No. 9 California for their final home series of the season.

Noteworthy:

– Oregon hasn’t won at Washington since a 1-0 victory in 2006.

– The Ducks were issued three yellow cards this game. The Oregon offenders: Bri Pugh, Ryann Davie and Achijah Berry.

– Washington had lots of pink on the field in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month; the nets and corner flags were pink and many of the Huskies’ players wore pink armbands.

Oregon women’s soccer loses after late Arizona State header

Losing by a single goal is becoming an trend for the Oregon women’s soccer team. After playing well for most of the game it was a late goal by Arizona State that gave them the 1-0 victory at Papé Field.

Arizona State scored off a corner kick in the 71st minute. After a botched clearing header by the Ducks’ defense Arizona State forward Sara Tosti was able to capitalize on an easy header from six yards out. Devin Marshall assisted her on the play.

After giving up the lead the Ducks seemed to find another gear, pushing for the equalizing goal.

Kristen Parr had the best chance late in the game with a strike toward the far post that looked like it was going to beat Arizona State starting keeper Chandler Morris. Unfortunately for Parr and the Ducks, the shot was deflected, pushing it just off frame.

“The soccer is getting better,” Coach Mertz said after the game. “We just need a lucky break here and there. We need to find a way to get the ball to bounce our way.”

For the game Oregon was constantly pushing the tempo, trying to feed balls into their speedy attackers. Kira Wagoner was especially impressive, making threatening runs down the sideline. Many of these led to quality crosses in to her teammates.

While they were able to get runs in towards goal, the Ducks had trouble capitalizing with scoring chances. At halftime they had zero shots. The second half was better as more players were able to find themselves in scoring opportunities. Bri Pugh, after a relatively quiet first half, had a bigger presence in the second. Pugh was able to make more off-ball runs to open up the attacking lanes for her teammates.

Abby Steele, starting goalie for the Ducks, was impressive in the loss.

Her best save of the night came in the 28th minute against the Sun Devils’ Cali Farquharson. Farquharson latched onto the end of a nice through ball, capitalizing with a rocket to the near post. Steele was able to dive down, just doing enough to deflect the chance off frame.

Steele also had some strong free kicks, taking most of them for the team. A lot of these balls led to dangerous chances for the Ducks.

The Duck’s defense had another strong game as well. As a unit they were able to keep Farquharson from scoring; an impressive feat as she has a team-high nine goals on the year.

Coach Mertz continues to preach the importance of staying patient to her team.

“It’s hard,” Mertz said. “We tell them to trust the process because it is coming; it’s just a little blind faith.”

The next game for the Ducks will be against Arizona State on Sunday.

Noteworthy:

– Coming into this game Oregon has not lost by more than a single goal.

– Arizona State was coming off one of the biggest wins in school history after beating No.2 Stanford 1-0.

– Oregon goalie Abby Steele leads the Pac-12 in saves.

– The game was a yellow-out as fans were encouraged to wear yellow gear to support their team.

UO Soccer Swept By Mountain Schools In Two 1-0 Losses

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The UO soccer team opened its weekend slate with a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to conference foe Utah in the Ducks’ first conference loss of the season. A 69th minute goal by Utes on a Katie Rigby game-winning free kick that was assisted by Katie Taylor.

While a shutout never looks good for the team that came up short, it wasn’t all negative as the Ducks had their opportunities throughout.

Oregon Ducks Soccer | (Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)
Oregon Ducks Soccer | (Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)

“I thought we were dangerous in attack and had some really good chances in the first half,” Oregon head coach Kat Mertz said. “Utah did a really good job of playing to their strengths and they deserve credit for the win.”

But the Ducks’ weekend wasn’t over. Just two days later the Ducks squared off against the other mountain team, falling 1-0 in another tough loss. The defeat moved the Ducks (2-6-3, 0-1-2) into a six-way tie for fourth place.

Oregon was up against a fierce Colorado team (10-2-0, 2-1-0) with the Ducks giving its full effort. Despite the Buffaloes averaging 2.2 goals per game through the season, goalkeeper Abby Steele and company kept the game close.

“I’m proud of the team effort today,” Mertz said. “We played with a lot of heart and played the way I know we’re capable of. Colorado came up with a few big saves and the ball didn’t bounce our way. It was a heck of a goal that (Hughes) shot.”

Oregon has eight more regular season games this season. With a rebuilding year, Oregon just needs to take it one game at a time and continue to make strides in the right direction.

“This was a great team effort, and if we play next week like we did here today, we’ll be a tough team to beat,” Mertz said. “We’ll get to work on some things on the attacking side and work on getting our shots in frame. Every game in the Pac-12 is a battle, and we’ll shift out focus to Arizona State first and then Arizona.”

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