Achijah Berry

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 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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On senior night, Oregon women’s soccer falls 2-1 to No. 8 Stanford

The Oregon women’s soccer team has one home game left after losing Friday night’s battle against No. 8 Stanford 2-1 on senior night.

Seniors Achijah Berry and Gabbie Lindeman played the entire game and Berry played a vital role in keeping this game close. The Ducks other senior, Brynne Konkel, suffered a season-ending injury last season that cut her college career short. Konkel is serving as the team’s video coordinator and team manager this year.

However, the Ducks couldn’t get the win for the seniors against the Cardinal at Pape Field. The Cardinal played really physical in this game but the Ducks matched them throughout the night. But after the Ducks were down 1-0, emotions started getting in the way of focus. For junior midfielder Kiyomi Cook, emotions got the best of her as she picked up a yellow card for pushing a kneeling Stanford player to the ground.

“We’ve been working on her emotion a little bit,” head coach Kat Mertz said. “But she gets wrapped up in the emotion of the game and I don’t want to change that, we just want to make sure she does it smart.”

Stanford was lead by redshirt senior Courtney Verloo, who scored twice in the game. The first goal came off a penalty awarded to Stanford, which Verloo kicked to the left and in the back of the net. Verloo, a Tualatin, Ore. native, would score her 8th and 9th goals of the season.

The Ducks battled back after Verloo scored the penalty in the 36th minute, although Oregon didn’t get the ball into the back of the net until the 71st minute. The goal came off a wonderful through ball from Berry from outside the 18-yard box on the nearside. The ball was swung into the box and connected by the head of Kristen Parr. The strong header was Parr’s second goal in as many games.

“I had a little space around me and it came from Berry and that it was my chance to get some glory and finish it for her,” Parr said describing her goal. ”I just happened to be in the right spot.”

But the No. 8 team in the country would battle back after Chioma Ubogagu found Verloo’s chest from outside the box, and after a touch, Verloo’s ball found the back of the net in the 82nd minute.

In a change of scenery, Bri Pugh played midfield against Stanford with Parr and ShayLee Miner.  The three have scored 7 of the Ducks 12 goals this season.

“We wanted to find a way to get ShayLee Miner, and Bri and KP (Kristen Parr) on the field at the same time, Mertz said. “And we thought if we dropped Bri in the midfield it actually would give her more space once she did receive the ball.”

The Ducks are now 3-9-3 (1-5-1 in conference play) on the season and look forward to Monday night at home at 7 p.m. against No. 12 California.

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 Ducks, No. 22 Washington State Cougars End in 0-0 Double OT Draw

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Abby Steele once again led the Oregon Ducks (2-4-3) to a double-overtime draw. The junior keeper has allowed one goal in the past three matches and has 18 saves in that span — six came on Thursday.

The No. 22 Washington State Cougars (7-0-3) fired 17 shots in the 110 minutes, against just seven of Oregon’s, and they doubled up Oregon’s three shots on goal. Wazzu remains undefeated, with Boise State and Oregon standing as the only teams to hold them scoreless. The Cougars have scored at least 2 goals in five of their ten matches and have scored 2.43 goals per match in their seven wins.

Kiyomi Cook
Kiyomi Cook | (Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)

So Steele’s performance might not have been the best of the year, but it continues a streak of excellent performances. It started with holding No. 6 BYU scoreless through 110, and last Friday Steele allowed just one goal in five San Francisco shots on goal. In sum, Steele has minded the net for 330 minutes since Sept. 12 and allowed one goal.

Keeping Oregon at a losing record is the fact that the Oregon offense has mustered just one goal in that same span. That’s not for lack of trying. Against the Cougars, junior Bri Pugh knocked a couple of shots in the first frame, and fellow junior Kiyomi Cook added a hard-hit shot at the corner of the net in the 27th minute.

Steele had a clutch save in the 91st minute that would have changed the dynamics of the tied-at-zero game, and Pugh and Cook added a couple of shots later in the first overtime period. Neither team reached a shot on goal in the second overtime period, and the team singled out defenders Achijah Berry, Reilley Moore, Riley Smith and Gabbie Lindeman for extra effort in these last 15 minutes.

Pugh’s three shots and one shot on target led the squad for the sixth-straight match. Cook added two shots and a shot on target and Shanelle Simien chipped in two more shots and a shot on goal.

Seven total shots is the season-low for this Ducks team. Oregon hits the road next week to take on Pac-12 relative newcomers Utah and Colorado next Friday and Sunday.

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