Oregon ducks soccer

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 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.

Ducks Soccer Splits Arizona Series, First Win Since September 1st

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The Oregon Ducks soccer team (3-7-3, 1-3-1) got its first conference win of the season on Sunday to Arizona close out a weekend series with the desert schools.

Oregon fell in a hard-fought 1-0 loss to the Sun Devils Friday after a 71st minute goal from Sara Tosti proved to be the only offensive production. After the match, despite a tough loss, the team remained upbeat about the possibility of getting that first win.

“I told the girls after the game that (a win) is coming,” Oregon head coach Kat Mertz said. “We played well Sunday against Colorado and we’re continuing to play better. We just need a lucky break here and there, and we need to find a way to get the ball to bounce our way and cross that line. The effort is there.”

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

Of course the Ducks didn’t have to wait long for that first conference win of the season. Freshman ShayLee Miner scored her third goal of the season, the Ducks’ first win since September 1st, in a 1-0 win over the Wildcats.

“It wasn’t a pretty shot, but her first shot was great,” Mertz said. ”It hit off the post and she followed her own shot. We’ve been talking about that. It doesn’t have to be a pretty shot. Just be scrapping in front of the goal and be opportunistic.”

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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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Oregon Goalie Abby Steele Named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week

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Abby Steele
Oregon goalkeeper Abby Steele | (Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)

Following a hard-fought 0-0 draw to No. 6 BYU, the Pac-12 Conference has recognized Oregon Ducks goalkeeper Abby Steele as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. It is Steele’s second time receiving the weekly Pac-12 honor and just the 10th all-time for the Ducks.

[gn_quote style=”1″]“Abby is a strong keeper and against BYU she showed us her true strengths,” head coach Kat Mertz said to GoDucks. “Her kicking game combined with her quickness in the nets makes it hard for opponents to score. Abby is a true competitor.”[/gn_quote]

Steele finished the match with eight saves while not allowing a goal in the program’s first draw against a top-10 team since 2007 against No. 5 Stanford. Steele’s eight saves was a season-high and moves her to third in UO’s career goalkeeper shutouts list with 11 and fourth in program history with 198 career saves. Steele now boasts 36 saves on the season, which leads the Pac-12.

It was also the first time the Cougars were shutout this season, an impressive feat for a young team still looking for an identity.

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Oregon Ducks Women’s Soccer Finishes in Double OT Draw Against No. 6 BYU

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Oregon Ducks women’s soccer (2-4-1) dropped a couple of hard matches this last week to Hawaii and UC Irvine, both by one goal. Against UC Irvine, the Ducks fell behind 2-0, before mounting a comeback that fell just so short.

A one-goal loss is probably the hardest to swallow in soccer, but first-year coach Kat Mertz got the ladies of Oregon up to play against ranked BYU, earning a double-overtime win against the No. 6 Cougars.

Junior goalkeeper Abby Steele minded the net all 110 minutes and probably had the biggest contribution of all on the Papé Field turf. Steele had eight saves as BYU freshman striker Ashley Hatch tried six shots (four on goal) to lead the Cougar attack. BYU senior Cloee Colohan added two shots on goal, but Steele kept all takers out of the net.

Oregon Ducks women's soccer
Oregon goalkeeper Abby Steele | (Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)

Sophomore Duck forward Brooke Strawn led all Oregon attackers with four shots and three on goal.

Four other Ducks played the entire 110 minutes of the extended match. Steele was joined by Riley SmithReilley MooreGabbie Lindeman and Achijah Berry all match long.

Junior Duck striker Bri Pugh added four shots, but just one on goal. Pugh was named to the Pac-12 all-Freshman team in 2011 and the Pac-12 American all-Academic honorable mentions. Pugh’s four shots tied for the Duck lead with Strawn, and the Ducks actually shot more times than BYU, but BYU angled three more shots on goal.

The Ducks have four losses, but have one more nonconference tilt (with the San Francisco Dons) before they start their Pac-12 schedule. The San Francisco match is at home next Friday and Oregon faces Washington State also at home the next Thursday before taking to the mountains and dueling with Colorado and Utah.

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Photos: Oregon Ducks vs Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Soccer

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Following a thrilling win last weekend over Texas, the Oregon Ducks (2-3-0) fell at home to the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors soccer team in a heartbreaking 1-0 game. The Ducks will have a short rebound time with a 1 p.m. match against UC Irvine on Sunday.