EUGENE, Ore.- The University of Oregon women's soccer team posted a 6-2-1 record during their spring exhibition season, participating in matches in Costa Rica, Corvallis and in Portland.
Oregon was led this spring by All-Pac-12 performers Bri Pugh and Scout Libke. Pugh led all scorers with seven goals while Libke recorded three. In addition to the 10 goals notched by the duo of Pugh and Libke, eight other Ducks combined to tally 11 goals, giving UO a total of 21 goals scored.
"I loved our focus this spring and winter on scoring goals," said head coach Tara Erickson. "Anytime you can create chances and be dangerous in front of the net, your chances of winning are going to dramatically increase."
The Ducks started off the spring slate by traveling to Costa Rica for a week. In addition to playing matches, the student-athletes got a chance to work on numerous team-building exercises. Some of those activities were taking a ziplining tour, dance competitions in a Costa Rican disco hall and traveling to hot springs. UO was also exposed to culturally diverse food and customs on the trip.
"For many of us, this was the trip of a lifetime," added Erickson. "It was such a unique soccer and travel experience for our entire group and I think the experience in itself brought our team so much closer."
With the addition of new assistant coach Paul Karver and the role of assistant coach Mac Wilson changing, the trip was an opportunity for the squad to gel and see how the young team with a new staff was evolving.
After coming back stateside, UO was equally successful as they were abroad, highlighted by a 2-1 victory over Oregon State in Corvallis, avenging the 1-1 tie in this past season's Civil War.
The exhibition matches allowed the Ducks to pick up valuable experience and it allowed Erickson to evaluate different positions.
"Our returning group of 21 players really focused on competing this winter and spring," remarked Erickson. "I was especially pleased with the leadership displayed by our seven rising seniors and the level of intensity they built for our program."
With a new system in tack, Oregon was given the luxury to play players in different positions and see how the new position assignments would look moving forward. It also gave the Ducks a chance to work on the attacking side of their game, an area that will surely be a point of emphasis when Oregon opens the 2012 season in their new facility on Aug. 19 against UAB.