EUGENE, Ore. - The University of Oregon soccer team looks to open the season successfully when the Ducks host the University of Alabama at Birmingham this Sunday at 1 p.m. at the new Pape' Field. The match marks the first ever game at the new facility, which was completed in early August.
"You only have one chance to open a facility and most coaches and players never even get that one chance," said head coach Tara Erickson. "We are incredibly excited and proud to be able to play in this historic game on Sunday."
UAB comes into the match after opening their season on the road at Portland State. The Blazers, under second year head coach Harold Warren, return 11 letter winners, including five starters.
The Ducks return 17 letter winners, including ten starters, and welcome nine newcomers to the squad. Several of the new freshmen impressed coaches in the intrasquad scrimmage this past Sunday and look to factor into the rotation heavily this season.
"I'm very pleased with the progress of the team thus far," added Erickson. "Our attack looks very dynamic and I think that we have a ton of depth all over the pitch. You will probably see more players contributing this year than ever before."
The match will be the first time the two schools face each other in women's soccer.
The first 120 fans in attendance will receive free "Pape' 2.0" commemorative t-shirts. The team will also be on hand for a post-match autograph session.
NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE
Oregon hits the road and travels to Portland for matches against Portland on Friday Aug. 24th and Portland State on Sunday Aug. 26th. The Ducks then return to Eugene for a home match against UC Irvine on Friday Aug. 31st.
2012 ROSTER BREAKDOWN
RETURNING PLAYERS (20): Lauren Thompson, Nicole Bakke, Mo Fitzgerald, Kelsey Hones, Scout Libke, Maddy Mercier, Achijah Berry, Brynne Konkel, Lilly Archer, Ally Aschbacher, Kendall Brooke, Kiyomi Cook, Ryann Davie, Kelsey Foo, Bri Pugh, Allie Rodriguez, Shanelle Simien, Riley Smith, Reilly Moore, Casey Wilhelm, Abby Steele.
LIBKE RACKS UP POSTSEASON HONORS
Senior defender Scout Libke was honored by three separate entities after an outstanding junior campaign. The Portland, Ore. native was named NSCAA All-Region as well as second team of the All-Pacific Region. She was also named to the Pac-12 All-Conference First team, the second Pac-12 appointment of her career, and was also named to the conference's all-academic squad. Forward Bri Pugh was also honored by the Pac-12 and was named to the All-Freshman team.
PAC-12 CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL ANNOUNCED
The University of Oregon women's soccer team was selected to finish tenth in the Pac-12 Conference pre-season women's soccer coaches poll. The Ducks, who return 17 letterwinners and ten starters, received 36 total points, putting them ahead of Colorado and Arizona.
Tara Erickson is entering her eighth season as head coach of the University of Oregon women's soccer program, and 12th season overall as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level. Erickson, a former All-Pac-10 player and the 2006 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, is UO's all-time winningest coach with a seven-year mark of 62-61-16. She is 91-99-26 in 11 seasons overall as a head coach.
Eight University of Oregon women's soccer student-athletes were named to the 2011 Pac-12 Women's Soccer All-Academic teams. Oregon did not place anyone on the first or second team, but had their eight be named to the honorable mention team.