EUGENE, Ore.- Freshman Kristen Parr scored two goals to lead the University of Oregon women's soccer team to a 2-0 victory over the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers Sunday in the first game of the season at the new Pape' Field. The first ever crowd at the facility was officially recorded to be 758 people.
"Overall, I'm very pleased with the win," said head coach Tara Erickson. "I'm pleased to come out and put our stamp on the game right away with the first goal. I think our entire team came to play to win the game. I really like the spark that some of our younger kids brought to the game."
The Ducks had the advantage in shots (19-5), shots on goal (11-5) and corner kicks (6-0). Senior midfielder Scout Libke led the team with four shots while freshman forward Cara Wegner attempted three.
The first score of the match came in the fourth minute by Parr off of a double assist from sophomore Bri Pugh and freshman Mariah Powers. Powers passed the ball down the right side of the field to Pugh who dribbled it along the goal line before passing it to a wide open Parr, who proceeded to make the point-blank shot into the goal. The Ducks shot ten times in the first half compared to the Blazers' five.
In the second half, Parr scored her second goal of the game in the 60th minute off of an assist from fellow freshman Maryn Beutler. Beutler gave Parr a long pass down the right side and Parr beat the goalie from about seven yards out.
Sophomore goalkeeper Abby Steele recorded all five of her saves in the first period, as the defense tightened up in the second half and did not allow any more shots.
"Defensively we got better as the game went along. Abby didn't have a lot of work to do in the second half and I thought that was because we defended much better in the back line," said Erickson.
Oregon's defensive effort frustrated the Blazers in the second half as UAB was whistled for three yellow cards. For the game, the Blazers committed 18 fouls compared to just 13 for the Ducks. UAB falls to 0-2-0 on the season.
In total, 21 players saw the field in today's match, including seven newcomers, and Oregon's depth was truly on display.
"The biggest strength for us right now is strength in numbers. Before, on average I would play just under fifteen players a game and I think this year's average is going to far exceed that because of the depth we have," said Erickson. "It's nice for us getting fresh legs on the field, and it's also exciting for the players that they are getting opportunities to get on the field."
The Ducks look to build on a solid start to the season next week as they hit the road for matches at Portland (Fri. Aug. 24th) and Portland State (Sun. Aug. 26th).