EUGENE, Ore.-The Oregon Ducks women's soccer team ended their match against the Saint Mary's Gaels in a 1-1 draw after two overtime periods on Sunday in Moraga, Calif. UO moves on to 3-2-1 on the season, while the Gaels are now 3-3-1.
"We came out and played very, very well the whole game, to be honest," said head coach Tara Erickson. "We came out hard and got on top of the game. We had a great left-footed goal by Kristen Parr, getting around the defender and chipping over the goalie off the far post and into the goal. It was a really spectacular goal."
Freshman forward Kristen Parr's unassisted goal in the 22nd minute gives her four on the season and she now has four of the five goals for the team this season. Saint Mary's answered back with a goal of their own in the 48th minute off of a free kick from about 20 yards away.
In the 73rd minute, the Gaels were on a breakaway, forcing Ducks goalkeeper Abby Steele to step out to the top of the box and foul a player, giving her a red card. "Freshman Dana Connors stepped in for Abby and did great. She had a nice save on a free kick from the top of the box and played well in her first collegiate minutes," added coach Erickson.
Even after being forced to take a forward out to put in a new goalkeeper, the Ducks were able to create plenty of good opportunities and had a total of 16 shots in the game. "We had many, many dangerous opportunities even with a player down and I was really pleased at how we battled. We adjusted and brought off a forward but we still created opportunities. Bri Pugh got a couple of really good chances. Considering we were a man down, I thought we played really hard and really well for 120 minutes," said Erickson.
Nineteen players saw the field today, and the freshmen class' excellence continued to show today as Taylor Boyer and Kira Wagoner saw their first action of the season and impressed coaches. The depth played to the Ducks' advantage, as they were able to keep up the intensity through both overtime periods even with only ten players.
After practicing and playing several games at home on Pape' Field's new turf, Oregon was faced with a little bit of a challenge as Saint Mary's field featured natural grass that made for a very bouncy and bumpy playing surface that the players were not accustomed to. In addition, the grass was quite long and several players were tripped up throughout the game. It served as a great learning experience for the Ducks and they will be more comfortable on natural grass the next time it comes up.
The Ducks return home on Friday, Sept. 14th to face Seattle University at Pape' Field at 6:00 p.m. before facing Gonzaga on Sunday, Sept. 16th at 1:00 p.m.