EUGENE, Ore. -- The University of Oregon women’s soccer team battled to a double overtime draw against sixth-ranked BYU on Thursday night at Papé Field. The Ducks, forcing a ranked team to overtime for the second time this season, delivered a great defensive effort in a scoreless draw.
The Cougars scored four goals against then 25th-ranked LSU earlier in the season and entered the contest with 11 goals in the season. A tremendous performance from the entire Duck lineup forced BYU to its first scoreless decision of the season in a positive result for head coach Kat Mertz’s side.
The match marked Oregon’s first result (win or draw) against a top-10 team since the Ducks earned a scoreless double overtime draw with No. 5 Stanford in 2007.
“It was quite entertaining,” said head coach Kat Mertz. “The crowd got their money’s worth of a great college soccer game tonight. I’m really proud of the way our girls fought for 110 minutes.”
Junior goalkeeper Abby Steele made eight saves, while defenders Achijah Berry, Reilley Moore, Gabbie Lindeman and Riley Smith each played a full 110 minutes in a tremendous effort.
While Oregon’s defense was pivotal in securing the result, the Ducks were far more dangerous in attack than a 0-0 draw would suggest. The Ducks took 19 shots on the contest and had 11 corners. Oregon outshot BYU 7-1 in overtime, and used a flurry of chances to nearly find a golden goal in the first overtime period. Oregon out-shot the Cougars 19-16 for the game, marking the third straight game the Ducks have out-shot their opponent.
“We would have liked to take the quick goal in overtime, but we’ll take not giving up a goal and earning a shutout,” said Mertz. “That’s something we haven’t done in a while. I’m really happy we shutout a high scoring, powerful offense.”
The Ducks took six shots in the first half, but none required saves from Cougar goalkeeper Erica Owens. The second half saw both teams pushing hard for a winning goal, as BYU took 11 shots compared to six from Oregon.
Sophomore forward Brooke Strawn nearly scored a winner in the 83rd minute. Looking for her third goal of the season, Strawn dribbled to the right edge of the box before hitting a rocket to the top, left corner of the goal. Owens, who finished with four stops, made a great diving save for BYU.
The Ducks came painfully close to a golden goal in the first 10 minute overtime period, out-shooting BYU 6-0 as junior Bri Pugh (3), Strawn (2) and Smith (1) each had shots for Oregon. Lilly Archer’s corner kick in the 98th minute created a scramble situation and nearly sealed a win. From inside the six-yard box, Strawn had a flick cleared off the line by BYU. Smith took the clearance from 20 yards out and delivered another shot that sailed wide.
Lindeman created the best scoring look for Oregon in the second overtime period, getting on the receiving end of a free kick from midfield. Lindeman’s shot went wide, and the contest ended without seeing another shot.
“It’s great shutting out a team like this,” said Steele, who leads the Pac-12 with 36 saves. “We want to have the 1-0 win obviously, but it’s still a good result for us. We know we can play with teams of that quality.”
Oregon’s averaged 18.3 shots per game in the past three matches, totaling 55 shots, 18 of which have come from Pugh. The Highlands Ranch, Colo., native again led the Duck attack with four shots and a shot on goal. Strawn was also dangerous in the attacking third with four shots and three shots on target, while Shanelle Simien finished with three shots.
The Ducks will take a well-deserved rest before returning to the pitch on Sept. 20, hosting San Francisco at 7 p.m. (PT).