EUGENE, Ore. -- The University of Oregon women soccer team returns to Papé Field this week for its final two home games of the season. The Ducks (3-8-3, 1-4-1) host No. 8 Stanford on Friday at 4 p.m. and No. 12 California on Monday at 7 p.m. Both matches will be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks.
Oregon has been a tough team at home in 2013 with all three of its victories coming within the friendly confines of Papé Field. The Ducks also forced No. 6 Portland into overtime and drew with then sixth-ranked BYU at home. Head coach Kat Mertz and the Ducks will look to draw on its home wins and results against ranked opponents this week for two vital conference matches.
“We’re excited to come home and play on our field in front of our home crowd,” said head coach Kat Mertz. “We started slow against Washington and have worked hard since then to correct that. We want to take momentum built in practice this week into our game with Stanford.”
Playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation, Oregon is a battle tested side familiar with meeting ranked opponents. Yet, this week promises to provide one of the toughest challenges of the season with top-12 ranked Stanford and California traveling to Eugene.
The Cardinal (10-3-1, 3-3-0)) are coming off a 1-0 victory over Utah while California (9-1-5, 2-1-3) drew with Colorado in double-overtime in its latest result. Both teams have been ranked in the top 25 for the entirety of the season.
“We’ve had some good performances against ranked teams, but we need to be consistent in our effort and performance no matter who we play, because that is the mark of a good team,” said Mertz. “It’s nice to step on the field and play against two quality opponents. Both of them pose different scenarios and problems that we need to solve. I think both will be great games for us.”
Oregon is coming off a hard-fought performance at Washington last week in a 2-1 loss. Sophomore Kristen Parr scored her first goal of the season in the 30th minute to trim the Husky lead, but Oregon couldn’t find the equalizer.
The Ducks will look to Parr along with forwards Bri Pugh and ShayLee Miner to lead the offense this week. Miner leads the team in points (7), goals (3) and game-winning goals (3) while Pugh has added two goals and two assists. On defense, the Ducks will be led by Berry, Lindeman and Reilley Moore, who have started in the past 11 games together. Goalkeeper Abby Steele ranks third in the Pac-12 in saves.
Following Monday’s game with California, Oregon will close the season on a three-game road trip; USC (Nov. 1), UCLA (Nov. 3) and Oregon State (Nov. 7).