BERKELEY, Calif. – California (8-5-5, 3-4-1 Pac-10) used first and second-half tallies to hand the Oregon (7-9-3, 3-4-1 Pac-10) soccer team a 2-0 setback at Edwards Stadium on Friday afternoon.
The loss snaps the Ducks’ three-match winning streak and marks the first time UO has allowed more than one goal in four contests.
Cal drew first blood in the 24th minute when Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick one-touched a Samantha Walker feed past Lindsay Parlee to make it a 1-0 match.
UO nearly answered in the 30th minute when Jen Stoltenberg drilled a free kick past Cal keeper Emily Kruger, but the shot hit the cross bar and the Bears held their 1-0 lead into the break.
“Cal came out with a lot of energy and put us under a lot of pressure in the first half,” head coach Tara Erickson said. “They scored the first goal, but we were fortunate enough to escape to halftime only down one goal.”
The Ducks came out strong in the second half, led by sophomore midfielder Scout Libke. The Portland, Ore., native fired three shots on goal in the first 16 and a half minutes of the final frame.
Despite the chances, UO was unable to slip one past Kruger during the rally. The score remained 1-0 until the 83rd minute, when Lauren Battung gathered her own rebound after a Parley save to give the Bears an insurance tally. Undeterred, the Ducks nearly cut the lead in half in the 85th minute when Stoltenberg crossed the ball to Mercedes Walters at the far side of the field, but her shot went wide of the cage as Cal held onto the shutout.
“This was an emotional, hard fought game,” Erickson said. “Both teams were playing with an NCAA Tournament berth on the line. We came out stronger in the second half and play was back and forth throughout. We had a hard time getting behind Cal’s back line. They were more aggressive in winning first and second balls and their small field made it tough for us to play our kind of game.
“I felt our two center backs (Bree Rowe and Lauren Thompson) both played well and that Maddy Mercier did a nice job in place of Kirstie Kuhns. Since we trailed in the second half, we changed our lineup and played only three backs to generate some more chances and that led to the second goal.”
The Bears narrowly edged the Ducks out statistically on the afternoon. Cal outshot Oregon, 13-11, and attempted five corner kicks to UO’s three.
Parlee earned the start in goal for the Ducks and turned aside five of the seven shots she faced in 90 minutes of play.
UO closes out its regular season on Sunday when it travels to No. 1 Stanford. The match kicks off at 1 p.m.
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