CORVALLIS, Ore.- The University of Oregon (5-2-1) got back on the winning pace with a 2-1 win over UC Davis (5-2) on the opening day of the Oregon State Nike Invitational Friday night at Paul Lorenz Field.
Junior Scout Libke attempted to get the Ducks on the board early with the match's first shot at 6:03, but the defense of UCD blocked the shot.
Libke followed up with back to back corner kicks, but the only shot that was taken was by UCD's Kiele Argente as it resulted in a save by UO goalkeeper Abby Steele.
More than nine minutes of action went by before the next shot went toward the net. Libke set up another corner at 17:02 and freshman Kelsey Foo came up with the shot, but UC Davis' Maria Magana was able to record her first save of the match.
Oregon committed consecutive fouls, which gave the ball back to the Aggies, giving Allison Kelly a good look at the goal, but her shot went high still leaving the match scoreless.
Freshman Shanelle Simien had her chance to put one through at38:39, resulting in a save, but after head coach Tara Erickson substituted Mo Fitzgerald for Taylor Jones, the Ducks were back on the attack.
Seconds later freshman Kiyomi Cook sent an excellent ball over to junior Kelsey Hones, who nailed her first goal of the season over the UC Davis defense off the tips of the Aggie goalkeeper to give UO an early 1-0 lead.
UC Davis tried to even the score on a quick shot by Hannah Hicks at 40:06, but Steele came through with another save to keep UCD off the board.
The Ducks took that lead into the half.
An early corner kick was taken by the Aggies to start off what would be the final stanza and Erika Emmanuel sent the shot toward the net, but Steele recorded another save on the possession.
Freshman Riley Smith took her only shot of the match off a corner by Libke at 55:13, but her shot was high giving the ball back to the Aggies.
But at the 65:05 mark, junior Maddy Mercier collected her third goal of the season after junior Julie Armstrong led the Green and Yellow contingent down to field, throwing off the Aggie defense. Armstrong made the screwball pass to Mercier and she beat the keeper to net the goal to put UO ahead 2-0.
UCD avoided awarding the Ducks their sixth shutout of the season after Argente recorded her second goal of the season at 71:42 after her shot deflected off of Steele's hands to cut the lead to 2-1.
"We made it a closer game than what we wanted to make it, but it was just great to get back on the winning track," remarked Erickson. "Kelsey (Hones) went out in the first half with a knee injury, but we will look to Sunday's match to continue to work on things before we enter conference play next week against Utah."
Steele (1-2-1) earned the win with a seven-save outing, while Magana took the loss.
Oregon returns to action on Sunday for the final day of the tournament, taking on Florida International at 11a.m.