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Second-Half Penalty Kick Sets Back Soccer
Courtesy: GoDucks.com
Release Date: 10/07/2011
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TUSCON, ARIZ.- A second-half penalty kick by Arizona's Alex Smith gave the University of Arizona (1-9-2, 1-2-1 Pac-12) a 1-0 victory over the University of Oregon (6-6-1, 1-3-0 Pac-12) on Friday night at Murphey Stadium in Tuscon, Ariz.

The Wildcats earned their first of their two corner kicks 34 seconds into the match starting, allowing Jazmin Ponch to get a shot attempt off that travelled high.

Arizona looked to strike again exactly six minutes later on an Ana-Maria Montoya shot, but freshman goalkeeper Abby Steele got her hands on it for her first save of the match.

The Wildcats took another shot at 10:22 before junior Scout Libke was awarded the first Oregon corner at the 14:02, which resulted in a rare non-shot for the Ducks.

Five minutes later, UA strung together back-to-back shots that Steele denied access.

UO's first look of the match was taken by freshman Allie Rodriguez at the 23:29 mark, but it was saved by Arizona goalkeeper Ashley Jett.

Freshman Bri Pugh, who had the rest of Oregon's shots, received her first chance to tally a goal at 32:56, but the feisty Wildcat defense blocked the attempt. After an Arizona substitution, Pugh took another shot, but this one was Jett again.

The Ducks committed three straight fouls within 1:21, giving the ball back to the Wildcats, which allowed Kristyn Magyar to make a high shot attempt.

Samantha Cummings closed out the final minutes of the first half of play with a shot that went wide left, allowing both teams to head into the first 45 minutes of play with no score.

UO garnered an offsides call to open the final half of action, but a pair of Wildcat fouls opened up a solid scoring opportunity for the Ducks.

Pugh, who according to official statistics had a career-high seven shots and was the only Duck to take a shot in the second half, had her first shot of the half sail high at the 49:39 mark. Pugh came right back with another shot at the 51:49 mark, but this shot was gobbled up by Jett.

Following another Wildcat corner, Oregon gained possession and Pugh went back to work trying to give UO the lead.

At the 55:09 mark, Pugh got another outstanding look at the goal, but Jett saved this shot as well. Jett, who ended the match with five saves had an outstanding match against the Ducks.

Oregon had two chances off corners by Libke at 57:24 and 59:01, but was not able to push anything through the hands of Jett.

But at the 68:04 mark, that is when the momentum of the match changed. At 67:35, Montoya had a shot that went post. As Steele was cleaning up the shot, she collided with a Wildcat at the six. But a sliding Lauren Thompson and another Duck interrupted away from the main action that resulted in Arizona being awarded the penalty kick, which they had no problem converting to give UA a 1-0 advantage.

That was all that Arizona needed to earn their first win of the season.

Steele (2-6-1) finished the match with four saves. Jett moved to (1-9-2) on the season with the win.

"Bri (Pugh) had some outstanding chances for us and if we had been able to finish some of those chances a different result would have come out of this match," said Oregon head coach Tara Erickson. "At the same time, I have to give credit to Arizona's goalkeeper (Ashley Jett) because she had some good stops in goal."

Oregon competes again on Sunday at Arizona State at 1 p.m.

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