BOULDER, Colo.- The University of Oregon soccer team(7-7-1, 2-4 Pac-12) got back on the winning track by using a balanced attack to post a 3-1 victory over the University of Colorado (3-9-2, 0-5-1 Pac-12) on Sunday afternoon at Prentup Field in Boulder.
In her first trip back home to Colorado, it was only fitting that freshman Bri Pugh put back Oregon's first goal to give the Ducks an early 1-0 lead. Senior goalkeeper Lindsay Parlee recorded a save on a Colorado shot by Carly Bolyard at the 15:29 minute mark and waved the rest of the Ducks down the field. Parlee booted a laser down the field to a waiting Pugh on the left side of the pitch who put the shot back with ease. The tally was Pugh's third of the season and the rare goalkeeper assist was Parlee's first of her career and only the third in UO history. Sarah Peters had two during the 2001 campaign against Gonzaga and Arizona.
No more than three minutes later into the match, the Buffs picked up a handball in the penalty box, which awarded a penalty kick to Oregon, who of lately has been on the other side of penalties. Junior Scout Libke approached the kick with calmness and gave the Ducks a 2-0 lead after kicking the ball toward the right of the net at Colorado goalkeeper Annie Brunner, who could not come up with the save. The good kick moved Libke to 3-for-3 on the season in that category.
With a 2-0 cushion, the backline for the Ducks worked to protect the lead by blocking two dangerous shots at the 26:00 and 26:35 marks. For added depth, freshman Kiyomi Cook, who is normally a starter, came off the bench with sophomore Achijah Berry to turn up the pressure on the Buff offense. Cook was in a little over a minute into the match before her physical style of play got the best of her and she picked up her second yellow card of the season at 28:25.
That pressure stayed on a high level, allowing Oregon to take that lead into the half.
After starting the match with Parlee, the Ducks lifted her and replaced her with freshman Abby Steele to start the second half of play.
Following the intermission, the Buffaloes came back for the second half looking more aggressive than they did in the first 45 minutes.
Kate Russell took corners, but once again the Oregon defense stood its ground not letting anything get close to the net.
At the 53:04 mark, freshman Ryann Davie got into a foot race down the field and had an excellent look at tallying a goal due to her tremendous speed, but the shot went wide away from the net. Davie had one more look at 69:02, but the Buffalo defense blocked her shot, giving UO a corner shot.
Set up off a save by Steele, freshman Ally Aschbacher, who came in for Pugh at the 69:43 mark, made a good run with Davie down to the Oregon half of the field and had no problem increasing UO's advantage to 3-0. Davie did most of the dirty work by beating her defender to create the needed space to send the ball over to Aschbacher, who barely tapped the ball past Brunner.
Colorado avoided the shutout by notching their first goal of the match off the foot of Russell. Russell set up for the corner and Anne Stuller sent a shot back, but Steele was able to save it. The ball came loose and Russell was able to loop back around the Oregon attack to put the ball in for the goal off the deflection by Storie Ledger.
Obviously down 3-1, Colorado head coach Bill Hempen grew frustrated with officiating and picked up both a yellow and red card, forcing him to have to leave the match.
But the Ducks were able to keep things in check to secure their second Pac-12 win of the season, leaving CU as the lone team in the conference without a conference win.
Parlee (5-0) picked up the win, while Brunner (3-9-2) was charged with the loss. Steele had two saves and Parlee just one. Brunner only got her hand on one Duck shot.
UO was outshot, 13-9 and were down in the corner battle, 10-2.
"It is obviously good to go on the road and get a Pac-12 win," said head coach Tara Erickson. "They were not an easy team to face and this is a hard place to play. We kept a steady flow of substitutions to keep fresh legs because playing at 6000 feet is difficult .Nicole Bakke played awesome in the middle against a physical Colorado team. Bri's finish on her goal was fantastic and as a team we defended hard and stuck with our game plan."
Oregon finally returns back to Pape' Field for its next match against Washington on Friday (Oct. 21) at 7p.m. The Ducks have designated this match as their "Think Pink" night for Breast Cancer Awareness. A silent auction of donated soccer items will be held, with all proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen foundation. In conjunction with "Think Pink" night, Oregon will also be sponsoring Jersey Night where all youth wearing their favorite soccer jersey get in for $1.