EUEGENE, Ore. -- The University of Oregon women’s soccer team will meet its first top-10 opponent of the season on Thursday as No. 6 BYU travels to Eugene. The fixture will get underway at 7:05 p.m. (PT) at Papè Field and will be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks, with Ann Schatz and Kendra De St. Aubin calling the action.
Facing a ranked opponent won’t be a strange sight for head coach Kat Mertz’s Ducks, who have already faced No. 15 Portland and then-ranked Wisconsin. The Ducks forced Portland into overtime for the first time in program history before falling by a 2-1 score, and also netted a second half equalizer against Wisconsin before falling 2-1. Nine of Oregon’s 2013 opponents are currently ranked or receiving votes in today’s NSCAA Continental Tire Poll.
The Cougars are perfect on the season at 4-0-0 and are coming off a home victory against Utah, where they won 1-0.
The Ducks are coming off a pair of tough-luck matches, where they dropped two one-goal decisions. Oregon fell to Hawai’i 1-0 on Friday before suffering a 2-1 setback against UC Irvine. Junior Bri Pugh provided a bright spot for the Ducks, tallying a combined 14 shots, nine shots on target and a goal in the two matches. Junior Abby Steele made 11 saves on the weekend, moving to fourth on UO’s all-time goalkeeper saves list (182). Steele ranks first in the Pac-12 in saves (28), while Pugh ranks fourth in shots (21).
The Duck offense has received contributions from across the board this season, as five players have combined for the team’s eight goals while six players have totaled Oregon’s seven assists. Pugh, freshman ShayLee Miner and Brooke Strawn lead the Ducks with two goals, while Kiyomi Cook leads the team in assists (2). Steele and defender Reilley Moore have played every minute this season.
After meeting BYU, Mertz and the Ducks will continue their nine-game home-stand by hosting San Francisco on Friday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. (PT).