LOS ANGELES -- The University of Oregon women’s soccer team scored its earliest goal of the season Friday afternoon but couldn’t outlast USC in an overtime battle at McAlister Field. The Ducks (4-10-3, 2-6-1) fell to the Trojans 2-1 in overtime following a 99th minute golden goal.
Sophomore Kristen Parr tallied her third goal of the season and Oregon appeared to be on its way to a third straight victory over the Trojans. USC (7-9-2, 2-6-1) rallied to stun Oregon, scoring an equalizer in the 79th minute and the game-winning golden goal in the 99th.
Junior goalkeeper Abby Steele made a season-high nine saves while Parr and juniors Bri Pugh and Kiyomi Cook each took two shot attempts. Parr has scored goals in three of the past four contests for Oregon.
Oregon opened the contest brilliantly, scoring on the first shot of the game following a counter attack in the 5th minute. The Ducks cleared a USC attempt deep in their defensive half and found Parr, running in line with the Trojan back line. The Bend, Ore., native broke free down the left side and dribbled into the box before unleashing a howler low and away.
Parr’s shot beat USC goalkeeper Caroline Stanley to give Oregon the 1-0 lead following its earliest goal of the season by four minutes. Parr led the team in goals with seven last year and is now tied with ShayLee Miner for most goals (3) this season.
Pugh had a shot deflect off the post and another saved by Stanley late in the half, but the Ducks began losing the battle of possession after taking the lead, which eventually cost them the match.
The Oregon defense, searching for a sixth shutout of the season, frustrated the Trojan offense throughout by staying compact and organized. USC finally found a way through, scoring an equalizing goal in the 80th minute. Elizabeth Eddy crossed a ball to Katie Johnson in the box, who headed the ball in for her fifth goal of the season.
Cook tested Stanley with a shot on target in the 89th minute, but the Trojans held on to send the match in to overtime. The Ducks have played in five overtime contests this season.
The Ducks came within inches of a golden goal in the 95th minute as sophomore Mia Gunter caught USC on a quick counter. Gunter took a shot inside the box, and Stanley got a piece of it with her glove before the ball rolled off the cross bar and back into her arms.
With less than a minute remaining in the first overtime period, USC scored the game-winner. Kayla Mills found space on the right flank and delivered a well-struck shot in at the far post.
Oregon finished with nine shot attempts, placing five on goal, and one corner kick. Parr led the way with her opening half goal. She’s placed 12 of her 22 shot attempts on target this season. Steele made a number of vital stops between the posts and finished with nine saves. She has made 85 saves on the season, which ranks as the 11th best in program history with two matches remaining.
The Ducks return to action Sunday, meeting second-ranked UCLA at Drake Stadium in Los Angeles. First touch is set for 1 p.m. (PT). The contest will be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks.