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Oregon's Upset Bid Falls Short vs. #8 Stanford
Release Date: 10/25/2013
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EUGENE, Ore. -- The University of Oregon women’s soccer team had its upset bit of No. 8 Stanford come up just short as the Cardinal scored a late game-winning goal to secure a victory Friday afternoon at Papé Field. Sophomore Kristen Parr scored her second goal in as many games and the Ducks played inspired soccer on Senior Day, but Stanford (11-3-1, 4-3-0) prevailed, 2-1.

After the Cardinal converted a penalty kick in the first half, Parr scored on a perfectly placed through ball from senior Achijah Berry to knot things up in the 71st minute. The Ducks (3-9-3, 1-5-1) at times looked prone for the go-ahead goal, but the visitors spoiled Oregon’s impressive performance with an 81st minute game-winning goal.

Courtney Verloo scored both of Stanford’s goals to provide the difference. The Ducks, who have forced two ranked opponents to overtime this season, put six shots on target and continued to show signs of improvement in a hard-fought Pac-12 battle.

“We came out with nothing to lose,” said head coach Kat Mertz. “We came in with a set plan, executed it well and were discipline in our actions. I had fun watching the game today.”

Parr provided Oregon’s first look on goal, sending a header on target in the 14th minute before Cardinal goalkeeper Jane Campbell made the save. A mostly even first half turned to Stanford’s favor in the 36th minute when Verloo drew a foul in the penalty box.  She took the penalty kick for Stanford, sending it past a diving Abby Steele to make it 1-0.

Juniors Bri Pugh and Kira Wagoner put shots on target in the 40th and 43rd minutes and the Ducks responded well from Stanford’s opening goal. The Cardinal went into the break with a 1-0 lead, but an improved second half from the Ducks resulted in an equalizer.

The Ducks took three shots before finding an equalizer in the 71st minute. Berry worked her way into space wide and lofted a curling through ball into the box towards Parr. She didn’t waste the opportunity, burying a close range goal to tie the game at 1-1. It marked Berry’s first assist of the season and Parr’s second straight game with a goal. Parr, who led the team in scoring last season with seven, scored in the 30th minute against Washington last week. Junior Ryann Davie was also credited with an assist on the play, her third of the season, for playing the ball to Berry.

“I talked to Achijah before the game and told her I was going to be so excited when she gets an assist tonight,” said Mertz. “I was really excited for her to do that on senior day. That service was unbelievable. It was a bending ball away, and (Parr) did a great job of running onto it and putting it away.”

Fans got their money’s worth in the final 20 minutes with both teams in search for the game-winner. Pugh attempted a shot from deep in the 75th minute, but her ball sailed high.  The Cardinal broke the deadlock in the 82nd minute as Verloo scored her second of the evening. Defender Natalie Griffen crossed the ball to Chioma Ubogagu, who flicked the ball onto Verloo. Verloo scored from eight yards out.

Desperate for a second equalizer, Parr challenged Campbell with another shot on goal in the 85th minute. Campbell made the save and the Cardinal were able to preserve their second straight Pac-12 victory.

Parr led the Ducks, placing 3-of-3 shots on target to go along with her second goal of the season. Pugh took four attempts, placing two on goal. Freshman ShayLee Miner started in her first career match and played 76 minutes. Freshman Ashlee Schulz also started, taking the place of an injured Reilley Moore at center back. The Ducks finished with 10 shots in the contest, led by six in the second half.

Junior goalkeeper Abby Steele made five saves. Oregon hasn’t been defeated by more than a single goal in any loss this season.

Prior to the contest, the team honored three seniors in front of a crowd of 781 at Papé Field; Berry, Gabbie Lindeman and team manager Brynne Konkel. A four-year letterwinner, Berry tallied an assist in her 50th career start. Lindeman started and went and played every minute for the 12th straight match.

The Ducks return to action Monday, hosting another highly ranked Pac-12 team in their final home match of the season. Oregon will meet No. 12 California (9-1-5, 2-1-3) Monday at Papé Field at 7 p.m. (PT). The match will be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks.

“We saw a lot of coaching changes come together in the game, and obviously we don’t want to lose, but I was really proud of my girls tonight,” said Mertz. “We did a great job of bringing the fight tonight and we need to continue that to the California game Monday.”

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