EUGENE, Ore. – After two quick goals in the second half, the Oregon soccer team defeated Saint Mary’s, 2-0, Friday evening at Papé Field.
How it Happened: After an scoreless first half, in which the Ducks outshot the Gaels 6-2, Oregon’s offense came out ready to push in the second. Senior forward Bri Pugh collected the ball and crossed it toward the goal, causing the Saint Mary’s keeper to dive toward the left post. With the ball sitting in front of the net, junior forward Kristen Parr leapt over the ball before senior defender Riley Smith took the easy shot and scored her first collegiate goal at 60:05.
Just over a minute later, a Saint Mary’s foul gave senior midfielder Lilly Archer a penalty kick, which she easily sent under the diving goalkeeper for the 2-0 lead.
Second Half Turnaround: Both sides of the ball for Oregon changed drastically coming into the second half. The Ducks offense stepped up to score, but the defense also made more plays. Oregon held Saint Mary’s to just two shots in each half and just one corner in the entire match, which came in the first. Ten of Oregon’s 16 shots came in the second half.
Record Watch: Senior goalkeeper Abby Steele made four saves in the match and recorded her 15th career shutout. Steele is now one save from being third all-time in career saves and one shutout from tying the Oregon record.
Up Next: The Ducks return to the field Sunday at 1 p.m. against Loyola Marymount. The Lions (2-0-1) tied Oregon State, 0-0, Friday evening.
Key Quote: “We’ve really wanted to out-possess teams, outwork teams,” said head coach Kat Mertz. “The best way to defend is to keep the ball. And really from preseason we’ve been talking about our offensive, how to maintain possession, and how to spread teams out a little bit. Give the credit to the girls, they’ve been training hard.”