Three Ducks land in record books
In her sixth season at the helm, Oregon women’s soccer head coach Tara Erickson has accumulated 51 total wins, making her the all-time Ducks leader. Erickson surpassed former coach Bill Steffen, whose 49 victories was the previous high. Erickson saw the accomplishment as a testament to her players.
“I think it just shows the level of players that we have here,” Erickson said.
Despite outscoring their opponents by a combined six goals over the first half of the schedule, the Ducks are 4-4-2 with just one non-conference game to go.
Erickson became the Ducks’ all-time wins leader after a 2-1 overtime victory against San Diego State at the 2010 Oregon State Nike Invitational in Corvallis. It was the first overtime win for Oregon in four matches. Sophomore midfielder Scout Libke netted the goal which ended the match in the fifth minute of the first overtime period. Erickson saw the framework of the match as one which her Ducks could build on.
“The Aztecs are a very tough team and it gave us a ton of confidence moving forward,” Erickson said.
Senior midfielder Kirstie Kuhns forged her way into the record books against Butler, contributing four goals in the Ducks’ 6-1 win. Kuhns’ mark puts her in a three-way tie atop the Oregon all-time leader board for goals in a single game. The senior, who recorded just one goal last year, has been moved from her traditional home on the defense side to aid Oregon’s strikers up front.
“Kirstie really is a leader on this team,” Erickson said. “The switch was a tactical move after the first seven games of the season.”
The game Kuhns had against Butler indicates the rotation might be permanent. However, Kuhns and Erickson were not the only ones to catapult their way into the record book.
Senior forward Jen Stoltenberg made sure to join the party as she climbed atop the Oregon all time leader board in assists with 17. Stoltenberg remains the Ducks’ points leader and her 55 shots are second only to Stanford’s Christen Press in the Pac-10.
Most recently, the Ducks suffered a setback at Santa Clara, falling to the No. 10 Broncos 2-1 last Friday. The loss goes down as just another narrow defeat for the Ducks, but Erickson saw a significant upside to the contest.
“I thought we went into the game intimidated,” Erickson said. “If we played the second 45 as well as the first 45, I think that match is a different story.”
In that match the Ducks trailed by two at halftime and got help from a Stoltenberg goal in the second half, but could not overcome the clock as they ran out of time for the comeback.
The Ducks will need to overcome the nerves they felt at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara if they hope to pick up a win this weekend. The team is focused on making a statement against No. 3 Portland on Friday. The Pilots hold a record of 10-1, their lone loss coming at the hands of No. 2 Stanford last weekend. The match will be the final primer for the Ducks before the start of Pac-10 play.
“It’s going to be a fantastic environment under the lights in Portland, it doesn’t get any better,” Coach Erickson said. “We want to play these big teams in big games; that’s why we’re here.”
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