Oregon soccer earns Civil War win for seniors in season finale
Oregon soccer took on the Oregon State Beavers in their final match of the season Friday, coming up with a 2-0 win for a final record of 8-10-2 overall — 3-7-1 in the conference. OSU finished 11-6-3 overall, 3-5-2 in conference play.
The Ducks took to the rainy Papé Field on Friday looking to get a win for their seniors. For the younger players, a moral victory would suffice, as hopes for tournement play died weeks prior.
“It was the perfect end to a season,” senior midfielder Scout Libke said after the game. “You beat Oregon State. It was the perfect way to end my career and my time with my 29 best friends. I feel on top of the world right now.”
The first Duck goal came in an unusual way, as an OSU defender dropped the ball back to keeper Sammy Prudhomme to be cleared at the 41st minute of play. Achijah Berry rushed the keeper, trying to get a piece of the ball, and the ball caught her in the jaw, bouncing backward into the empty net.
The score was unexpected for a Ducks team that has struggled to score against conference opponents.
“We have been talking about that kind of goal all year,” head coach Tara Erickson said. “With the speed that we have up top, putting teams under pressure, that’s actually why we play with the three up top.”
Turning point. The Ducks played with a one-goal lead until the 62 minute when Bri Pugh exploded down the sideline and sent a cross to Ryann Davie who struck a low shot that was stopped by a diving save from Prudhomme. Prudhomme blocked the shot but couldn’t gather the ball and let it roll to the feet of Bri Pugh, who tapped it into the empty net to give the Ducks a comfortable two-goal lead.
“It was a great game,” Pugh said. “It was awesome to get the win against the Beavs for the seniors. I can’t express how much I love those girls and it’s going to be sad not coming next year and having them there, but it was a great send off.”
On the horizon. With a victory in their final game, the Ducks will look to build off the win. The season was disappointing after a strong start, but the freshman core for the Ducks, who played extended minutes, will be a year older and have a season under their belt to learn from.
If the recruiting class for next year is anything like it was for the 2012 season, Ducks fans will have something to look forward to for years to come.
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