Ducks soccer can’t break through, remains winless in Pac-12 play after loss to Colorado
To say that the Oregon soccer team has had a tough start to its Pac-12 schedule would be an understatement.
Facing three teams in the NCAA RPI Top 20 in Stanford, USC and UCLA, Oregon went 0-3 and still in search of its first win in conference play. Traveling to Boulder to face the University of Colorado, the Ducks hoped to put together a victory and start their charge in Pac-12 play.
But the wait will have to continue, as the Ducks (6-6-1) dropped a 3-1 contest to the Colorado on Thursday afternoon.
When forward Kyra Fawcett scored her team-leading fifth goal of the season off a corner kick from Abby Morrow to tie the score at 1-1 in the 42nd minute, it was beginning to look like Oregon could pull away. Fawcett’s goal gave Oregon its 19th goal of the season, matching the most goals since the 2012 season.
“I thought we had some great chances towards the end of the first half and beginning of the second,” said head coach Kat Mertz following the loss.
To no avail, however. Colorado scored in the 63rd and 71st minute, off a corner kick and penalty kick respectively, while keeping the Ducks off the board the rest of the way, to keep them atop the Pac-12 standings at 4-0-0.
Oregon matched Colorado in shots on goal (six) as well as corner kick opportunities (also six).
The Ducks’ struggles in the second half of play continued Thursday. Through the first four games of conference play, the Ducks have been outscored 9-2 after halftime, compared to just a -1 goal differential over the first half of those matches.
One of the lone bright spots in the contest was the return of defender Caitlyn Wong to the starting lineup, who came off the bench Sunday against UCLA.
The Ducks travel to Salt Lake City to face the Utah Utes on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Oregon has had its flashes of strong play throughout the beginning of Pac-12 play.
“Soccer is about momentum,” said Mertz. “We need to capitalize on those chances and keep the momentum.”
Follow Cole Kundich on Twitter @colesportsUO
Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.