Oregon women’s soccer falls to Oregon State as postseason hopes come to an end
It began as one of the best starts in program history but ended in a culmination of missed opportunities and costly mistakes that led to a season-ending defeat.
The Oregon women’s soccer team fell 1-0 to the Oregon State Beavers in front of a season-high home crowd of 736 on Friday, ending the Ducks’ season at 8-10-2 (2-8-1 Pac-12).
The Ducks had many quality shooting opportunities scattered throughout the senior night match, but Oregon’s chances of making the NCAA tournament began to diminish after Oregon State’s Emma Jones scored in the 81st minute.
Jones’ shot was driven on the ground and manageable for Oregon freshman goalkeeper Katelyn Carter. After initially stopping the shot, Carter lost control and it rolled by her into the back of the net.
With less than 10 minutes remaining, Oregon was unable to fight back and qualify for the NCAA tournament.
“We definitely had some chances,” head coach Kat Mertz said. “It was a bit of a heartbreaking game for us. We were fighting to get a chance into the tournament. Of course, it’s the Civil War — a lot of emotion, senior day, trying to break .500. But Oregon State did well, they capitalized on that missed cue there, and then unfortunately, we gave up a goal.”
The Ducks celebrated seniors Maryn Beutler, Lauren Holden, Marlo Sweatman, Shaylee Minor and Ashlee Schulz prior to kickoff.
Despite losing many key athletes to graduation, Mertz is happy with the mentality that the seniors have instilled in the underclassmen.
“I think that the seniors really passed on our willingness to believe in the program and the hard work that it takes to play in the Pac-12,” Mertz said. “The Pac-12 is a beast, you know, every game is a championship game and so I think watching and learning from the seniors over the course of these three years, four years — they are really going to be able to take this momentum going into next fall in a sense that the revolution doesn’t stop, it continues.”
Despite losing Beutler, Sweatman and Schulz, who all had important starting roles, Mertz is confident in her depth going forward.
“We’ve got a good class coming in,” Mertz said. “We have our freshman, Jayne [Lydiatt] coming off the bench there. She’s going to be a piece for us next year, and Sofia [Chambers]. … I think we’ve got some good players, some youth that are coming in and are excited to be a part of our family.”
With the 2016 season now a thing of the past, the Ducks look to recover and revamp for the 2017 season, as the “revolution” continues.
Follow Kylee O’Connor on Twitter @kyleethemightee
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