Ducks lose 1-0 to Huskies as offense sputters
Oregon soccer dropped its fifth consecutive Pac-12 game on Sunday, falling 1-0 to the Washington Huskies.
The loss kept the Ducks winless in Pac-12 play after a promising 6-2 start against non-conference opponents. With a season-high 625 in attendance, which included members of the Oregon marching band, the atmosphere at Papé Field wasn’t enough to propel the Ducks to victory.
“I mean, obviously disappointed in the result, disappointed in the effort coming into the second half,” Mertz said. “Give credit where credit’s due – UW came out and changed things and we needed to adjust better.”
The Huskies scored the game-winning goal in the 48th minute after a scoreless first half. Senior forward Kimberly Keever shot found its way past goalkeeper Halla Hinriksdottir into the lower left corner of the net.
The match was deadlocked throughout the first half. In what has become a pattern in the Ducks’ losses, the team was bested in the shot differential, notching only five shots to the Huskies’ 13.
“We need to learn and grow how to put a full 90 minutes together,” Jackmon said. “We’ve worked hard for 80, we’ve worked hard for 65, we’ve worked hard for 70. So now we’re just trying to learn how to put a hard 90 minutes of work in.”
Offside calls hamstrung several of Oregon’s offensive runs, including a 13th minute chance that saw Marissa Everett facing a 1-on-1 situation with Washington’s goalkeeper Sarah Shimer that was denied by the offside flag.
Defensively, the Ducks were rock-solid outside of Washington’s lone goal. Mia Costa took a hard shot straight to the ribs in the closing minutes of the first half to stifle what looked to be a scoring opportunity for the Huskies.
In the second half, Alyssa Hinojosa held off an onrush of three Husky attackers long enough for Sofia Chambers to come back and clear the ball.
The match also saw Ducks head coach Kat Mertz shift players around into new positions. Defender Jazmin Jackmon helped out in the attack, focusing on controlling the wing, as well as slotting in at right back. Also moving to right back briefly was freshman midfielder Chardonnay Curran, who filled in for Mia Costa after an injury.
“We’ve got some injuries back there in the back line,” Mertz said. “[Brianne] Parsons is out, Mia Palmer is out, Hannah Taylor is out, and Caitlyn Wong can only give us a certain amount of minutes per game.”
While Parsons and Palmer could return, Mertz shared that Taylor will redshirt this season after a training injury.
After the loss, the Ducks were quick to identify areas for improvement.
“We were trying to play direct at the beginning,” forward Emma Eddy said. “I think we continued that trend for a little too long. In the final third, we could’ve done a little better making runs, getting players into the box.”
Despite the loss dropping the Ducks to 0-5 in conference play, Mertz is optimistic about the future of the season.
“We got six games left, and for us the magic number it to get to ten wins,” Mertz said. “Once you get to ten wins, you’re talking about the NCAA. The RPI in the Pac-12 is so strong, you’ve just gotta take care of one game at a time.”
The Ducks will look to snap their losing streak on October 13th when they face the Arizona State Sun Devils at Papé Field.
Follow Aaron Alter on Twitter @aaronalter95
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