Ducks run through Utes in 3-0 victory
Oregon soccer snapped its two-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over Utah on fog-covered Thursday night.
The win, which comes on the heels of losses to No. 1 Stanford and No. 16 California, gave the Ducks (8-9-0, 2-7-0 Pac-12) their second conference win of the season. Their performance pushed the team closer to head coach Kat Mertz’s goal of a 10 win season, and their eight wins tie the team’s previous high under Mertz from last season.
The Ducks got on the board in the 40th minute. Miranda Schulz sent a soaring cross into the box, where Nicole Seaman leapt and headed it into the net. The goal was Seaman’s first career score as a Duck.
“It’s amazing,” Seaman said. “To come in, and for me to be able to contribute to our team winning, it’s awesome.”
After halftime, the Ducks came out swinging. In the 47th minute, Schulz showed superb awareness and volleyed a deflection off of Mia Costa cross into the net for her second goal of the season.
The Ducks weren’t done yet.
After streaking up the left sideline, Emma Eddy played a cross to the top of the box and into the path of Seaman, who fired the ball into the net for her second goal of the game and of her career.
“To get two in a game is an incredible feeling,” Seaman said. “I kinda wish there were ten more minutes in that game so we could’ve gotten more.”
Outside of the three goals, the match was a tightly contested affair. After Schulz’s goal, the Utes pushed the Ducks’ back line in a bid to even the score. As they’ve done for much of the season, Oregon’s defense held strong.
The Utes continued to bring pressure for much of the second half, notching six shots after only attempting two in the first half. Ultimately, they were unsuccessful due to strong play from goalkeeper Halla Hinriksdottir and her defenders.
One of the keys for the Ducks going into the game was to get off more shots; the team is 0-7 in games where they fail to reach double digits. They were able to rattle off 12 in the victory over Utah. After two games that saw the offense falter, Mertz said that getting three goals felt great, and boosts the team’s confidence heading into their final two regular season matches.
Due to damp conditions and heavy fog, both teams had to contend with the speed and unpredictability that comes with playing on wet turf. It proved to be a minor obstacle for the Ducks.
“I’m really proud of the effort today, all around,” Mertz said. “It was pretty slick out there, but we’re pretty athletic. We knew the skip, the bounce, and what that would give us. I thought we used that to our advantage for sure.”
Next up for the Ducks is a senior day match at Papé field against the Colorado Buffaloes on Sunday, at 11 a.m.
Follow Aaron Alter on Twitter @aaronalter95
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