The Oregon Ducks thought they were heading to a second overtime against the No. 1 Stanford Cardinal, but Sophomore Catarina Macario had other plans.
The Ducks (7-4-1, 1-3-0 Pac-12) held tough against the Cardinal (11-0-1, 4-0-0 Pac-12) for 99 minutes. Oregon had to survive for one more minute to have hopes of a tie or a win in the second overtime. A foul call on Oregon’s Jazmin Jackmon set up Catarina Macario for a free kick just outside of the the box.
Macario, who’s tied for team leader in goals (6) has been deadly from just outside the box all season long and Thursday night was no different. Macario set the ball and put her shot in the top corner of the net, just out of reach of Oregon’s goalie Halla Hinriksdottir’s outreached arms.
“I’m gutted for our players,” head coach Kat Mertz said. “We played 99 minutes of pure heart and discipline and committed to the game plan. She’s deadly with free kicks around the box, I’ve seen it all year long.”
The Ducks went into the match without senior and leading scorer Marissa Everett, who was injured in the Ducks’ 1-0 loss at Washington.
Oregon was able to stifle the high-scoring Stanford offense in the first half by holding them to only two shots on goal. The Ducks also matched that number with two but had the best chance of the first half to score early as Bayley Bruner was able to get into the box and shoot a shot that was just wide left of goal.
Oregon’s morale was high coming out of the locker room going into the second half not allowing Stanford to convert a goal in the first half compared to last year, when Stanford routed Oregon 4-0.
Stanford came out strong in the second half as it took four early shots on goal within 10 minutes of starting the second half.
Stanford took the breath out a season-high 775 people in attendance, for a brief moment, as freshman Sophia Smith hit a shot from the left flank that bounced off the post and out.
Oregon’s golden moment of late game magic almost came in the 87th minute from Eugene native Emma Eddy.
Oregon’s attack came storming down the field. Bruner had the ball on the left side of the field, crossed it into Eddy at the doorstep of the goal but the shot would go just wide of the goal. Eddy lied on her back in disbelief on the ground after her miss.
Despite the miss, Oregon was able to keep its confidence heading into overtime.
“We were excited, senior defender Jazmin Jackmon said. “We have nothing to loose when we play the No. 1 team in the nation.”
Oregon will look to end its three-game loosing streak as it takes on Cal (4-6-1, 0-3-0 Pac-12) on Sunday, Oct. 7, at Papé Field.
“We have to take this and go into Sunday with full steam ahead,” Mertz said. “I think we’re going to learn from this. It’s going to give us the confidence and I think we can really play with anyone.”
Follow Gabe Ornelas on Twitter @gabe_ornelas