Nebraska’s women’s soccer squad flew into Eugene with a perfect 2-0-0 record. Members of the illustrious Big Ten conference — from which reigning national champions from Penn State hail — the Cornhuskers finished their 2015 season with only two losses. The Ducks had never been able to secure a win against any squad from this conference.
That all changed Friday evening at Papé field.
Oregon junior Abby Morrow scored her first goal of the season in the 63rd minute, which resulted in a 1-0 win for the Ducks. She was assisted by senior Ashlee Schulz and sophomore Bayley Bruner. The consistently vocal Oregon bench could be heard from the farthest spot in the parking lot.
“Timing is everything,” Morrow said. “It all came from a beautiful ball by Ashlee finding Bayley, and I know that Bayley is as fast as lightening so I needed to be there for her ball coming across the face of the goal. I wanted everyone’s hard work to pay off.”
The Ducks finished with nine shots on goal, three of which belonged to Morrow. Ashlee Schulz, Maryn Beutler, Kyra Fawcett, Marissa Everett, Miranda Schulz, and Jessica Yu accounted for one a piece.
“We have always been told that you won’t score if you don’t shoot, so the more chances on goal we can get then the better the chances of winning are,” Morrow said.
Nebraska drew two yellow cards in the match, one in the 62nd minute and another in the 77th.
Oregon also played nearly flawless defense throughout the game. Goalkeepers Halla Hinriksdottir and Katelyn Carter split the game time, finishing with a combined five saves while shutting out Nebraska.
“I was really proud to get a shutout. Both goalkeepers played well,” Oregon head coach Kat Mertz said. “[Defensive coach Katie Hultin] gets a lot out of her players, so just the growth between Halla and Katelyn Carter over these 25 days…it was awesome.”
Mertz explained that she and the team watched video footage in order to analyze what Nebraska would be susceptible to. They decided to use the “space behind” since Nebraska played a high line. Mertz also revealed that her team has been working on over-hitting, while runners take advantage of getting behind the ball.
After a win and a tie on the road in Hawaii, the Ducks are now undefeated with a 2-0-1 record.
“I think [this win] does really well for the Pac 12 as a whole,” Mertz said. “It’s a great win and Nebraska played really well…they’re good at what they do.”
The Ducks will be back at Papé Sunday evening to battle Stephen F. Austin State University.
Follow Alexa Chedid on Twitter @alexachedid18