A penalty kick from Arizona State’s Cali Farquharson in the 25th minute proved to be the difference as the Ducks dropped their sixth straight game 1-0 in Tempe. The penalty kick was the first allowed by the Ducks all season.
Arizona State tested Oregon keeper Halla Hinriksdóttir early. In the first 20 minutes, she was forced to make two difficult saves to keep the Sun Devils off the board. In the 25th minute, however, an aggressive defensive play from Kelsey Foo in the box was called a foul, giving Arizona State the penalty kick. Farquharson rocketed her shot into the top right corner, putting the Devils up 1-0.
Ducks head coach Kat Mertz wasn’t pleased with her team’s effort in the first half.
“I thought we came out flat in the first half and ASU took advantage with the penalty kick,” Mertz told GoDucks.com after the game.
The intermission proved to be beneficial for the Ducks, as they came out more focused and aggressive afterward. Led by freshman Bayley Bruner, the Ducks took six of their seven shots in the second half.
The Sun Devils echoed the aggressive play. Shortly after a shot on goal by Bruner, a blatant elbow from ASU’s Lucy Lara on Sofia Chambers drew a red card, leaving the Sun Devils with only ten players for the rest of the game.
“We played much better in the second half and created chances by creating good width,” Mertz said of her team’s second half play.
Despite playing with an advantage, the Ducks still could not find the back of the net, a problem that has plagued them all season. ASU keeper Chandler Morris, who tallied seven saves on the game, saved good shots on goal from Maryn Beutler and Miranda Schulz. One last effort from Marlo Sweatman came up just short and Arizona State hung on to win their seventh game of the season. The Sun Devils improve to 7-7-1 overall and 3-4-1 in the Pac-12.
The Ducks, who haven’t won since they beat Colorado on Oct. 2, fall to 4-12-0 overall and 1-7-0 in Pac-12 play. They return to Papé Field next week for their final two homes games of the season against Washington and Washington State.
Follow Gus Morris on Twitter @g_amorris