The methodical offensive attack of the No. 13 UCLA Bruins was too much for Oregon as it fell 1-0 on senior night. The Ducks struggled to contain the Bruins, who were able to move the ball on Oregon’s side of the pitch with little resistance.
“They’re just so disciplined in what they do,” senior forward Taylor Kuroda said. “They keep coming at you, they won’t get scared if they turnover the ball.”
The only goal of the game was scored by Lucy Parker in the 24th minute. After spending the first twenty minutes probing the Oregon defense, the Bruins scored of a corner kick. The well placed corner allowed Parker to boot in a goal from point blank range. There was little the Oregon defense could do to stop that ball from hitting the back of the net.
Parker, from Cambridge, England, has played for the England women’s youth national team. She was also a member of the Arsenal Girls Youth Academy program.
UCLA has a number of international players, including Jessie Fleming from Ontario, Canada, and is a member of the Canadian national team. Fleming is regarded as one of the best players in women’s college soccer. Oregon’s Hannah Taylor has also played for the Canadian youth national team and has experience playing against Fleming
“I think their tendencies of being composed, seeing the game well and being strong on the ball is always going to be there.” Taylor said.
The Ducks struggled to build momentum on offense. Oregon bunkered in its own half, constantly playing defense. The Ducks were able to get stops but they couldn’t counter attack efficiently. Too often, passes were stolen by UCLA defenders. Oregon only took four shots, compared the 20 shots that UCLA generated.
At times, the Oregon defense looked strong. When it seemed as though UCLA’s shot was on target, an Oregon defender would step up and block it. Although the Oregon offense could not score, the Oregon defense held up against sustained Bruin pressure.
Oregon’s offensive woes at home continued on Sunday. Oregon has not scored a goal at Papé field since a 1-1 draw with Cal on Oct. 10th. Oregon’s lack of ball possession made it difficult for the team to create quality scoring chances.
Kateyln Carter was active at goalkeeper, as UCLA was often in scoring position on the final third. Carter had six saves in the match. Although not all of those balls were particularly dangerous, Carter did not let any easy ball slip past her grasp.
Sunday also marked the last home match for the Ducks this season. This was the last time on Papé field for seniors Carter, Kuroda, Emma Eddy, Jessica Yu, Emily Kaestner and Alyssa Hinojosa.
“I told the seniors thank you, thank you for being a part of this,” head coach Kat Mertz said.
Oregon will play their final match of the regular season against Oregon State in Corvallis.
“The only thing we are thinking about is going to Corvallis and finding a way to win there,” Mertz said.