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Late Penalty Dooms Ducks Soccer in Colorado

Buffs Dominate Against Punchless Oregon

Syndication: The Register Guard Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Oregon Ducks seemed out of sorts, could not control the ball in midfield, put little pressure on the Colorado goal, and ultimately lost 1 - 0 to the Buffs in Boulder on Sunday afternoon. The Ducks have now gone 300 minutes without scoring a goal (the 1-0 win against Utah on Thursday came on an “own goal” Utah scored against itself).

Early in the game, it seemed that Oregon was just taking some time to warm up. The Ducks seemed slow, unable to really challenge Colorado passes, and sloppy with their own control of the ball and passing. The Ducks were again without their leading scorer Ajanae Respass (the University has not released injury information on Respass, but it seems likely that is the cause of her absence) so even when Oregon could maintain possession, the usual target up front was not available. This seemed to lead to some confusion for Oregon on how they wanted to attack Colorado. As the first half wore on, Oregon really struggled to maintain any kind of possession and Colorado was dominating the midfield area leading to a lot of Colorado pressure on Oregon’s defense and Oregon goalkeeper Leah Freeman, who recorded her school-record 18th shutout at Utah.

Despite the pressure, Oregon’s defense and Freeman kept Colorado at bay. Most of the Buffs shots were of the non-threatening variety - taken from distance and directly at Freeman or arriving too slowly to be dangerous. Other shots were blasted over the crossbar or wide of the goal. Oregon took only one shot in the first half, a ball that hit the right post in the 18th minute and caromed out of bounds. Aside from that, and a few Oregon thrusts that did not produce a shot, the half was all Colorado. Oregon continued to hurt its own cause with poor ball control and wayward passes, frequently directly to opposing players. For the half, Colorado outshot Oregon 11 - 1 and 3 - 0 in Shots on Goal. The Buffs also had 5 corner kicks to none for the Ducks, another measure of the offensive domination Colorado was enforcing. Despite a very one-sided match thus far, the score remained Oregon 0 - Colorado 0 as the half ended.


The second half was, unfortunately, more of the same for Oregon. Oregon continued to absorb tremendous pressure from Colorado, and for almost 30 minutes the Ducks defense and Freeman were equal to the task. In the 61st minute, Colorado had a goal headed in off a corner kick disallowed as the scoring player committed a foul going for the ball. Colorado won a free kick on a Duck foul just outside the 18-yard box on the right side in the 73rd minute. On the subsequent free kick, the ball hit an Oregon player’s arm and Colorado was awarded a penalty kick. Freeman went the wrong way on the penalty, and the ball was slotted into the left side of the goal, giving Colorado a 1 - 0 lead with 26 minutes left.

Despite the urgency, Oregon continued to have trouble advancing the ball in their offensive end of the field. In the 70th minute, what was Oregon’s best chance of the game bent just wide of the right-hand goal post. An 81st minute Oregon free kick after a Colorado foul was hit straight to the goalkeeper. Colorado kept advancing the ball easily into Oregon’s defensive end, but the earlier goal meant more time-wasting than attempts to score and the game ended with the Buffs still on top 1 - 0.

For the game, Colorado took 22 shots to Oregon’s 4 and the Buffs had 7 shots on goal to Oregon’s zero. Colorado improved to 8 - 3 - 3 (W-L-T) overall and 2 - 2 - 1 in the Pac-12. Oregon fell to 4-5-4 overall and 2 - 3 - 0 in Conference.

Oregon plays only once in the next week, a road game at Washington State on Thursday October 14.


Oregon’s Zoe Hasenauer started her 84th game for the Ducks, a school record.

Colorado has now scored at least one goal in 22 straight games extending back to the 2021 season.