The Oregon Ducks played their first road game of the season against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in Spokane.
The game had much the same feel as the San Francisco match, with Oregon struggling to get the ball into scoring position. Gonzaga did a very good job of controlling the ball and they passed better than the Ducks. Passing and ball control has been the key to Oregon’s failure to get shots on the goal, and this is something the Ducks must improve upon or they will have a difficult time against the better teams they face later in the season.
Oregon scored first, 15 minutes into the game, when Ajanae Respass threaded a shot in between the legs of the Bulldogs’ goalie:
Gonzaga answered with a goal at the 21 minute mark, when Leah Freeman could not quite keep control of the ball on a save, and the attacker was gifted a second chance on a goal shot. The teams went into halftime tied 1-1.
Shortly after halftime, Respass scored Oregon’s second goal.
Out of the half, it's @AjanaeRespass forcing a turnover and the ball eventually finds @livvymooree, who slides a pass back to Respass for her 2nd goal of the night!— Oregon Ducks Soccer (@OregonSoccer) August 28, 2022
46' | Ducks 2, Zags 1#GoDucks pic.twitter.com/jlHQ5tmB9b
The Ducks held on to the lead until Gonzaga tied the game again at the 82 minute mark, and that would bring us to the final score of 2-2.
The box score underscored Oregon’s offensive woes, as the Bulldogs blistered the Ducks with 22 shots and 12 shots on goal. Meanwhile, Oregon could only muster 6 shots, with all six being shots on goal.
Leah Freeman and the back line were instrumental in keeping the Ducks in the game. Freeman tallied a career high 10 saves on the day. Again, she was challenged by the persistent Gonzaga attacks.
The Ducks can find some gratification in that despite their tepid offense, they have not lost a game thus far. Oregon, however, will need to work on stepping up their game because the competition only gets more difficult from here on out. They play the Texas Longhorns on Thursday, and Texas is a team that was selected #2 in the Big 12 preseason poll. They have a loss on the season, but that was a loss against #1 North Carolina last Thursday. The Longhorns will be an early season litmus test for the Ducks - a test to see how they’ve improved and how good they are going into their fourth game of the season.
The Oregon Ducks host the Texas Longhorns on Thursday, 9/1/22, at Papé Field. The match is at 7:00 pm and can be viewed on Oregon Live Stream.