Soccer is a game that seems to easily lend itself to low-scoring matches, and games that often end in ties (“draws” for you purists out there). After the NCAA abandoned, for this season at least, its previous policy of breaking ties with extra time and penalty kicks as the international game does for big tournaments like the Euros or World Cup, college soccer fans are likely to get their fill of indecisive results.
So it has been for Oregon in 2022, with the Ducks compiling a 1-0-3 record (W-L-T) in the early season. On the other hand, Oregon can honestly say it is “unbeaten” in 2022 and in fact is on a 4-game “unbeaten streak.”
The most recent game, yesterday’s 1 - 1 draw with Texas in Eugene, nevertheless showed that Oregon continues to grow as a soccer program. After giving up a 20th minute goal to the Longhorns, and trailing for almost an hour afterwards, Oregon got the equalizer from Junior Defender Jordan Snyder - her first career goal - in the 78th minute to knot the game and provide the final score. Coach Graeme Abel credited the team for maintaining its discipline as it worked to come from behind in the game.
The Ducks again struggled to generate meaningful offense, but also again played strong defense despite a lot of Longhorn pressure on Oregon keeper Leah Freeman. Texas was dominant for long stretches of the first half, launching 11 shots at the Oregon goal. Only five of those were on target, with Freeman making 4 saves against the one Longhorn goal, which came on a ball deflected past Freeman. Meanwhile, Oregon’s offense had difficulty penetrating the Texas defense, managing only one shot in the first half. Oregon’s lack of pressure showed up in other statistics such as the Ducks generating zero corner kicks in the first half. “Set plays” such as corner kicks and free kicks in a team’s offensive end of the field can be a balm to teams that have trouble scoring from the run of play.
Oregon found something at halftime, however, as the Ducks brought much more pressure onto the Longhorns defense. Oregon managed 5 shots - and of course their goal - in the second half and also generated 4 corner kicks, more than Texas had in that half. Texas seemed to tire a bit, or to lose some discipline in the second half, committing 8 fouls after having only 2 in a pretty clean first half.
Freshman Midfielder Alice Barbieri led Oregon with 3 shots, with Senior Midfielder Zoe Hasenauer and Freshman Defender Ainsley Fink each credited with an assist on the Snyder goal.
The Ducks next game is against Boise State this coming Sunday at 1:00 pm in Eugene. That game will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.