EUGENE, Ore.- Junior Julie Armstrong netted her second goal of the season five minutes into Sunday afternoon’s match to give Oregon (3-0) a 1-0 victory over UNLV (1-3) at Pape’ Field.
A mass of red and white uniforms gathered in front of the goal with each team attempting to gain possession of the ball, but it was Armstrong who slipped in on the right side of the goal to tip the ball in and give UO the early 1-0 advantage.
“We came out hungry and that was part of the gameplan since UNLV was coming off a tough loss to Portland on Friday,” said Oregon head coach Tara Erickson. “We came out with energy and took it to them. Obviously, getting that goal started the game off right for us.”
Just under 500 fans turned out to watch the Ducks get off to their best start since the 2007 campaign. With the win, UO notched its third consecutive shutout of the season, matching the mark for most consecutive shutouts in program history. The win also gives Oregon back-to-back home opener wins.
After Armstrong’s goal, the aggressive Ducks did not stop creating opportunities to put more goals up on the scoreboard. Junior Nicole Bakke followed up with another shot six minutes into action that was converted into a save. Junior Maddy Mercier received the rebound and put another shot toward the goal, but UNLV goalkeeper Kylie Wassell was able to notch another save.
UO, who controlled the pace of the match for much of the first 45 minutes of action, created another chance for freshman Kelsey Foo at the 79:37 mark, but her shot sailed high.
The stingy Duck defense only allowed the Rebels to get one solid look at the net in the first half, but senior goalkeeper Lindsay Parlee was able to get her hands on the ball for the save.
With both teams ending the first half with fouls on each side, the second half opened with back-to-back fouls by UNLV. After the fouls, the Ducks came back down to its half of the field to set up their offense. Freshman Bri Pugh took UO’s first shot of the second half out of the set at 34:50, but it went left allowing the Rebels to gain possession.
UNLV’s Macy Jo Harrison got a good look at the goal on that trip down the field, but freshman Abby Steele was able to pick up her first save of the match. Steele came in for Parlee to begin the second stanza.
With the pace of the match slowing down, neither team took a shot until UNLV’s Denali Murnan got her head on a shot that veered to the right at the 22:35 mark.
Looking to create more chances for the Ducks, Pugh was granted two great chances to add to UO’s lead at the 20:38 and 19:44 marks, but neither were successful trips down the stretch.
Foo had her eyes on another goal at the 2:21 mark, but the Armstrong goal proved to be all that the Ducks needed to secure the victory.
“I am most pleased about getting the shutout and getting the win,” added Erickson. “I think anytime you can be 3-0 with five of six freshmen on the field is really exciting. I am very pleased with the early contributions that they are making.”
With the win, Parlee is now 3-0 on the season, while Wassell dropped to 1-3 on the young season. Wassell led all goalkeepers with four saves, while Parlee (1) and Steele (2) combined for the three-save shutout.
The Ducks will now take the week to prepare to host the annual University of Oregon Nike Tournament on Friday and Sunday. UO faces New Hampshire on Friday at 7 p.m.