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Ducks Claim 2-1 Win Over USC in Pac-12 Showdown

Published: October 3, 2011

LOS ANGELES, Calif.- The University of Oregon soccer team (6-5-1, 1-2 Pac-12) picked up a 2-1 win over USC (3-9-0, 0-3 Pac-12) on Sunday afternoon at McAlister Field in Los Angeles, Calif.

"It was a very good outstanding team effort against a good USC team," said Oregon head coach Tara Erickson. "Their (USC) results don't tell the truth of how good they are. They are a strong team with good players."

The Trojan offense looked to get going early by taking two shots a minute into the match and set up another opportunity for themselves off a corner at 6:15.

After USC picked up the offsides call at the 9:44 minute mark, Oregon gained possession and that allowed freshman Shanelle Simien to take a wide shot at the 14:25 mark.

Following another USC shot and corner, junior Maddy Mercier had her shot gobbled up by USC goalkeeper Shelby Church, for the first of her two match saves.

UO committed two more fouls that gave the ball back to the Trojans, which allowed them to take two shots that went over their net. After both teams made substitutions, things got slightly physical with Simien making a hard tackle that resulted in her picking up the match's only yellow card at 30:35.

Two minutes later, freshman Bri Pugh was taken down hard in the penalty box and the referees awarded the Ducks their second penalty kick of the season. Junior Scout Libke had no problem taking care of the kick and gave Oregon an early 1-0 lead.

USC tried to get the goal back twice before the end of the stanza, but Oregon held on to take their lead into the half.

Sophomore Achijah Berry looked to expand the UO lead off her shot, the first of the second half, at 48:02, but it went wide.

But at 56:20, USC's Brittany Kerridge set up for a corner kick on the right side. She was able to dish the ball into the box for Kristina Noriega, who connected on a header and leveled the game at 1-1.

Libke took Oregon's next shot at 59:47, but it was high. Not giving up without a fight, Simien was able to float a nice ball to Pugh, who took a shot from the left side six yards out and nailed it to give the Ducks a 2-1 advantage.

Despite getting outshot (14-9) and losing opportunities on corner kicks (8-2), that was all that UO needed to grab their first Pac-12 victory of the '11-'12 campaign.

"Everyone contributed for us that stepped on the field and that is the difference in the game," added Erickson. "We were a totally different team today than we were Friday night. Bri (Pugh) stepped up big for us today. She got taken down in the box to set up the PK and then had a goal for us. After going into a tie, they pressed hard to come back and win and they are progressing and getting to where we need to be."

Freshman goalkeeper Abby Steele (2-5-1) notched the victory on a two-save afternoon, while Church moved to (3-9-0) with the loss in a two-save outing.

Oregon heads to Arizona for its next two matches, facing Arizona Oct. 7 (Friday) at 7 p.m. in Tucson and Arizona State on Oct. 9 (Sunday) at 1 p.m. in Tempe.

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