Ducks Drop Tough Contest to LSU
Published: August 21, 2015
EUGENE, Ore. – The Oregon soccer team put together a strong offensive effort but ultimately came up short to an aggressive LSU squad, falling 2-1 Friday night at Papé Field.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
In the first game of the 2015 season for both squads, the Tigers came out firing to start the match and kept the Ducks on defense for much of the first ten minutes. Oregon then found its groove and settled into the match gaining its first corner kick of the game at the 10:58 mark. The header from Miranda Schulz went high off the play but helped the Ducks settled in for what would be a contested battle each step of the way.
LSU would find the back of the net first as Summer Clarke received a pass from Jorian Baucom and beat Duck goalkeeper Lauren Holden in the 23rd minute. Just six minutes later Marlo Sweatman took the ball and used shifty footwork to get past two Tiger defenders and rip one past the LSU keeper from the top of the box to even the score at 1-all. LSU quickly recovered on the resume of play as Baucom kept the ball herself and shot one past Holden from the right side of the box, giving LSU the 2-1 lead at the 30:14 mark.
The rest of the half was a back and forth affair as two freshmen made appearances for the Ducks. Kyra Fawcett came in to gather almost 14 minutes at forward while Brianne Parsons relieved Ashlee Schulz for the final four minutes of first half play.
The second half featured more aggressive play from the Ducks who took eight shots during the final 45 minutes, two of which were on goal. Ashlee Schulz led the way for the Ducks with five total shots. She was followed by Miranda Schulz and Abby Morrow who each contributed two. Overall, eight Oregon players took a shot during the course of the match. LSU, however, hung tough until the end and prevented the Ducks from tying up the game to force overtime.
WHAT IT MEANS:
While the result was not what Head Coach Kat Mertz wanted, her squad showed bursts of offense that looks like it will be paying dividends in the future. The Ducks held possession for much of the game and after not putting a shot on goal in last Saturday’s exhibition match at Portland, Oregon had five on goal tonight. Marlo Sweatman’s score was the second of her career and she displayed her dynamic playmaking ability as she got herself a free shot at the goal. Her aggressive mindset brings tenacity to the middle of field for Oregon and she will be a key offensive threat for the Ducks this season. In goal, while Holden got off to a shaky start, she settled down in the second half, making a key save in the 79th minute to keep it a one-goal game and give her teammates a chance to tie the game. Overall, the match against a tough and physical LSU squad showed that the Ducks are moving in the right direction offensively and they will continue to evolve as the different line-ups become more comfortable playing with one another.
Oregon will have little time to dwell on the outcome as the Ducks head to Seattle on Sunday for 1:30 p.m. kick off at Championship Field. The Redhawks, who advanced onto the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, lost 3-1 to Washington State tonight in their home opener. Oregon will then return home for a pair of matches next weekend. The Ducks will host San Francisco Friday night and Fresno State on Sunday afternoon.