EUGENE, Ore.—In what turned out to be a true game of inches, the Oregon Ducks dropped their match against the Arizona State Sun Devils 2-1. The Ducks drop to 7-8-2 overall and 2-5-1 in conference play, while ASU advances to 7-8-2 overall and 3-4-1 against Pac-12 opponents.
Oregon started the game off fast as sophomore Ryann Davie scored her first career goal in the second minute of the game. Achijah Berry brought the ball into the box before it bounced around defenders and Davie controlled it before firing a successful shot.
ASU was also very active in the first period as they fired 12 shots, eight of which were on goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Abby Steele did a fantastic job, however, as she tallied six saves in the first half alone. Cali Farquharson was able to barely squeeze one by her for a goal in the 39th minute, however, as Farquharson got a pass from Nicki Stone and took a shot from just outside the box that was tipped onto the left post and into the goal by Steele.
A rough and physical match led to both sides having players shaken up and a total of 36 fouls called, 20 of them against Oregon. The Ducks’ backline did a great job of preventing the Sun Devils from having more close calls as seniors Lauren Thompson and Nicole Bakke stood their ground and made several key plays for Oregon. After scoring Oregon’s only goal, Ryann Davie also made a huge defensive play inside the box as she cleared a ball on a dangerous opportunity for ASU.
“Overall, I thought we played well today,” said head coach Tara Erickson. “It was disappointing to give that game away. We came out and played hard, starting out well getting a good goal by Ryann. The first 25 minutes we were all over the game and then we backed off a little bit towards the end of the first half and they got their goal, giving them a little footing in their game.”
In the second half, the game of inches continued as sophomore forward Bri Pugh fired a shot from about twenty yards out that hit the inside of the left post and bounced out of bounds. Senior midfielder Scout Libke also had a great chance as she fired a free kick inches above the crossbar.
The score was tied going into the final ten minutes of the match, but ASU was able to pull away in the 85th minute as Kaitlyn Pavlovich scored her first goal of the season. Pavlovic gathered a pass from Farquharson and shot a ball from about five yards out that went through a sliding Abby Steele’s legs.
“We pushed all throughout the second half and I think possession and dangerous opportunities we had the run of play. It was unfortunate to give up that goal with five minutes left against the run of play. I’m proud of the way the kids fought. We had some key players that weren’t available for us today, but I think the team stepped in and did a good job. We’ll look to rebound in a short week. We really only have one practice before we go up on the road to Washington and [Washington State], so we’ll be back and hopefully at full force.”
Oregon heads to Washington and Washington State on Thursday and Sunday, respectively, before returning home for the final match of the year against Oregon State.