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Oregon Soccer: Ducks Cruise to Third Straight VictorySalem-News.com Sports
(EUGENE, Ore.) - The University of Oregon soccer team rolled to a 2-0 win over Arizona State Sunday afternoon in the final 2010 regular-season home match for the Ducks. It was the third straight win for UO, which improved to 7-8-3 overall and 3-3-1 in Pac-10 Conference action.
ASU, which ranked No. 13 in the NCAA Women’s Soccer RPI report generated Monday, dropped to 8-6-3 overall and 2-4-1 in league play.
“I see this as a continuation of the consistency of our team,” head coach Tara Erickson said of Sunday’s result. “These kids never give up. That’s why they are now having success because they continue to fight and get better as players.”
The last three-game conference winning streak the Ducks tallied was a stretch in 2006 (Oct. 6-13) with wins over No. 24 Arizona (2-1), Arizona State (1-0) and Washington (1-0). Oregon’s last Pac-10 sweep was of the Arizona schools back in 2008 (Oct. 31-Nov. 2), both 1-0 road wins for the Ducks.
Oregon has out-scored its opponent 9-1 over the last three matches.
UO junior goalkeeper Lindsay Parlee tallied her second shutout of the season, and helped the Ducks to a second clean sheet in as many games. She recorded two saves in facing 10 total ASU shots.
Oregon produced a quick goal for the second consecutive game, with sophomore midfielder Scout Libke scoring in spectacular fashion in the seventh minute of play.
Libke timed-up a perfectly weighted through-ball from senior defender Bree Rowe, and sent a left-footed laser from 30-yards out to the upper-right far post. The goal was Libke’s second of the season, with both scores being of the game-winning variety.
The Ducks took that 1-0 advantage into the half, despite being out-shot 6-1 over the first 45 minutes. Both teams were whistled for seven fouls during that opening period of play.
“I felt like it was a gritty game for us,” Erickson said. “We had to defend hard, in particular with set pieces and long throw-ins played inside the 18-yard box.”
The two teams battled back and forth for the first 21 minutes of the second stanza, with Oregon the aggressor during that time frame with the edge in shots (3-0) and corner kicks (2-1).
Senior midfielder Mercedes Walters sealed the victory for the Ducks scoring her third goal of the season in the 77th minute. Fellow senior Rianna Mansfield centered a pass into Walters, who beat the goalkeeper to the lower left-hand side from 22-yards out.
“We weren’t content on that lead and Mercedes’ goal really deflated them,” Erickson added. “It was great to see our seniors come up big for us.”
The contest was the final regular-season home match for UO’s five seniors: Mansfield, Rowe, Walters, Kirstie Kuhns and Jen Stoltenberg. Undergraduate assistant coach Sara Plutko was recognized as well.
“Senior Day is a difficult thing for the coaches and players because it is so emotional. It can be a great thing because you can ride with those emotions, but it can also be very draining. The best testament for us is to get a win for those seniors,” Erickson said.
ASU finished the match with a 10-4 advantage in shots, but Oregon had a 3-2 edge in shots on goal. UO was called for 13 fouls to ASU’s 12. The Sun Devils, who also had a 5-2 advantage in corners, were offside twice.
Oregon took four shots, coming from four different players, with Libke and Walters scoring on their only shots in the match. Sophomore midfielder Nicole Bakke, who was issued a caution in the 59th minute, had one shot which was on target. Freshman forward Brynne Konkel added the other shot for the Ducks.
ASU’s Alexandra Elston had a game-high three shots. Sierra Cook and Karin Volpe each added two shots for the Sun Devils.
Oregon (7-8-3, 3-3-1 Pac-10) will close out the regular-season on the road with contests at California and top-ranked Stanford. The Ducks-Bears contest is set for Friday at 3 p.m., while the Oregon-Stanford match is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday.
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