It’s a good thing the game started about 20 minutes late.
Nearly 7:05 pm, when the match was supposed to start, many women’s soccer fans were still waiting to get tickets for the Ducks’ (0-1-1) home opener against Portland State (0-1-0).
With 491 people in attendance, the Ducks would get its first season win, beating PSU 4-2. The win, though, came with the reminder that the Ducks need to clamp down on its goals allowed.
The match didn’t start out in favor of the home team. In the second minute, PSU’s Sienna Higinbotham scored her first career goal, about 35 yards away from the net.
The Ducks replied with four shots on goal, and the equalizer goal came from Eugene local Jordan Wormdahl, assisted by True Dydasco in the ninth minute. From there, the Ducks kept PSU from attempting any other shots.
At 1-1, the Ducks continued to dominate the number of shots made. But, at the 30-minute mark, Sakura Yoshida passed the ball to Mia Palmer, who was far outside the penalty box, about a 30-yard shot, grabbing the lead for the Ducks.
From there, the Ducks continued to assault PSU’s net with five more shots, with another goal made by Maya Hahn. The goal made was the first rebound scoring opportunity capitalized on by the Ducks.
In the play, PSU outnumbered the number of attacking Ducks. Chardonnay Curran went for a shot, which ricocheted off the the cross bar, deflecting the ball and allowing Hahn to have an open net, giving Oregon a 3-1 lead in the 44th minute.
The pace of the game in the second half slowed down, but the Ducks still dominated with shots during the second half.
Within 10 minutes of the second half, UO’s Zoe Hasenauer had delivered four shots, and, at the 56-minute mark, she was able to find the net after taking advantage of a rebound from a previous shot. The goal was Hasenauer’s first career goal; she led the team in assists last season.
PSU wasn’t giving up and, if anything, proved that an aggressive move on the Ducks’ defense can make for a scoring opportunity. After a foul in the 69th minute mark, PSU’s Sofi Papastamos ran the ball deep in the Oregon’s turf and passed the ball to Rilee Castilla. Only about five yards away from the net, Castilla took a shot, adding a goal to PSU’s scoreboard.
The non-conference game brought out some near-records, some of which were set in a 2001 game against Portland State. The Ducks recorded 36 shots — three short of the program’s record, but only 13 shots were on goal. And Hasenauer recorded 10 shots, one short of the program’s record.
About PSU’s second minute goal, Kat Mertz, UO’s coach, says PSU capitalized on a turnover in the midfield.
“I think everyone was disappointed, but I think that’s a testament to college soccer,” she says, adding that UO can’t show up and expect to win without the opponent giving a fight.
Mertz adds that although Oregon got the win, she wants to cut down the number of goals allowed by half. In the past three games, the team has allowed eight goals.
As Mertz spoke to media, the end of the home opening game had a long line of fans waited along a table on the field, waiting for autographs from the Ducks women’s soccer team.
Mertz says it’s great to have so many younger, local fans, especially since the team’s Emma Eddy and Wormdhal were one of those fans.
Villanova plays the Ducks at Papé Field 5 pm Sunday, Sept.1.