Oregon Wins at Home Again

4-0 win against Villanova is first shutout of season

Oregon’s second 2019 season home game didn’t have the flurry of shots like Friday’s game. Oregon (2-1-1) instead played a smarter, more defensive game that, at times, frustrated Villanova (1-2-1).

Oregon had 14 shots, nine of which were shots on goal, a contrast to the match against Portland State that had 36 shots (13 shots on goal).

Oregon played aggressively at the start of the game. And, after Chardonnay Curran missed a scoring opportunity in the 11th minute, Oregon held its composure. Minutes later, Zoe Hasenauer took control of the ball, crossed to Ally Cook, who easily delivered a header, giving Oregon an early lead.

Head Coach Kat Mertz said in a previous  post-game interview that she wanted the team to spend more time thinking ahead rather than acting impulsively on the field.

That showed in the 29th minute of this game. Hasenauer passed the ball to Emma Eddy. Eddy paused for a moment, drove Villanova’s goalie out and passed the ball to Jordan Wormdahl, who found the net.

After the game, Eddy, a Eugene native, tells Eugene Weekly that she was looking for the shot but knew that she wouldn’t make the goal with so many Villanova defenders in the way, so she passed the ball to Wormdahl.

In an interview after the game with media outlets, Mertz says the play was unbelievable.

“The angle was tough for Emma. The decision was great for her to lay off, and we’ve been working on that,” Mertz says.

The play is a sign of a changing Oregon team. Last season, one person would be in the penalty box in scoring opportunities. The recent trend of having more players getting in the box shows a change of belief, team grit,and a “I want the ball mentality,” she says.

Wormdahl’s goal did more than give Oregon a 2-0 lead over Villanova. By making the goal, Wormdahl became the third person in program history to score a goal in four consecutive games.

Oregon’s offense seemed to slow down after Wormdahl’s goal with five shots in the remaining time. Offense didn’t give up with a two goal lead, though. In the 63rd minute, Maya Hahn bent a shot right into the far side of Villanova’s net.

In the final few minutes of the game, Oregon didn’t shy away from Villanova’s net. At the 89th minute, freshman Maggie Lacey scored her first career goal.

Throughout the game, Villanova seemed frustrated and called for several substitutions. Before the first half was finished, only two players on the starting squad were on the field. The team’s discipline got loose, too, from sloppy tackles to an instance of blatant jersey pull, visible to everyone in the stands.

Oregon did have more fouls than Villanova — 13 and nine, respectively.

But maybe Villanova’s frustration was warranted.

Oregon’s defense limited the number of scoring opportunities. Defensive players got in the way of shots, were diligent about kicking the ball out of their territory often and, when Ducks’ keeper Katelyn Carter was challenged, she managed to keep Villanova out of the net, and recorded four saves.

“I have all the trust in the world in my back line,” she says about the defensive players.

Oregon plays away at Clemson 2 pm Friday, Sept. 6, and Furman 2 pm Sunday, Sept. 8.