Emma Eddy prepares a shot. Photo by Eric Evans, Oregon Athletic Communications

Oregon Soccer Beats Buffalo with Overtime Goal

Oregon's Emma Eddy keeps team from ending non-conference series on a tie

Oregon (4-1-3) should’ve easily beat Buffalo (3-3-1) Sunday, Sept. 22. They dominated the game: The offense had several shots, had ball possession for the majority of the game and defenders kept Buffalo from attacking. 

But Buffalo’s keeper foiled most of Oregon’s scoring opportunities, forcing the game into overtime and leaving the question if Oregon could win in overtime.

Thanks to Emma Eddy’s overtime goal, Oregon shook off worries of finishing the non-conference series with a tie. 

The Sept. 22 game was the first rainy day game of the season, meaning a wet ball and slick turf — and one Buffalo player felt the smack of a kicked wet soccer ball in the face.

The game began with a measured Oregon passing the ball and looking for plays to develop. Oregon struggled to connect with passing, though, often failing to connect on long-range passing and crosses into the box.

Just as a penalty in last week’s game against University of Portland resulted in a game-tying goal in an otherwise well-defended game, Buffalo took an early lead in the 28th minute after a foul in the box gave Marcy Barberic a penalty kick. The shot was well read by Oregon keeper Katelyn Carter, but she couldn’t stretch out far enough to stop the ball.

After that goal, Oregon took an aggressive approach to offense to try and dig out of the scoreboard deficit.

With only five shots throughout the game, if Oregon hadn’t fouled Barberic, resulting in a penalty kick, Buffalo probably wouldn’t have found the net. And Buffalo’s keeper Emily Kelly did her best to keep the 1-0 lead.

Kelly had 11 saves throughout the game. She worked smart and fast, snuffing crosses to close to the net and showcasing her one-on-one skills. In the 43rd minute, Eddy (who is probably the fastest player on Oregon’s roster) had a breakaway drive. Going one-on-one with Kelly didn’t end well. Kelly was able to read Eddy and stop the ball. 

Eddy says she felt bad about that missed shot because she felt she was responsible for what would’ve given Oregon the lead in the first half.

“I was trying to hit it wide, but I waited a step too late,” she says. “She was too close and was able to save it.”

Oregon wasn’t able to tie the game until the second half. Kelly had already been dealing with a lot of Oregon’s offense, but Zoe Hasenauer finally broke through in the 62nd minute. On a corner kick, Hasenauer delivered a header goal that Kelly couldn’t stop.

“That settled us down,” Oregon’s coach Kat Mertz said after the game.

During the rest of the second period, Oregon had nine more shots after Hasenauer’s goal, but Kelly squashed any hope of scoring. Buffalo was able to rally their offense in the last minute of the second period but Oregon’s defenders and Carter kept them from the net.

The start of overtime started just like the rest of the game with Oregon attacking Buffalo and maintaining control of the ball.

Seven minutes into overtime, Eddy had a chance to relive the scoring opportunity she missed in the first half. Oregon’s Lilli Rask passed the ball to Eddy, who, running between two Buffalo defenders, chipped the ball over a diving Kelly to get a win in overtime, avoiding a second overtime period — or a fourth tie.

For Eddy, the goal also marked her first goal of the season and Mertz says, as a front runner of the squad, sometimes players take it personally if they’re not out there scoring, assisting or making plays.

“For her to come out and get the game-winner in the fashion that she did, I’m so proud of her,” Mertz adds.

Eddy’s game-winning goal avoided a fourth Oregon tie, and the team was happy to avoid anymore extra minutes by scoring in the final moments of the first overtime period with Eddy saying she was feeling her legs burning and had to finish the game.

“So satisfying to finally finish it. When we got off the field, we said ‘That’s our first time overtime we’ve won and haven’t had to go to 120 minutes,'” Hasenauer says. “It’s so nice on our bodies and satisfying for our minds, too.”

Now that Oregon’s non-conference schedule is over, the team has to look toward Pac-12 opponents. Oregon takes its team on the road to play University of Washington Sept. 27, Colorado Oct. 3 and Utah Oct. 6. Oregon returns to Papé Field Oct. 10 against Cal.

“Every game is a championship game,” Mertz says about the Pac-12 not having a championship tournament. “That how we have to approach it.”