Oregon women's soccer ties Beijing Youth Team in China finale

Logan Clements/Pac-12 Conference

BEIJING - The Oregon women’s soccer team tied the Beijing Youth Women’s team 1-1 on Friday afternoon, at Beijing Normal University. It was the second and final match of the China-U.S, University Women’s Soccer Friendship Games and over 43,000 fans tuned in to watch the game online.

After a ceremonial gift exchange to start the game, Beijing worked quickly to score in the 11th minute off a quick pass to their strikers to go up 1-0. Their speedy style of play kept the Ducks on their toes throughout the first half.

Soon after the start of the second half, senior Mia Costa crossed the ball and connected with sophomore Jayne Lydiatt who finished with a header to tie the game for Oregon, 1-1.

The Ducks outshot Beijing 19-12 and had three corner opportunities, while their host had two. In goal for Oregon, Halla Hinriksdottir had five saves and sophomore Katelyn Carter had one.

“The Beijing Youth Team was a really good team,” said Oregon head coach Kat Mertz. “They came out with a lot of energy and we were a little bit on the tired side considering we played 48 hours before but that being said, [Beijing] was moving the ball and they were energetic.”

“In the first half, we were in different systems and trying players in some different positions so it was good for us to see what areas we need to work on because we have five weeks until preseason. We switched it up in the second half and had a lot of energy so I was really excited and proud to see the reaction. We had a goal there by Jayne Lydiatt and I thought we played really well.”

“It was a really fun game,” said Lydiatt. “Such a cool experience to play a foreign team with a different style of soccer. We have a lot that we learned, both about ourselves and as a team and I believe we’ve became closer because of it.”

 At the end of the game, the teams decided to participate in friendly penalty kicks, and Beijing came out on top 4-1.

Yesterday Oregon took a break from the soccer field and spent the day experiencing Chinese culture. In their first stop, Oregon learned about traditional Chinese clothing, games, and calligraphy from current students at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

In the afternoon, the team traveled to the Silk Market to test their negotiating skills as they bargained for gifts and souvenirs. After the market, Oregon visited Nike's Beijing office to learn about the growing sports and fitness market in China and Nike's community initiatives.

To finish off the day, the Ducks met with local Oregon alumni over a traditional Chinese meal. “My favorite activity yesterday was the dinner with the Oregon alumni living in Beijing,” said Jackmon. “We tried a lot of traditional Chinese dishes which were really interesting. Some of them were really good and it was great connecting with alumni and hearing about what they’re doing now.”

When asked about how important this trip has been to her team, head coach Kat Mertz replied, “We always talk about our soccer family, how this [team] is our Duck soccer family and how important it is in the thick of things, in the Pac-12 season, in the non-conference season and the 89th minute, you rely on your family. For the highs and the lows, you know that you can count on them.”

“It’s been an unbelievable experience to see them bond off the field and try new things and really let their guard down and be vulnerable like trying duck feet or putting on a Chinese costume.”

The Oregon Ducks will travel to see the Great Wall tomorrow and celebrate the end of their 2017 China Tour with a farewell dinner hosted by the Federation for University Sports in China.