Soccer Falls in First Ever Home Night Match to Gonzaga, 1-0

Sept. 6, 2002

EUGENE, Ore - The University of Oregon women's soccer team continued to show its youth Friday with an aggressive effort that yielded no points as Gonzaga won the first ever night contest at Pape' Field, 1-0.

Friday's game - also the Ducks' home season opener - featured the Ducks outshooting the Zags 13-5, with a 5-3 advantage on shots on goal. However, Gonzaga scored the game's only goal early in the second period, when a loose ball slid across the midfield. Gonzaga forward Annie Hawkins gained possession midstride and pushed upfield 15 yards, then passed ahead to Heidi Jacobson who dribbled another 15 yards towards the center edge of the box. The freshman forward then drilled a 20-yard grounder to the left corner of the net, past a diving Sarah Peters, the Ducks' goalkeeper who had quickly charged 10 yards out.

'When you fail to execute, it eventually costs you,' Oregon head coach Bill Steffen said. 'We dominated early on, but we allowed them to build confidence. As the game progressed, we didn't win enough of the one-on-one challenges, and that also helped them gain momentum. Technically we weren't sharp, and our passing and anticipation need to be more organized.'

Oregon picked up the offensive tempo soon after, and logged a 6-2 advantage in shots for the remainder of the game. The team's best chance came from freshman Valerie Mayer who lofted a chip shot just over the top crossbar from eight yards center at 73:47.

Overall, Oregon also held advantages in corner kicks (4-2) and fewer fouls (11-6), while Gonzaga keeper Ashley Haugen wrapped up five saves and Oregon's Peters collected two, with another Duck save on a rebound attempt at 78:40 by Gonzaga's Claire Whitfield.

With 18 players seeing action for the Ducks, Steffen made a concerted effort to rotate new faces into the game to spark the offense, and distribute playing time among the youth-heavy squad that features 10 freshmen and 10 sophomores. Oregon's starting unit featured three freshmen (forward Mele French, midfielder Cristan Higa and defender Jessica Fetzer) and two sophomores (midfielders Kelly Baird and Elise Minvielle), while five more freshmen and another sophomore played off the bench.

'We gained some confidence last week against Florida State (a 2-1 loss Sunday against the No. 13 ranked team), but lost part of it again tonight,' Steffen said. 'We're young and working on believing in ourselves and developing our personality as a team.'

The win for Gonzaga (1-2-0) broke a 28-game losing streak, and also marked the team's first win over the Ducks. Oregon had owned a previous 2-0-1 series record with wins in 2001 (1-0) and 1996 (1-0) and a tie in 1996 (3-3).

Oregon (0-3-0) returns to the practice field before its next contest, a 1 p.m. match against Utah at home, Sunday, Sept. 15.

Boxscore: Gonzaga 1, Oregon 0, Sept. 6 at Pape' Field, Eugene, Ore. Scoring: GU-Jacobson (Hawkins) at 48:28. Shots: UO-13 (French 3), GU-5 (Hawkins 3). Corner Kicks: UO-4, GU-2. Fouls: GU-11, UO-6. A: 501. Conditions: 53 degrees, cloudy, wind 5 mph.

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