No. 16 USC Edges Oregon Soccer, 1-0, in Overtime

Nov. 3, 2002

LOS ANGELES - In its penultimate weekend of regular season play, the University of Oregon women's soccer team pushed No. 16 USC to overtime, before the Trojans broke the deadlock in sudden death at 95:12 to win 1-0 at McAlister Field.

Trojan forward Ali Fennell claimed the game winner on her eighth goal of the season, booting in a five-yarder near the right goalpost. The chance was created on a ricochet through the goalside crowd, and initiated just prior on a corner kick.

At game's end, USC (10-5-3, 5-2) held slight advantages in shots (12-8) and shots on goal (6-3), while the two teams posted matching totals in corner kicks (4-4) and fouls (11-11).

Duck senior goalkeeper Sarah Peters came up with another impressive effort to head the defense. Officially wrapping up five saves, she pulled in at least twice as many interceptions of goal-area lead-ins before a shot could be lodged.

Offensively, freshmen Cristan Higa and Carlie Ashcraft led the Ducks in shots (2), and single shots on goal came courtesy of Higa, Ashcraft and sophomore Dara Wone. The latter attempt by the Burnaby, British Columbia native Wone was arguably the best in regulation and came near the 75th minute when she drilled a shot from 17 yards center into a half-empty goal, but was saved by a quick reaction by USC keeper Katy Boynton.

The Ducks had another great opportunity in the second minute of overtime as sophomore Kelly Baird made a short run on the right edge of the box, then skipped a pass diagonally to the left post that was a yard ahead of a sliding Arlene Tuttle, five yards out from the goal. Tuttle had connected in similar fashion for the game-winner against Arizona the week before.

'USC is ranked among the nation's best teams and came in with a lot of good wins,' Oregon head coach Bill Steffen said. 'They had trouble with us, and defensively, we didn't give them a lot of good chances. A good part of that credit goes to our backs - they played solid, and they (the USC strikers) never really broke us down up front. In goal, Sarah played very strong again, and was a calming force. We had a fantastic chance to score late, but didn't quite convert.'

The Trojans' leading shot taker was forward Jackie Fodor (3), and reserve Kelly Blais paced them in shots on goal (2). Saturday's win raised USC's season record to 4-0-3 in overtime, with all four wins coming in conference play

Looking ahead, the Ducks (2-13-2, 1-6-1) wrap up their season vs. Oregon State, Friday at 7 p.m. at Pape' Field. The game will serve as the final appearance at Pape' Field for five Duck seniors - Peters, defenders Lindsey Peterson and Robi Thayer, and forwards Sarah Denner and Amanda Orand. Oregon State also returns after a pair of weekend losses to the LA schools - Friday to USC (2-1, OT) and Sunday to No. 6 UCLA (4-1).

BOXSCORE - USC 1, Oregon 0 at McAlister Field in Los Angeles, Calif. Scoring: USC-Ali Fennell (-) at 95:12. Shots: USC-12 (Jackie Fodor 3), Oregon 8 (Carlie Ashcraft, Cristan Higa 2). Corner Kicks: USC-4, Oregon-4. Fouls: USC-11, Oregon-11. Saves: Oregon-5 (Sarah Peters 5), USC-3 (Katy Boynton 3). Attendance: 318.

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