Oregon women's soccer tops Beijing All-Star University Team in China tour opener
BEIJING -- The Oregon women’s soccer team defeated the Beijing All-Star University team 1-0 on Wednesday afternoon at Beijing Normal University. Taking the field less than 48 hours after landing in Beijing, the game marked the first international win for the Ducks in 2017.
The game opened with a ceremony hosted by the Federation for University Sports in China and included remarks from China’s Ministry of Education, Nike, and Beijing Normal University.
After kickoff, the teams were well-matched throughout the first half, trading offensive possessions. In the 16th minute, Jazmin Jackmon crossed the ball into the middle of the box and connected with junior Sofia Chambers to put the Ducks up 1-0. Both teams had a well-fought second half, battling the humidity and high temperatures.
Throughout the match, Oregon had 17 shots to Beijing’s five. The Ducks finished the game with two corner kick opportunities and held their host, Beijing, to zero opportunities.
“It was an entertaining match,” said Ducks head coach Kat Mertz. “The Beijing team was a really quality team and they were able to move the ball well. It was great to see different moments of the game with the different styles of soccer and how it went back and forth. There were some really great qualities from both sides.”
In goal, senior goalkeeper Halla Hinriksdottir made three saves. When asked about the game, Hinriksdottir replied, “They were very technical and good on the ball. It was a little hard at the beginning because they were kind of dominating the speed of play but once we figured out what they were doing, it became easier for us to play our game. I think we learned a lot from today just playing a team that has a different style of soccer that’s more technical than tactical and I think I speak for everyone when I say we had a lot of fun.”
After the game, players from both sides chatted after the game, laughing and taking selfies. A few Oregon players showed the Beijing team how to make the Oregon “O”, while a few Beijing players showed the Americans their variation on the “heart” symbol.
“It was just a wonderful experience today,” said Mertz. “What a great opportunity for our players to play an international match. International games are a different level than our college games at home and you’re playing against players who don’t speak English so you’re not sure exactly what they’re doing and it’s a different style.”
When asked about the rest of the team’s trip in Beijing, Mertz replied, “I hope our players can really just enjoy each other, and really be able to take in a different culture, a different environment, and experience something outside their norm. That’s what this whole experience is really about. Whenever you get to play international soccer or travel abroad, hopefully you’re learning from that culture and trying to grow a little bit as an individual."
Tomorrow, the team will visit Beijing Foreign Studies University to learn more about traditional Chinese art, calligraphy, and games, followed by a trip to Nike’s Beijing office. To end the day, the Ducks will have dinner with Oregon alumni living and working in the city.
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