Ducks Drop Close Match at USC
LOS ANGELES – USC's lone goal in the 13th minute held up as the Trojans defeated No. 20 Oregon 1-0 Sunday afternoon at Memorial Coliseum.
How it Happened: Kaylin Martin headed in a corner kick early in the first half to put USC (3-1-0, 2-1-0) ahead 1-0 and the teams kept each other scoreless for the final 77 minutes of the match.
Eden Hardy tried to answer for the Ducks (2-3-1, 1-2-0) with a shot in the 18th minute that was saved by USC goalkeeper Anna Smith.
Both teams had chances in the second half. Tara McKeown looked to have USC's second goal with a blast toward the right corner in the 53rd minute, but Oregon goalkeeper Leah Freeman made a diving save to punch the ball away. Freeman also stopped Savannah DeMelo's line drive shot in the 69th minute.
The Ducks had a chance to score in the 58th minute when True Dydasco's shot deflected off a USC defender, but USC's Kaylie Collins, who played the second half in goal for the Trojans, dove to her right to keep the ball out of the net.
Who Stood Out: Hardy and Zoe Hasenauer each attempted two shots for the Ducks. Freeman made three saves.
What It Means: The Ducks' most difficult stretch of the schedule is in the rearview mirror. Oregon played three consecutive ranked opponents prior to USC, which itself has been ranked in various polls through the first month of the season.
Notable: Freshman defender Megan Rucker made her first career start. For the second straight match, Oregon went toe-to-toe with a team that had dominated the Ducks in previous meetings. USC had nine shots, while the Ducks attempted eight. The Ducks also attempted a season-high seven corner kicks.
Head coach Graeme Abel:
"We have to execute in certain moments of games. We created enough moments to get a positive result, but our mentality must shift from simply creating to converting. That's the next step we have to take as a team to get from where we are to where we want to be."
Up Next: Oregon returns home to host Arizona State Friday at 7 p.m. at Pape' Field.
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