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Wormdahl Wins It In 85th Minute

Mar 14, 2021

Oregon-Arizona Box Score | Boxscore

EUGENE, Ore. — After two weeks of knocking on the door, the Oregon soccer team broke through Sunday afternoon when the Ducks beat Arizona in a Pac-12 Conference matchup at Papé Field, 1-0.

Winless in four matches since a breakthrough win over Stanford on Feb. 26, the Ducks followed Friday's 1-1 tie with Arizona State by winning Sunday on a goal in the 85th minute by Jordan Wormdahl. The winless streak included two 1-0 losses plus Friday's tie.

"We all were kind of sick of, 'oh, we're so close, we're right there,' " Wormdahl said. "We really were looking to put the ball in the back of the net. I was glad we were able to do that today."

The Ducks improved to 3-3-2 overall and 2-2-1 in Pac-12 play, playing to .500 through their first five games of conference play for the first time since 2014.

How It Happened: Two days after a back-and-forth match with Arizona State that included 21 shots by the two teams, Oregon had to pick its spots a bit more carefully Sunday. The Ducks finished with just five shots, while Arizona had nine.

"We said to our team before the game, you're not gonna get a lot of time on the ball; Arizona presses extremely well," UO coach Graeme Abel said. "The game plan was, just don't sit on the ball too long, because they'll get numbers around it."

The game-winning goal saw the Ducks execute that plan to perfection. Ally Cook collected a turnover just across midfield and quickly directed the ball upfield to Lexi Romero, who dribbled once before passing to Wormdahl on the left side of the box. Wormdahl scored on one touch, sending the ball back across the goal and past Arizona's diving keeper.

"Going fast and direct was the game plan today," Wormdahl said. "That's not necessarily in our DNA, but it worked today so that's what we had to do."

Wormdahl nearly gave the Ducks a lead much earlier, on an eerily similar play in the 19th minute. Zoe Hasenauer collected the ball just short of midfield and sent it deep into the Arizona end, where Wormdahl received it and sent a low cross that Arizona keeper Hope Hisey collected on a diving save.

That ball didn't find the back of the net, but Oregon kept pressing and finally broke through late in the match.

"When you've got the mentality to go into overtime on a cold Friday night and then all of a sudden turn around on Sunday and win a game in the 85th minute, that's a real mentality as a program," Abel said.

Who Stood Out: Wormdahl's eighth career goal was her first game-winning goal for the Ducks. She had three of Oregon's five shots, with Chardonnay Curran and Sofia Vinas recording the others. Leah Freeman had two saves in goal.

What It Means: The Ducks weren't deterred by a couple of results that didn't go their way, nor did they lack energy and fitness after Friday's marathon match.

"If this has proved anything," Abel said, "it's proved the work the kids put in over the last 12 months to get ourselves in this position, where we're competing in every single match."

Up Next: The Ducks play Oregon State in a nonconference game Friday at 4 p.m. in Corvallis (Pac-12 Network).