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Ducks Earn First Win in Berkeley, 1-0

Mar 26, 2021

BERKELEY, Calif. – Chai Cortez scored in the seventh minute and Leah Freeman made a career-high seven saves as Oregon won in Berkeley for the first time in program history, 1-0 Friday night at Witter Rugby Field.
 
The Ducks (5-3-2, 3-2-1) moved into fifth in the Pac-12 with 10 points, just two points behind second-place Stanford (4-1-0) and a point back of Arizona State (3-0-2) and Washington (3-1-2) for third. Teams earn three points for a win and one for a tie.
 
How it Happened: Cortez scored her first career goal on a well-placed corner kick. She lofted a high ball that hugged the end line, slipped through the goalkeeper's outstretched hands and deflected off a Cal defender into the net.
 
Oregon repeatedly pressured the Cal goal throughout the first 25 minutes of the match. The Ducks had six shots during that span – including three by Ally Cook – and earned three corner kicks.
 
Cal (4-3-0, 2-3-0) flipped the script during the final 15 minutes of the opening frame, sending three shots on goal. But Freeman, a Berkeley, Calif., native, was up to task, making three saves in a span of six minutes to keep the Golden Bears off the scoreboard.
 
Cal came out firing early in the second half with a pair of shots on goal in the first five minutes. Freeman again turned the Golden Bears away, including a kick save on a shot from inside the penalty box.
 
Freeman made two more saves in the final seven minutes to preserve the victory.
 
Who Stood Out: Not only did Cortez score her first career goal, she joined Mia Palmer, Chardonnay Curran and Croix Soto on an Oregon back line that held Cal to nine shots.
 
What It Means: At 5-3-2 overall and 3-2-1 in the Pac-12, the Ducks have their best conference record through six games since the 2006 club started out 4-0-2.
 
Notable: Oregon attempted 15 shots, which are the most the Ducks have attempted in a Pac-12 game the season and is the second-most overall behind only the 18 attempts at Sacramento State. Cook led the Ducks with five shots, while Eden Hardy attempted three.
 
Quotable:
Head coach Graeme Abel:
"We were able to start the game well and grab the lead. It's a testament to our work during a challenging year that we were able to overcome Cal's pressure early in the second half. The way we finished the game was mature. A good result in a tough environment."

Up Next: Oregon plays its last scheduled nonconference match of the season Sunday at 1 p.m. at Stanford (Pac-12 Live Stream).

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