Teammates Set Up Cook for Golden Goal at Utah
SALT LAKE CITY – Soccer is often a game where the end result of a play is the big story. The player who scores the goal or the goalkeeper with the big save - they get the headlines. But often it's the buildup of a sustained play or plays that leads to success.
Case in point: Oregon's 1-0 double-overtime victory at Utah Sunday afternoon. Forward Ally Cook finished the deciding play, and along the way goalkeeper Leah Freeman was once again an iron wall in the net. But it was a counterattack in the 108th minute that began harmlessly enough inside Oregon's own 18.
Defender Mia Palmer collected an errant Ute cross in the middle of Oregon's box. She passed the ball up near midfield to forward Jordan Wormdahl, who dropped the ball to Zoe Hasenauer. Hasenauer then lofted a long pass up the middle of the field to the edge of the Utah back line, where Cook beat everyone to the ball.
All that was left to do from there was for Oregon's leading scorer to chip the ball over Utah goalkeeper Chelsea Peterson with the outside of her right foot for the golden goal in the 108th minute.
Eighty-five yards up the middle of the field in 12 seconds – Palmer to Wormdahl to Hasenauer to Cook – meant the Ducks left Ute Field with their first-ever win in Salt Lake City.
"A really good team goal," said head coach Graeme Abel. "That was a world-class ball from Zoe and then the desire to get behind them from Ally and finish.
"But it started in transition with our back line and then that was excellent composure by Jordan to drop to Zoe."
How It Happened: The first half was played in the middle of the field. The Ducks (9-2-5, 4-2-2 Pac-12) yielded just one shot on goal in the first 45 minutes, a drive from Eden Jacobsen in the 24th minute that Freeman punched over the crossbar.
Lexi Romero had Oregon's best chance at a first half goal. In the 38th minute, Chardonnay Curran chipped a ball behind the Ute defense that Romero got to at the top of the box. Peterson charged out as Romero struck the ball, but Peterson got just enough of the ball as it went by her to slow it down and allow one of her teammates to clear the ball off the goal line.
Freeman made just two more saves in the match, but both were the game-saving type. On a corner kick by Utah (6-8-3, 1-5-2) in the 81st minute, the ball deflected to Brianna Pearson inside the box and her shot required a point-blank save by Freeman to deflect the ball wide of the net.
In the first overtime, Utah's Courtney Talbot drove a bending ball from distance to the far post, but Freeman anticipated the shot and was able to move to her left and pluck the ball out of the air in time.
Who Stood Out: Oregon's reserves – Romero, Alice Barbieri, Megan Rucker and Sofia Vinas – provided a much-needed jolt to a Duck roster that expended a lot of energy in a physical double-overtime draw at Colorado on Thursday, as did Wormdahl who made her first start of the season in place of Eden Hardy.
What It Means: The Ducks tied the 1981 team with their school-record ninth shutout of the season. Oregon's record through 16 games is its best since the 1981 squad went 12-1-3.
Head Coach Graeme Abel
"This team again continues to prove they have a mentality second to none. Playing a full overtime in Boulder and then coming here to play a quality team in Utah was always going to be tough. I thought we set up and limited their chances really well. We had chances to end the game earlier but we were able to stay organized and disciplined."
Notable: Hasenauer moved into a tie with Teresa Bowns for second at Oregon with her 16th career assist; she is two assists behind the Ducks' career leader Jen Stoltenberg (2007-10) … Cook's goal was her eighth of the season and 17th of her career (sixth) … It was also Cook's sixth career game-winner (fourth) … Freeman extended her own UO single-season record with her ninth shutout of the season … it was Freeman's 14th career shutout (fourth) … Freeman won her eighth game of the season, one win shy of the UO single-season record … Curran broke the school record with her 81st career start on Sunday; she also played in her program-best 89th career match … Palmer entered the UO top 10 with her 73rd career start.
Up Next: The Ducks return home to host Washington State Thursday at 7 p.m. (Pac-12 Network).
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