Strong Second Half Pushes Ducks Past Patriots
Eugene, Ore. – Lillian Stump scored three goals and assisted on three more scores to lead Oregon to a season-opening 14-11 win over George Mason.
Stump and Hanna Hilcoff led the Ducks offensively with three goals apiece. Sydnie Soto paced the defense with a team-high five ground balls and two caused turnovers.
"It's very exciting to start off the season with a win! I'm proud of the way our team played," said head coach Chelsea Hoffmann. "Our offense executed with multiple scorers - and over 50 percent of our production assisted - and our defense locked down the defensive end."
How it happened: The Ducks trailed early as George Mason controlled the game's first 20 minutes. The Patriots took a 5-2 lead with 7:56 remaining in the second quarter when Olivia Heaton scored on a Shannon Tuzzo assist.
Hilcoff and Stump led the response for Oregon. The Ducks' two leading scorers from 2021 each converted a free position shot and combined for four goals in 5:17 to send Oregon into halftime with a 6-5 advantage.
"I loved seeing Lilly use her experience and poise to help our offense find a rhythm," Hoffmann said. "She did a great job in her role."
Stump continued her strong play in the second half, scoring 45 seconds after the break. Katie Collins put UO up 8-5 after ducking under and spinning through the Patriot defense.
For her part, goalie Cassidy Eckert closed down the net for the middle 20 minutes of the game, holding George Mason scoreless from the 7:56 mark in the second quarter to when there was just 3:59 left in the third. The sophomore finished with 9 saves and tied Soto for the team lead with five ground balls.
Oregon put the game away in the start of the fourth quarter. Mara Zajac found the net 50 seconds into the period and then assisted Alyssa Wright to put the Ducks up 11-7. Goals from Shonly Wallace and Morgan McCarthy made it 13-7 with just 7:54 left, effectively extinguishing the visitors' chances.
Notable: Three goals each gave both Stump and Hilcoff their 11th career hat trick … Saturday's game was also Hilcoff's 11th with five-or-more draw controls … Oregon is now 10-8 in season-opening games, including a 6-4 mark at home … Gabby Cleveland and Alyssa Wright both made their Duck debuts in the game.
Up Next: The Ducks head to Georgia to square off with Mercer on February 18. First draw is scheduled for 2 p.m.