Romero, Defense Lead Ducks in 1-0 Win at Hofstra
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Lexi Romero scored her second goal in as many games and Leah Freeman and the Oregon defense made it stand up for a 1-0 win over Hofstra in a match played in a constant downpour Sunday at Hofstra Soccer Stadium.
"Hofstra is a very good team with a great home record," said Oregon head coach Graeme Abel. "As we mature as a group, road games and our ability to handle those environments are crucial."
Sunday was the first match between the Ducks and Hofstra (4-2-1), a team that advanced to the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament out of the Colonial Athletic Conference.
How it Happened: After Freeman made three saves to keep the match scoreless early in the half, the Ducks (2-2-3) scored the only goal of the match in the 38th minute.
Defender Ainsley Fink cleared the ball out of Oregon's half to the right corner where Ajanae Respass won a challenge for the ball against Hofstra's defense. The freshman made a quick spin move out of the corner to pin her defender behind her and created an open lane to pass the ball to Romero five yards in front of the goal. Romero got her foot to the ball and slipped it under Hofstra goalkeeper Skylar Kuzmich into the left side of the net.
The Ducks pressed for a second goal for much of the second half with six shots and nearly broke through when Respass beat Kuzmich in the 82nd minute only to have a Hofstra defender clear the ball off the line at the last second.
Freeman made three more saves in the second half for her second clean sheet of the season.
What It Means: Oregon snapped a five-match winless streak (0-2-3) with Sunday's victory.
Head Coach Graeme Abel
"A real team performance from us. We had so many performances tonight where our Ducks had to switch in and out of roles and we did it seamlessly."
Notable: Respass' assist was her second of the season. She leads the team with eight points. … Freeman's shutout was the 16th of her career, which is tied for second in UO history and just one back of the school record of 17 held by Abby Steele (2011-14). … Freeman also passed Domenique Lainez (180, 2001-05) on Sunday for sixth in UO career saves with 183. … Zoe Hasenauer continues to climb the UO career games played and games started lists. Sunday was her 80th career game played (tied for fourth with five other players) and 78th career start, which moved her past Nicole Dobrzynski (77, 2005-08) into solo fourth place. Hasenauer needs five more starts to break the UO career record. … With two shots on Sunday, Hasenauer moved into a tie for fifth in UO career shots with 168 (Chalise Baysa, 1998-01). … Not only was this the first match between Oregon and Hofstra, it was also the first time the Ducks played a game in the state of New York.
Up Next: Oregon closes out the nonconference schedule Friday at Portland (7 p.m.).
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