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Upsets, career-highs headline first day of Pac-12 women's soccer conference play

Sep 24, 2022
Photo courtesy Oregon Athletics

The first night of Pac-12 play was a competitive one for the conference's 12 women's soccer teams, with four of the six matches being decided by one goal.

Another, Oregon's 2-0 win over No. 15 Washington, was an upset.

Here's a quick rundown of all of Friday's action.

Nicole Payne's brace leads USC past No. 19 Stanford

Payne shined in her first Pac-12 game, helping the Trojans overcome an early deficit in a 2-1 home win against the Cardinal.

After Stanford freshman sensation Lumi Kostmayer bent a long shot for the game's first goal in the 20th minute, Payne, a transfer from West Virginia, netted the equalizer in the 36th minute, slotting a beautiful through ball from Simi Awujo.

Payne completed the brace in the 59th minute, floating a shot over the outstretched arm of Stanford goalkeeper Ryan Campbell.

The Trojans are 5-0-1 since dropping their season opener and can make a strong case to be ranked in next week's polls. They also have a win over No. 12 TCU.

Utah matches 2021 Pac-12 win total with victory over Arizona

Arizona's Gianna Christiansen scored her first career goal in the 14th minute, but had little time to celebrate as Taliana Kaufusi headed in a pinpoint cross to pull Utah even in the 19th minute — her fifth goal of the season, a new career high.

Utah's aerial attack struck again in the second half when Maryn Granger headed in the game-winning goal, the first of her career and one she'll surely never forget.

It's a promising start for Hideki Nakada's Utes, who have already matched last season's Pac-12 win total.

Sun Devils stun the Buffaloes in the final seconds

After Colorado stormed back from a two-goal deficit, Arizona State's Eva van Deursen ensured the Sun Devils would not have to settle for a draw in Boulder, squeaking in a long shot in the final seconds for the game-winning goal.

The ball ricocheted straight down off the bar and crossed the goal line by mere inches, a ruling that was confirmed after the referees talked it over for several minutes.

It completed van Deursen’s first career brace. (Her first goal gave the Devils a 2-0 lead in the 59th minute.)

The Buffs, one of the highest scoring teams in the nation, refused to quit, answering with two quick goals in the 70th and 71st minutes by Juliauna Hayward and Civana Kuhlmann.

Leah Freeman sets personal record as Ducks upset No. 15 Washington

The Oregon goalkeeper stopped a career-high 14 shots against the Huskies, helping the Ducks secure a 2-0 win on their home turf despite being outshot 28-8.

It was a much-needed victory for the Ducks, who had only one win in their previous seven matches.

Meanwhile, it was the first loss of the season for UW, which had only conceded three goals all season entering the match.

Kess Elmore had an eventful 2022 debut for the Ducks, sneaking a shot through traffic for an important insurance goal in the 70th minute.

Studer's header was the difference in Corvallis

Sydney Studer was the hero against her former team, using her 6-foot frame to score a header late in Washington State's 1-0 win at Oregon State.

It was the 88th career win for WSU head coach Todd Schulenberger, tying the school's all-time record.

The Cougars are one the hottest teams in the country right now, going unbeaten in their last eight matches and winning seven of them.

They welcome Colorado and Utah next week.

Cal leads early but falls short against No. 1 UCLA

Nothing comes easy in the Pac-12 as the Golden Bears gave the top-ranked Bruins a scare in front of a record-setting crowd in Westwood, taking a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute off a nifty finish by Karlie Lema.

In the end, UCLA showed why it's the consensus No. 1 team in the country, responding with three straight goals before Cal's Keely Roy converted a penalty kick to bring the Bears within one in the 61st minute.

Cal's Angelina Anderson saved a Bruin penalty kick in the 67th minute to keep the game within reach. At least for a little while.

Freshman Bridgette Marin-Valencia put the game away in the 83rd minute, fighting for the fourth Bruin goal on a chaotic sequence in front of the net.

Now 9-0, the Bruins still have not lost a regular-season match since the 2020-21 season. 

Oregon, coming off its upset over Washington, will try to snap that streak next Thursday in Eugene.