Ducks Battle Cardinal To 1-0 Result
EUGENE, Ore. — Junior goalkeeper Leah Freeman moved into Oregon's career top 10 in single-season saves Thursday night during a tightly contested match that the UO soccer program dropped to No. 7 Stanford at Papé Field, 1-0.
A goal in the sixth minute was the difference, despite furious pressure created by the Ducks over the final 35 minutes of play. Stanford produced a heavy volume of shots with 32, though only nine were on goal with Freeman saving eight to give her 95 this season, seventh-most in UO history.
Oregon created two of its three shots and both of its corner kicks in the second half but couldn't get the equalizer.
"The first half, I just thought we gave Stanford too much respect," said UO coach Graeme Abel, whose team posted its first ever win over the Cardinal the last time Stanford visited Eugene, in the spring of 2021. "We sat off them, didn't press into them; when we got the ball, we were timid in terms of keeping it. But then you see the reaction we got in the second half. It's another second half where we played fairly well."
How It Happened: Stanford scored on the first shot of the game, when Lumi Kostmayer collected a pass near the top of the box, stepped toward the goal and fired a shot past a diving Freeman. Oregon's keeper needed to make her first save of the night just three minutes later, and she had two more to help the Ducks go into halftime down 1-0.
The Cardinal created 20 more shots in the second half, but Freeman saved all five that were on goal. Kess Elmore gave the Ducks their second shot on goal of the night in the 67th minute, about the time Oregon began to do a better job of pressuring the ball, winning possession and sustaining attacks on the Stanford defense.
The final 35 minutes featured both of Oregon's corner kicks in the match, and the final shot of the night by either team, off the foot of Alice Barbieri in the 88th minute.
What It Means: Thursday's match had echoes of Oregon's loss to No. 1 UCLA on Sept. 29, when the Ducks fell behind early but played the Bruins even over the final 61 minutes despite being a player down due to a red card.
"As a coaching staff we have to ask the question of, OK, why is that the case that we're not coming out right away, straight from the kickoff, and doing this exact same thing," Abel said.
Notable: Freeman entered the night 11th in single-season saves at Oregon and jumped four spots with her eight saves. She's now four saves way from entering the top five. … Freshman forward Ajanae Respass returned to action after missing three games. She started Thursday and played 39 minutes. … The Ducks committed a season-low three fouls.
Up Next: Oregon hosts No. 25 California on Sunday at noon.