Soccer Drops Friday Contest to Utah 3-1

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah—The Oregon Ducks lost a conference match to the University of Utah Utes 3-1 Friday on the road. UO is now 6-7-2 overall and 1-4-1 in the conference, while the Utes advance to 8-4-2 overall and 3-3-0 in Pac-12 play.

Both teams started the match off extremely fast and high energy even through the cold and rainy conditions. The Ducks controlled possession of the ball for a good portion of the first half, but the Utes were able to take the advantage in shots (10-6) and corner kicks (5-3). One of those shots resulted in a goal in the 15th minute as Katie Taylor dribbled the ball for about 25 yards before beating a defender and shooting from the left side just inside the 18-yard box for a goal. Oregon was able to tie it up soon after, however, as freshman Kira Wagoner collected a rebound off of a missed shot on goal by Bri Pugh and fired a shot to the back of the net for her first career goal.

"Utah came out and played hard from the get go," said head coach Tara Erickson. "They got an early goal and it was a little bit of a wake-up call for some players. We were trying to adjust to the conditions a little bit. The field was wet and we haven't really seen that in our season so far. It was good to get the equalizer and to go into halftime 1-1."

Utah came out of halftime aggressively, but Oregon did a nice job of containing them and not allowing any quick goals. However, the Utes caught a fortunate bounce in the 68th minute scoring off a free kick from the midfield line. The ball was played into the 18-yard box where it ricocheted off of UO senior defender Lauren Thompson and into the back of the net.

"Other than the first couple minute spurt that Utah had to start the half, I thought we were all over them. We were pressing the goal hard. Going down and scoring the own goal really changed the momentum and dynamic of the rest of the game. We pressed forward and put four forwards and three defenders to try and get a goal but unfortunately, Utah capitalized on a little bit of a risky strategy," added Erickson.

Utah's third goal of the game came in the 85th minute when Kaycee Buckley scored from the right side off a rebound. Utah ended the match with the advantage in shots (21-9) and corner kicks (7-5). Sophomore goalkeeper Abby Steele finished the match with nine saves.

The Ducks have Sunday off this weekend as they travel back to Eugene to prepare for another exciting Pac-12 weekend when Arizona (10/19) and Arizona State (10/21) visit Pape' Field.

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