Ducks Can’t Tame Cougars, Fall 2-1

The Oregon Ducks surrendered two first half goals and fell to the Washington State Cougars 2-1 Thursday afternoon at Pape Field.

The loss was the fourth straight in conference play for Oregon and left head coach Kat Mertz frustrated with the play of her team.

“Our speed of play was way too slow,” she said. “You have to give Washington State credit. They wanted it more … We have to find a way to fight through adversity on the field. Right now, when we give up a goal, our heads go down and the frustration shows. We have to find a way to fight through it.”

A defensive miscue opened the door for WSU in the 20th minute. The Cougars’ Brianna Alger picked up a loose ball in the box and as Oregon keeper Halla Hinriksdottir came off the line to defend, slipped the ball past center back Alyssa Hinojosa for the goal.

Morgan Weaver made it 2-0 in the 32nd minute on a give and go in the box, beating Hinriksdottir for her sixth goal of the year.

Oregon halved the lead in the 58th minute when Marissa Everett’s free kick from 20 feet found Mia Costa unmarked at the right post. Costa tapped the ball into the near corner for her first goal of the season.

But it was too little too late and the Cougars were able to play a possession game the rest of way to improve their season record to 7-3-2 overall and 2-2-0 in conference play. Oregon fell to 6-6-0, 0-4-0.

“These past four games, they can’t define our season,” said Mertz. “We have to look forward and create our future, taking it one game at a time. We can let these four games dictate who we are going to be for the rest of the season or we can put it behind and let it make us stronger, put our heads up and believe in each other.”

Her side will get that chance on Sunday when they face the Washington Huskies. First touch is set for 1:00 pm and will be available on Pac-12 Live Stream.

~ Rick Morgan