Scoreless at the half, the Pilots (5-2-2) were able to convert a set piece for the only goal of the match when Allison Wetherington sent a perfect cross into the box that was headed into the net by Alyssa Edenstrom.
It was the first goal allowed by Oregon keeper Halla Henriksdottir in 356 minutes of play, a new school record for the junior from Iceland.
For head coach Kat Mertz there were plenty of positives to be found despite the loss. “We’re disappointed to have given up a goal,” she said. “But we played some good soccer out there and created a lot of opportunities.”
The Ducks certainly had their chances, peppering the Pilot defense with 15 total shots with five on goal while holding Portland to a pair of shots, both of which were on frame. Oregon also held a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks.
With the start of Pac-12 play looming beginning with a tough road trip to perennial conference power Stanford, Mertz feels her team is ready for the challenge of the conference race.
“I feel good,” she said. “I feel like we can score goals … we have more depth than we’ve had before … We set a lot of goals for ourselves, so we’ll go back and reassess them and set new ones heading into Pac-12 play. Because we don’t have a conference tournament, we have to treat each game like a championship game.”
Part of Mertz’ optimism stems from the success Henriksdottir has enjoyed in goal for the Ducks this season.
“My confidence is definitely higher than it was last year,” Henriksdottir said “Having a season under my belt helps. I think after every single game, my confidence keeps increasing.”
As for the record setting scoreless streak, Henriksdottir was candid with her thoughts. “Having a record to my name is great. It’s something that I can look back and tell my grandkids about, but right now it’s all about how the team is doing.”
Following the Stanford match, the Ducks return to Pape` Field on Thursday, September 9th to host USC. First touch is set for 4:30 and the match will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks