EUGENE, Ore. – After falling behind 2-1 at halftime, Oregon rallied with the only goal of the second half to tie Washington State 2-2 Sunday at Papé Field.
Freshman Ryann Reynolds scored first for the Ducks, giving Oregon a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute. The Cougars scored the next two goals of the match, before Ajanae Respass drew the Ducks level shortly after halftime.
Both of Oregon’s goals came off corner kicks by Alice Barbieri, who had the first two-assist game of her career.
Maddy Goldberg made all five of her saves after Respass’ goal to prevent WSU from regaining the lead.
“Obviously we wanted the win but to come up with the draw and fight back in the second half to score that goal was really important for us,” said Respass. “It feels good to get a draw.”
How It Happened: Oregon (0-15-3, 0-9-1) opened the scoring on a new set piece in the fourth minute.
Barbieri set the play in motion with a corner kick from the left. Instead of crossing the ball in front of the goal, Barbieri sent a crisp pass to Trinity Morales who was unmarked well outside the left side of the penalty box. Morales then crossed the ball toward the far post and Reynolds came flying in to score on a header to the left side of the net.
“It feels amazing,” said Reynolds. “We literally just practiced that piece yesterday, just out of the blue. It worked out well, so I am happy about that.”
The Cougars (9-5-4, 2-4-4) responded with goals in the 22nd and 38th minutes to take a 2-1 lead into halftime.
The Ducks tied the match on a corner kick less than five minutes into the second half.
Barbieri directed a high corner kick to the top of the box where Kristen Conti headed the ball down through two WSU defenders to Respass, who poked the ball past the Cougars’ goalkeeper from 11 yards out.
“I thought we played great,” said Reynolds. “Down 2-1 at half and I think it shows so much character that we could come back and score early and keep on fighting.”
After that, Goldberg and Oregon’s defense kept the Cougars at bay. In addition to Goldberg’s five saves in the last 40 minutes, the Ducks blocked six shots.
Notable: Oregon came into Sunday’s game having played the second-most difficult schedule in the country … The Ducks honored their lone senior, Jordan Snyder, in a pregame ceremony. … Barbieri’s assists were the fourth and fifth of her career. … Reynolds scored her second goal of the season and leads the team with five points. … Respass’ goal was her second of the season and sixth of her career … With Conti’s assist on Sunday, freshmen have now accounted for six of the team’s 11 assists. … Goldberg tied Katelyn Carter (2016-19) for ninth on the UO career saves list with 97. Goldberg also moved within five saves of entering the UO single-season top 10 list in saves (89, Amanda Fox, 1999) … Defender Anna Phillips made her 54th consecutive start.
UO coach Graeme Abel
“I said it on Thursday about the character and the fight in this group in order to dig in. A lot of teams and a lot of programs would have just gone away at this point but these kids were able to execute. The way they executed the set piece for the first goal was terrific. If I showed you a video from practice, that was right on in terms of that pace. I think it shows the character in the fight of the group and they should be extremely proud of themselves.”
Forward Anajae Respass after WSU took a 2-1 lead
“It was like we got this, we have to stay hungry always. We’re always looking to keep going, keep fighting and we just wanted that third goal to win the game, but it was really exciting.”
Up Next: Oregon wraps up the 2023 season Friday at Oregon State (7 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).
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