EUGENE – Facing a 2-1 deficit a week ago, Oregon scratched out a late goal to tie San Francisco 2-2.
Staring up from the same 2-1 hole Sunday against Northern Arizona, the Ducks responded with three straight goals to beat the Lumberjacks, 4-2, on a warm afternoon at Pape’ Field.
“In the past, we would start to spiral when we went down a goal,” said Eden Hardy, who had a remarkable game with two goals and an assist. “Today, we stuck to the game plan. You saw that none of us put our heads down.”
Hardy’s career day started just seconds into the match, scoring at the :38 mark with the help of a rare goalkeeper assist. Freshman Maddy Goldberg, who was making her first start in goal, sent a goal kick to Zoe Hasenauer at midfield. Hasenauer deftly chipped a one-timer into open space along the right side, and Hardy carried the ball around the NAU defense before sending a low strike into the left side of the net.
NAU (0-4-0) scored goals in the 12th and 29th minutes to take a 2-1 lead before Oregon (2-0-1) rallied.
Just prior to halftime, the Ducks earned a corner kick on the right side. Chai Cortez lifted a cross into the middle of the box, where Alice Barbieri headed the ball toward the goal. Lexi Romero beat NAU goalkeeper Natalie Manzo to the ball and headed a shot on goal that Manzo was able to block, but Kaitlyn Paculba was there for the rebound and headed in her second goal of the season to tie the match, 2-2, heading into the break.
Ally Cook scored the game-winning goal in the 58th minute, thanks to an exceptional individual effort from Hardy that set Cook up for her third goal of the season. Hardy was tackled at midfield by NAU’s Abby Donathan. Hardy got up and won the loose ball near the sideline, dribbled down the right side, where she shook Donathan with a nifty move that opened up a clear line into the box. Hardy sent a perfect pass to Cook, who headed the ball in from five yards out.
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Hardy put the game away with a goal in the 83rd minute. Barbieri picked off a NAU goal kick and lofted a pass along the left side to Hardy who slipped through traffic for her second goal of the match, this one coming from the left side.
Hardy’s five points (2G, 1A) were the most by a Duck in a match since 2010.
The Ducks now have 11 goals in three games, just three back of last season’s 16-game total (14).
“To go down 2-1 and to be able to come back and win the game 4-2 and look the stronger team in the second half – there are positives we need to take from it,” said head coach Graeme Abel.
Don’t miss the Ducks after dark when Oregon hosts UC Santa Barbara Friday at 7 p.m. under the lights at Pape’ Field.
Notable: Hasenauer has recorded an assist in all three games this season. Her assist Sunday was the 14th of her career, putting her one assist out of Oregon’s career top three, and just four helpers behind UO career leader Jen Stoltenberg (18, 2007-10) … Cook’s goal was her seventh game-winner and 12th overall of her career. She moved into a tie for fourth in UO career game-winners and into a tie for 10th in career goals … Chardonnay Curran entered the UO career top 10 by appearing in her 76th match. Now just four off the career record of 80 games (by five players), Curran is on pace to break the school record in the Ducks’ final non-conference game at Portland State on Sept. 19 … Goldberg and junior midfielder Sofia Vinas made their first career starts on Sunday and Goldberg picked up her first career win … Goldberg is just the third UO keeper to record an assist in a game and is the first to do it since Lindsay Parlee in 2011 … Barbieri’s assist was her second in three games this season … The assists for Romero and Hardy were their first of the year.