Oregon’s Freeman Sets Shutout Record in 1-0 Win Against ASU

EUGENE – Kess Elmore scored in the 34th minute and a determined defensive effort – highlighted by Leah Freeman’s eight saves – made that goal stand up in Oregon’s 1-0 victory against Arizona State Sunday at Pape’ Field.

Freeman set the school record with her eighth shutout of the season as the Ducks moved to 8-1-4 overall and 3-1-1 in the Pac-12.

“I thought we had a solid performance,” said Oregon head coach Graeme Abel. “Early on I thought that we were good on moving the ball around regarding the attack. It was a great job from Kess [Elmore] to score the goal. Defensive-wise I thought we were really organized.”

Oregon’s sustained attack in the first half led to Elmore’s goal. Freeman took a free kick inside the Ducks’ penalty box and drove the ball well past midfield where Elmore was the first to get to it. She dribbled the ball down the right side, made a couple of ASU defenders miss, cut toward the goal and fired a left-footed shot from 17 yards out that grazed an ASU defender and bounced into the right side of the net.

From then on, it was the defense and Freeman standing up to ASU’s attacks. Freeman made saves on eight of the Sun Devils’ 11 shots. She had close-range saves in the 20th and 27th minute in the first half.

The sophomore from Berkeley, Calif., had a highlight reel save in the 63rd minute. Nicole Douglas blistered a shot from seven yards out but Freeman countered with a fully-extended dive to her left to knock Douglas’ drive off target.

Center backs Croix Soto and Anna Phillips and outside backs Chai Cortez and Mia Palmer helped the Ducks become the first team to record a shutout against the Sun Devils (8-5-1, 0-4-1) this season. The Ducks have shutout six of their last seven opponents.

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Oregon has its best 13-game record since the 1981 squad was 11-0-2 through 13 games.

“Leah [Freeman] obviously gets singled out making the saves and at the end of the day, that is what she is there for,” said Head Coach Graeme Abel. “As a former goalkeeper, I get that piece of it. But as a team the way we defend is a team effort, it is a collected effort. We are not a collection of individuals, we are a team and we have been successful so far.”

Freeman broke the season shutout record she shared with Jesse Chatfield (2005) and Halla Hinriksdottir (2018) while they also passed Cody Miles (12/2008-10) for fourth in UO career shutouts with 13. Freeman also recorded her seventh win of the season, which is tied for 10th on the UO single-season list and just two shy of the school record.

Chardonnay Curran started her 78th match as a Duck which ranks third all-time and is just two behind the school record shared by Danielle Sweeney (2006-09) and Scout Libke (2009-12).

After sweeping the Arizona schools for the first times since 2016, the Ducks face USC next this Thursday at 4 p.m. (Pac-12 Network).