Curran’s rocket beats Portland – University of Oregon athletics


EUGENE, Oregon – As of Friday, no one else in Oregon football history had played more games for the Ducks than Chardonnay Curran. She made the night a memorable one for more than that.

The UO women established the best start to the season in the modern era of the program on Friday with a 1-0 victory over Portland in front of 360 fans at Papé Field. Curran, who was making his 80th career appearance to tie five other Ducks for the program record, scored the game-winning goal with a rocket from the top of the box 18 yards with less than 8 minutes to go.

“Char is a great leader in this team, it’s no secret,” said the goalkeeper Lea Freeman, who made three saves in his eighth career shutout. “She’s been leading the team for a long time and she’s leading it this year.… She’s doing it when we need her to get it out.”

How did it happen: The Ducks (4-0-3) controlled play early, creating a fourth-minute chance on a pass-and-go featuring Kess elmore and ally cook who was saved by the Portland keeper. The Ducks maintained their momentum for most of the first half and nearly took the lead in the 37th minute, when a Cook’s shot caught the keeper at the post and created an open goal as Kaitlyn Paculba recovered the rebound – only to place the shot over the crossbar.

Portland’s first chances were usually counterattacks after pushes from the Ducks. But the Pilots created more pressure in the second half, as they did in a 1-0 win over Washington earlier in September, with a 64th-minute goal.

“We took the team over there for a while and I told them, they did it against Washington,” said the OU coach. Graeme Abel noted. “And if we don’t change our attitude about how we’re going to fight for this, they are going to do the same to you guys. So it’s our choice: either we get a hit or we get a punch. . It’s one or the other. “

The Oregon Ducks take on the Portland Pilots at Papé Field in Eugene, Oregon on September 17, 2021 (Eric Evans Photography)

The message got through and Oregon picked up momentum as the second half wore on. Cook was involved in another chance in the 75th minute, when Zoe Hasenauer placed the ball high in the box and passed to Cook near the left post. Cook’s shot through the mouth of the goal went past the far post, but the Ducks pushed on.

About four minutes later, Maya hahn found herself in possession of a corner kick and fired a shot that failed to get through traffic. Then, in the 83rd minute, a free kick created a similar opportunity for Curran. This time the blow is over.

“During training we are still working on these, and my body is always open and I am throwing balls,” Curran said. “Graeme came up to me like, make sure that when you walk in you shut your body. So when I saw that balloon coming in, I just whispered to myself, body down, upside down, right at the top. over the ball. And then, yeah. “

Curran’s shot was only the third in Oregon’s second half. But it provided all the difference the Ducks would need.

The Oregon Ducks take on the Portland Pilots at Papé Field in Eugene, Oregon on September 17, 2021 (Isaac Wasserman / Eric Evans Photography)

Notable: Curran’s goal was the fifth of his career and his second game-winning goal – the other against Portland, in 2018.… The victory was Oregon’s first against the Pilots in Eugene since 1980.… The Ducks have been undefeated since seven games for the first time in the modern era of the program, which was reinstated in 1996.… Freeman’s eight career shutouts have come in just 20 starts. … Friday’s game took place during the program’s annual “BEOREGON” night, recognizing the sports department’s program that celebrates diversity and inclusiveness in sport.

Following: The Ducks play at Portland State on Sunday.

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