March 2, 2013

O'Connell's Heroics Push Oregon Past High Point

from press release

EUGENE, Ore. - Freshman Carly O'Connell scored a goal with 4.8 seconds left to break a 6-6 tie and send Oregon to a thrilling 7-6 victory over High Point on Saturday night at Papé Field.

With under a minute to play and the Ducks with possession, Oregon decided to milk the clock and hold the ball for a final shot. As the clock approached the 10-second mark, junior Nikki Puszcz delivered a pass to O'Connell about 12 yards from the goal. O'Connell then juked two defenders and moved her way into the center, where she sent a shot from point-blank range past High Point goalie Anna Wallingford.

For O'Connell, the game-winning goal was her second of the night and fourth of the season.

The Ducks improved to 2-1 overall with the win; High Point fell to 2-3.

Oregon fell into a 2-0 hole to start the match. With 14:24 to go in the first, Puszcz finally got the Ducks on the board after receiving a pass from Shannon Propst.

But High Point got the goal back just seven minutes later courtesy of Jasmine Jordan.

The Panthers carried their 3-1 lead into the break.

In the second, the Ducks scored the first two goals of the half to tie it up. The first came from Kate Cathell just under five minutes into the half and Propst picked up her fifth goal of the season two minutes later for the second.

After the two teams exchanged a pair of goals, Oregon was finally able to take the lead when Puszcz buried her second goal of the game with 13:03 remaining. At that point, the Ducks led 6-5.

High Point's Alec Perry knocked home a shot with 5:23 left to tie the game for the fourth time (6-6), however.

The game stayed tied at six until the Ducks were able to gain possession with 4:20 to go when Erika McCool scooped up her third ground ball of the evening. Oregon keep possession of the ball to set up O'Connell's late heroics with five seconds to play.

Salliebeth Finnegan recorded her first win of the season, making three saves in 57 minutes of action. Puszcz, O'Connell and Propst each posted two goals; Puszcz and Propst both finished with two assists. McCool's three ground balls led all players and Raleigh Cavey, O'Connell, and Casey Brogan each grabbed two as well. Brogan and Puszcz paced the Ducks in the draw control category with three.

Oregon took five more shots than High Point (17-12) and won the ground ball battle, 12-11. The Ducks committed just 12 turnovers; the Panthers committed 17.

The Ducks will have less than 48 hours before their next game. On Monday, Oregon hosts Vermont at 5 p.m.

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