Pilots blank No. 1 ranked North Carolina for their first win of the season 1-0. However, UP falters in their next game losing to OSU 1-0 before beating the Ducks 1-0 all at home
By Bruce Garlinghouse, Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
The women's soccer team doesn't need all 90 minutes. In fact, so far this season, they've only needed 10.
Scoring early is becoming a habit for the Pilots. Two of their three goals this season have come within the first five minutes.
"We're getting looks early because we're staying aggressive in the final third," junior Ellen Parker said.
The midfielder has been on both ends of the two early goals that have resulted in the Pilots' two wins this season, scoring one and assisting the other.
In the season opener, Parker netted a goal after junior forward Amanda Frisbee sent in a free kick 18 yards outside the box, which would prove to be all the offense the Pilots needed as they held on to a 1-0 upset over No. 4 ranked North Carolina on Aug 17.
"Amazing. It was a huge rush," Parker said. "It all happened so fast, I didn't even see the ball go in."
It was the Pilots' first victory over the 20-time National champions.
But three days later on Aug. 20 it would be Oregon State's turn to mark a first for their program, beating the Pilots 1-0 and grabbing their first win on Merlo Field.
The Pilots' aggressive offense threatened Oregon State throughout the game, out-shooting the Beavers nine shots to two.
The aggression by UP did not pay off, however, as a corner kick in the 20 minute mark was all Oregon State needed to secure a win. A missed shot deflected off of a Portland defender and snuck past sophomore goalkeeper Erin Dees, who had not allowed a goal until then.
"We did everything we could to win that game," head coach Garret Smith said. "It's still early in the season and games like that happen."
The Pilots refocused in time for another in-state rival in the University of Oregon. Playing in front of a capacity crowd on Aug. 25, it was more of the same for Parker and the Pilots. This time Parker found herself on the other side of a scoring chance, sending in a cross-pass 18 yards from the box which found the head of Micaela Capelle and then the back of the net to go up 1-0.
"The whole team got together before the game and we talked about how we wanted to score early," Parker said. "We wanted a goal early, catch them off guard and finish right away."
Parker has been a large part of the Pilots' early success. Smith said her ability to get healthy is the reason for increased production.
Parker battled injuries throughout the middle of last year but is said to be back to 100 percent healthy.
"Ellen finished strong last season and was able to get healthy," Smith said. "We wouldn't play her in the center midfield position if we didn't recognize she has the ability to score."
The Pilots head to Seattle tomorrow for the Husky/Nike Invitational and their first road tests of the year, facing Fresno State first and then La Salle University on Sunday, Sept. 2.
Ellen Parker is a junior midfielder who hails from Paradise Valley, Arizona. She recently came up big agaisnt No. 1 ranked North Carolina with the game-winning goal.
Have you played only soccer? If not what other sports did you play and why did soccer stick?
A: I used to play basketball but I always thought soccer was just more fun so I quit basketball before middle school and continued on with soccer.
If you could be one kitchen appliance what would you be and why?
A: Keurig because it is amazing and I love drinking tea
If you could bring three people, dead or alive, to dinner who would they be?
A: Steve Nash, Mother Teresa, Muhammad Ali
What is your favorite part about attending UP?
A: The fans that come to our soccer games and support the program
What was going through your head after you scored in the first 5 minutes against North Carolina?
A: I dont think anything was, which is the best part about it. I was just so excited and love celebrating with my teammates
If you were a chair, what celebrity would you want to sit on you?
A: Paul Walker
Who is the funniest player on the team?
A: That is really tough because we have a lot people who are funny in different ways, but I would have to go with... Kaila Cameli
Any pregame rituals or superstitions?
A: None personally really, but we always listen to Michael Jackson before we head out onto the field for warm-up.