SEATTLE – Washington women’s soccer (6-6-2, 2-1-2 Pac-12) has just one game this week, a Thursday night match against Oregon (3-7-3, 1-3-1) live on the Pac-12 Networks. The Dawgs will be looking for three points at the Husky Soccer Stadium before heading back out on the road next week.
Washington remains very much in the thick of what is turning into a crazy Pac-12 race this season. The Dawgs sit in a tie for fifth place with eight points with each team through five of the 11 conference games. No. 2 UCLA leads the conference with 13 points, followed by Utah with 10 and Colorado and Arizona State tied for third with nine. The Dawgs are tied with No. 9 California with their eight points. Oddly, four-time defending champion Stanford is currently in eighth place after three-straight conference losses.
The Dawgs have also had plenty to say about the top of the conference, tying UCLA for the only blemish on their otherwise perfect conference record and defeating Utah to keep them from being even with the Bruins. This week’s opponent, Oregon is tied for 10th.
Washington saw its unbeaten streak in conference end on Sunday when Colorado scored a golden goal in the first overtime. The goal also ended a streak of 295 consecutive scoreless minutes for goalkeeper Megan Kufeld and the Husky defense. Kufeld was this past week’s recipient of the Pac-12 Defender of the Week award with shutouts of UCLA and Utah.
Overall, the Dawgs have allowed just two goals in conference, which is tied with UCLA for the Pac-12 lead. The Husky backline has stabilized with the four starters now set after some early-season injuries forced changes. Molly Boyd and Allyson Brahs have held down the central defense, while Lindsey Bos and Havana McElvaine play out wide. Bos is the only Husky defender to start every game, while McElvaine has come on of late and scored the game-winning goal against Utah.
Goal scoring remains Washington’s Achilles heel. The Dawgs have just 12 goals on the season, including just three in five conference games. Washington is 6-0-1 when scoring at least once, but 0-6-1 when being held scoreless. Becca Schoales leads the Dawgs with three goals, while Kate Bennett, Allie Beahan and Jaclyn Softli have two goals apiece. Lindsay Elston and Isabel Farrell share the team lead with four assists each.
Oregon is coming off its first conference win, a 1-0 defeat of Arizona. The Ducks had gone eight-straight games without a victory before upending the Wildcats. Oregon has also struggled to score goals with just 10 on the season and only one in conference play. ShayLee Miner leads the Ducks with three goals, while Bri Pugh and Brooke Strawn have two apiece.
Last season, Washington defeated Oregon 2-0 in a game also played in Seattle. The Dawgs are unbeaten in the last six contests with the Ducks and have not lost a home game to Oregon since 2005.
Following Thursday’s matchup, the Dawgs head back out on the road to face Arizona State and Arizona. Washington then concludes the regular season with three-straight at home.