EUGENE, Ore. – A pair of former high school teammates led Oregon (1-0) to a dominant, 22-8 victory over No. 22 Dominican (0-1) on Saturday afternoon.
Junior attackmen Grant Clifford and Michael Marcott last played together at Lincoln (Portland, Ore.) High, where they won the state championship in 2012. On Saturday, they picked up right where they left off. The duo led Oregon in scoring, each with four goals. Clifford added five assists while Marcott had two.
“To start, I think we were going fast. That’s our motto; we always go fast,” Marcott said.
Clifford added: “We did everything that we wanted to execute in practice, and it translated out here on the field.”
Oregon jumped out to a 3-1 in the first quarter, but pulled away from the Penguins, scoring eight unanswered goals in the second. Dominican opened the second half trading two goals with the Ducks, but Oregon added two more before the buzzer sounded at the end of the third, bringing the score to 15-3.
“We were good, we were very good, but we have the potential to be great,” said Oregon coach Jon Bongiorno, who got his first win as a head coach on Saturday. “We had some sloppy issues in transition going from offense to defense. We had some unforced turnovers when we kind of got up a little bit.”
The Ducks fought off a late surge by the Penguins, who scored five goals in the fourth quarter, resulting in the 22-8 final.
Freshman goalie Sam Snider had an outstanding debut with 10 saves and was awarded the game ball by Bongiorno. Several key stops in the first half led to quick transition goals for the Ducks.
“It was a lot of preparation, a lot of work in the room doing film,” said Snider. “It wasn’t just me though. It was the defense coming together. Good slides, good clears, everyone working together.”
“We need to continue to tighten things up,” Bongiorno said. “You can’t be terribly upset with a 22-8 score, but there’s plenty to take away, it’s game one; we have to continue to build.”
“I was pleased with our play,” continued Bongiorno. “We preach fast, confident and fundamentally sound. There was quite a bit of time that we were all three, but then there were times where we were fast, but not fundamentally sound. Or [we were] fundamentally sound, but not confident. The more we can play with our core values in tact, the better off we will be. We’ve obviously got some things we can work on, but that’s good. If we were perfect off the bat, I’d be really scared.”
Next up for the Ducks is a home game versus Chico State on Feb. 20.