EUGENE, Ore. – No. 1 Chapman visited Eugene on Friday evening to face No. 10 Oregon in a highly anticipated Top 10 MCLA matchup. Chapman was as advertised, beating Oregon, 15-10.
The Ducks struck first when freshman attackman John Finegan scored the first goal, but the lead would not last long. Chapman answered with three goals, taking a 3-1 lead into the second quarter.
The Panthers scored to open up the second quarter, but sophomore midfielder Lucas Pyper answered back for Oregon, bringing the score to 4-2 with 13 minutes left in the half. Following the Pyper goal, Chapman scored five unanswered goals before junior attackman Grant Clifford found the back of the net for the Ducks, making it an 8-3 game minutes before halftime.
Chapman used both of their first-half timeouts
to put more points on the board, but were unable to score. Oregon held the last possession of the half, and junior attackman Michael Marcott took the final shot of the half, with the ball bouncing off the post as the buzzer sounded.
The Panthers opened the second half with three more goals, bringing the score to 11-3 before the Ducks could slow down Chapman’s momentum. Clifford scored again, followed by a goal by sophomore defender Matt Peter, and Chapman led 11-5 with five minutes remaining in the third.
Chapman scored once more before Clifford added an amazing scoop-shot goal with 1.6 seconds remaining in the third quarter. At the end of three, Chapman led, 12-6.
Both teams traded goals to start the fourth quarter before Oregon made its final run. The Ducks scored three goals in a span of 2:08, bringing the score to 13-10, putting Chapman on its heels.
After Oregon’s scoring burst, Chapman showed why they are the top-ranked team in the country, slowing Oregon’s momentum and adding two more goals to their total, putting the final margin at 15-10.
Clifford led the Ducks in scoring with four goals, and junior midfielder Luke Kuchta led Oregon in assists with four. Finegan and sophomore midfielder Dylan Alfa each had two goals for the Ducks.
“We came out slow in the first half,” said Clifford. “There’s not much we could do against that good Chapman team until we figured it out. We played the waiting game, see what they gave us, and reacted to it. In the second half we got some shots to fall, but credit to Chapman, they scouted us, had a good game plan, executed that game plan in the first half, and it showed on the scoreboard. We are a very good team when we want to be; we just have to be able to put that together for four quarters."
Marcott and Head Coach Jon Bongiorno shared similar sentiments with the team after the game.
“We cannot start like that and expect to win big games,” said Marcott. “A team like that – it’s good we saw them now – because if we see them in May, they’re in big trouble. We missed a lot of shots with no one on our hands, or hit a pipe, and didn’t put it in. The best sticks on the field will win games, and they did.”
“We cannot continue to take the first quarter to get warmed up,” added Bongiorno. “We play great from behind, but we can’t do it against a great team like that. You guys battle. That’s the No. 1 team for a reason – they don’t suck – we can play with them.”
Oregon will host No. 21 Boise State on Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m., and Montana on Saturday, April 2 at 3 p.m. Saturday’s game will be held at South Eugene High.