Ducks beat Gonzaga and avoid the consequences.
The message, though written down, still came through loud and clear for the Oregon soccer team.
In a meeting prior to the Ducks' matchup against Gonzaga on Sunday, Oregon coach Tara Erickson offered a few coaching tips and then wrote for the whole team to see, "We must win this game - or else."
"They got a little bit of a laugh out of it, but not much," Erickson said. "They knew there would repercussions, I think."
Luckily, they'll never have to find out what those were, thanks to record-setting days by Jessie Chatfield and Teresa Bowns in the Ducks 4-1 victory over the Bulldogs in front of 502 fans at Pape Field.
The victory gives Oregon a 7-4 record going into Friday's Pac-10 Conference opener against Southern California. It also helped erase some of the lingering negativity following the Ducks 4-0 home loss to No. 10 Portland on Friday.
"Sometimes you're fearful of telling your team, `You're in a must-win situation,' because what's going to happen? Are they going to rise to the occasion or are they going to shy away from it?" Erickson said. "But it couldn't get any worse than Friday night. I put that out there to them, and they absolutely responded."
Chatfield, midway through her junior season, set the Oregon career record for victories with her 24th in her 45th game. Amanda Fox, the previous Duck record-holder, needed 75 games to get her 23 victories.
"That's amazing," said Chatfield, who made two saves on Sunday. "More than anything, that has so much to do with the team more than me. It's awesome that it goes under one of my records, but I think it has all to do with our team and our program and the turnaround that we've made."
Bowns scored the Ducks' third goal and assisted on the other three, tying the school record for assists in one game. Chalise Baysa set the record in 2001.
"We were definitely ready to redeem ourselves from Friday," Bowns said. "We were pretty pumped to get back out there and work hard again. We definitely had the fire today and the will to win."
Gonzaga (8-3-2) came into the game without a loss in its previous eight games. But the Ducks jumped on the Bulldogs early. Midfielder Dani Oster opened the scoring when she took a corner kick from Bowns and fired it right to left from 15 yards out into the side of the net at the 14:08 mark.
It was the first career goal for the sophomore.
Nine minutes later, Bowns was on a breakaway down the right sideline when she sent a pass through three defenders to Danielle Sweeney, setting up a one-on-one with Gonzaga goalkeeper Jessie Thalman that Sweeney easily won to give Oregon a 2-0 lead. It was Sweeney's fourth goal of the season.
"I definitely liked Sweeney's work," Bowns said. "I didn't really know what I was going to do with that ball, and I'm just happy she worked her butt off to make a run for me."
Bowns made it 3-0 Oregon at halftime with a strike from 19 yards out high into the right side of the goal for her fourth goal this fall.
She then added her team-leading fifth assist when she sent a free kick to Allison Newton, who in turn crossed it through traffic to Darci Gardner, who knocked it in for the goal in the 52nd minute.
Bowns finished the game with one goal, three assists and four shots attempted.
"She's capable of that all the time," Erickson said. "She's probably one of our smartest soccer players, but I think we've increased her speed, her agility, her awareness of where the goal is. My thing now is to challenge her to go for 90 minutes, to control the tempo of our offense for 90 minutes.
Gonzaga scored its only goal on a penalty kick by Lauren Zuckerman in the 85th minute.
"I think it was a really good win for us," Bowns said. "I think it just proved our team can hang with pretty good teams."
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|Title Annotation:||Soccer Oregon Women; Jessie Chatfield and Teresa Bowns set school records during Oregon's 4-1 women's soccer victory over the Bulldogs|
|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Date:||Oct 8, 2007|
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