Eugene, Ore. -- Oregon Ducks women's soccer opened their season with a win, even if it was just an exhibition game. The Ducks defeated the University of British Columbia, 2-1 in front of fans at Pape Field. Although they graduated 10 seniors from the class of 2018, Oregon does bring in a freshman class ranked no. 17 in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
"For me it's felt like I've known them for so long," says freshman striker Ally Cook. "Playing wise I can already expect what they're gonna do. It feels like I've been playing with them for awhile. It feels good. They really bring you in and help you feel comfortable."
On the back of two former Ducks, Jazmin Jackmon and Marissa Everett, being drafted by the National Women's Soccer League and former star Marlo Sweatman playing for the Jamaican national team in the 2019 Women's World Cup, head coach Kat Mertz sees a newfound fire in her players that she hasn't seen in years past.
"When (former Duck Jazmin Jackmon) got drafted, I got a couple texts that said 'I want to be the next one. I want to be the next one to get drafted'", Mertz mentions. "That's inspiring to have that and really see."
The Ducks return their 2018 goalscorer, Emma Eddy, as well as their 2018 assist leader, Zoe Hasenauer, while bringing in 10 new freshmen, who all got playing time in the win over UBC. Oregon opens the regular season at Fresno State Thursday at 7 p.m. (Mountain West Net).