More than a quarter century after they played pioneering roles in women's soccer, members of the University of Oregon's 1980 and 1981 teams will be honored at ceremonies Friday during the
Ducks' game with Portland.
It will be the first time that Oregon has honored its 1980 varsity team, and it will also be the first time that the 1981 team has been formally
recognized with varsity status and players granted letterman status.
Before the 1981 season, Oregon dropped women's soccer, along with baseball, women's golf and men's gymnastics, as a
varsity sport. The women's soccer program, already invited to the AIAW finals, was allowed to stay on Oregon's rolls as a varsity sport although the school no longer provided financial support and
treated it otherwise like a club sport.
Oregon went through the regular season undefeated with a 12-0-2 mark and went 1-2 at the nationals finals, where
At least 25 of the 29
women who played in 1980 and 1981 are expected to attend, as well as Coach Manfred Tschan
, who is now the head men's coach at George Fox. Team members will
be invited to take place in pregame activities around Pape Field and will formally be recognized during a halftime ceremony.
"The attention generated by the success of our current team
led us to uncover a forgotten chapter in the history of Oregon women's athletics," said Oregon director of athletics Pat Kilkenny in announcing plans to honor the 1980 and 1981 teams.
Oregon finished second in the Pac-10 last season but was controversially denied an NCAA Tournament bid.
The Ducks are 6-3-0 heading into their game with No. 13 Portland.