OSU and UCLA battle to a 2-2 tie in PAC-12 home opener

Oregon State junior midfielder Fabian Straudi (#21) leads the team in celebration at Paul Lorenz Field on October 5, 2023. Straudi scored the opening goal just 37 seconds into the match against UCLA.
Oregon State junior midfielder Fabian Straudi (#21) leads the team in celebration at Paul Lorenz Field on October 5, 2023. Straudi scored the opening goal just 37 seconds into the match against UCLA.
Sam Nicklous

Vuvleza’s in hand, the Oregon State Beaver faithful packed Paul Lorenz Field on Thursday, Oct. 5, to support the home squad in a hard-fought 2-2 tie against the University of California Los Angeles Bruins.

There was excitement from the first whistle for the Beavers as sophomore Farnau Arnos pressured UCLA into a turnover, quickly winning possession for his team. Taking advantage of the moment Arnos cut inside on the UCLA Bruin defense beating two defenders confidently. 

Arnos then slotted the ball through the heart of the 18-yard box finding teammate junior midfielder Fabian Straudi. 

Straudi collected the ball and was able to put it past the goalkeeper with a right-footed shot. In only 37 seconds of play, the Beavers found themselves up 1-0.

Straudi’s early goal set the standard for the pace of play for the rest of the match, as both teams were set up to play possessive attacking soccer. 

The Beavers 1-0 lead allowed them to establish a patient 4-3-3 formation when they were off the ball, sitting in an aggressive pressing mid-block with sophomore midfielder Thomas Bedouret. Senior midfielder Jacob Huth would serve as the lynchpin midfield pairing for the OSU defense. 

Despite conceding possession of the ball for a stretch after taking the lead, OSU was able to continue to be compact and unified in their formation.  

Between the 20th and 23rd minutes of the match, both teams would exchange multiple hard challenges. OSU and UCLA both left the four-minute stretch of the game with two yellow cards each. 

Both OSU defensive midfielders, Bedouret and Huth were given cautions for hard fouls, preventing any Bruin attacking transition. 

Constant desire and aggression from both teams would make play choppy and arrhythmic for both teams through the rest of the half.

At the start of the second half, OSU would build from the back-field leading to a dangerous cross by junior midfielder Dante Williams in the 48th minute.

UCLA was unable to collect the ball when senior forward Logan Farrington passed the ball into the stride of junior winger Ellis Spikner. 

Spikner took his chance, creating just enough space to lace a right-footed shot near post, beating the UCLA Goalkeeper with a thumping finish. Spikner’s goal doubled the Beaver advantage, 2-0. 

UCLA responded in the 60th minute, creating a turnover deep in the Beaver defensive half. 

Bruin forward Jack Sarkos pressed the ball off of OSU in the Beavers left defensive channel. With little pressure around him, Sarkos found the ball good and true to score first for the Bruins. 

Seven minutes later the Bruins would net the game-tying goal off a corner kick. The goal scorer midfielder Ryan Becher, made the most of a ball which was never settled before it was put past Beaver goalkeeper sophomore Luis Castillo.

The Beavers would expend all of their energy in an attempt to regain the lead. Creating chances and goal-scoring opportunities, neither team was able to put the ball over the line and leave with the win.

UCLA struck last, with the 89th-minute attempt needing all six feet two inches of Castillo to parry the ball over the post. 

The match ended 2-2, with both teams settling for a draw at the beginning of the second weekend of PAC-12 play. 

The Beavers remain at the top of the PAC-12 standings with eight points in four games.

The Beavers will go up against the San Diego State Aztecs at Paul Lorenz Field on Sunday, Oct. 8 at 12 p.m. The Aztecs are currently winless in PAC-12 play.

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