OSU women’s soccer caps off season with Civil War win

Beavers midfielder Nicole Nickerson dribbles up the field during the women’s last soccer game of the season Thursday, Nov. 2. 

Gunnar Boag, Sports Contributor

In her last appearance as an Oregon State Beaver, Emma Jones capped off her career with a game-winning free-kick to secure a victory over rival Oregon Ducks.

The 2017 Civil War, both teams’ final match of the season, was a back and forth affair. Both sides had good chances but struggled to find the back of the net.

“The Civil War is always intense,” Linus Rhode, Oregon State head coach, said. “I felt we had more of the run of play in the first half, and then there was a long spell in the second half where we just couldn’t get out. Emma finished off that free-kick as she always does. It was an awesome game, and I’m so happy for our seniors.”

Shots were traded in the first half with each team having five chances. Midfielder Natalie Higgins opened it up for Oregon State with the first shot on goal, which was saved by the Duck’s keeper.

Striker Taylor Lemmend had chances early, but could not convert the shots into goals. Both teams looked sound on defense going into halftime with the score even at 0-0.

The Ducks came out attacking in the second half, creating early chances. The Beaver defense held strong, not allowing any of the Ducks 14 shots past them.

In the 83rd minute, forward Lemmond drew a foul at the top of the Oregon 18-yard box. On the ensuing free-kick, Jones sent a rip into the top left corner, pulling the Beavers ahead 1-0.

Oregon State withstood a barrage of corner kicks—the Ducks took 12 in the second half. The Beavers came closest to allowing a goal in the 87th minute, when the ball rolled across the face of the goal before being booted away.

The Ducks last chance came in the 89th minute on a corner kick. The cross never stayed in bounds, securing the victory for the Beavers. As the whistle blew, the Oregon State bench flooded onto the field in celebration.

Goalkeeper Lizzy Coryell made her debut for the Beavers, keeping a clean sheet with six saves. Goalkeeper Bella Geist did not play in either of the team’s final two games.

“Lizzy was phenomenal today,” Rhode said. “She came on and made some fantastic saves. It was awesome to see.”

With Geist graduating from the program this year, there is a large spot to fill in the goalkeeper position. With Coryell’s first start, she said that despite her nerves, she was ready to go.

“I was nervous up until the whistle,” Coryell said, who noted that she did not know she would be starting until the night before the game. “The second the whistle blew, I was ready to go.”

The Beavers have a 13-9-4 series lead over the Ducks. Oregon State won 1-0 last year—off another Emma Jones game winner.

Along with the Civil War, Oregon State celebrated Senior Day before the game. Geist, Coryell, Emma Bergstrom, Kayla Latham, Nikki Faris, Emma Jones, Natalie Higgins, Kathryn Baker and Emmy Rodriguez were all honored in front of friends and family.

“It just goes by so fast,” Jones said. “My teammates have had a big impact on me because we have all just been here so long together and freshman year wasn’t our best year and being able to stick together and work through it to get to where we are now has really helped me believe in myself and believe it is easy to work really hard and get to where you want.”

The Beavers ended the season with a record of 6-10-3. The team went 3-7-1 in the Pac-12, beating Washington State, Utah and Oregon. They finished 8th in the conference.

Oregon State struggled to find the back of the net throughout the year, finishing the season with ten goals. Jones led the team with four goals while Higgins had two.

A bright spot for the team was the goalkeeper play, as Geist recorded six shutouts on the season. Geist finishes her career at Oregon State with 394 stops, setting a record at Oregon State for most career saves.

“My experience playing for Oregon State has been challenging in all the right ways,” Geist said. “It’s made me a better goalkeeper, it’s made me a better student in the classroom, I’ve grown as a person while I’ve been here and we’re in arguably the most competitive conference in the country.”

Head Coach Linus Rhode finished his 10th season with the team, holding the career wins total at Oregon State. He has taken the Beavers to the NCAA tournament three times in his career, but will miss it for the sixth straight year.