Men’s soccer rues missed opportunities, looks for rebound on Friday

Josh Enas, Multimedia Contributor


That was the way Oregon State’s men’s soccer coach Steve Simmons described the mood amongst his team on Wednesday afternoon.

A run of four games without a win to open conference play has left the Beavers in fifth place in the six-team Pac-12 conference, with a tally of two points out of a possible twelve. And if their record suggests that the team is unable to keep pace with their conference opponents, their performances indicate that the reality is anything but that.

Through four games in the Pac-12, the Beavers have registered more shots and more shots on target than their opponents; and twice they have out-shot their opponents by double figures.

In their opening game at San Diego State, the Beavs rang up twenty shots—including seven on frame—against the best defense in the Pac-12 and dominated proceedings for much of the game. A late red card for the Aztecs gave OSU an even greater foothold, but they were unable to find a goal to break the 1-1 tie.

From there, the Beavers traveled to UCLA, where two second half goals in two minutes for the Bruins proved to be too much for the Beavers to overcome, the game was not without its misfortunes for Oregon State: a shot from senior Devonte Small in the first half to give the Beavers the lead was judged to have not crossed the goal line. Replays suggested that the call could have gone either way.

The Beavers returned home to take on California in a thrilling 2-2 draw. Oregon State again put in a strong offensive performance, which was met with an equally inspired performance by the Bears’ goalkeeper. Freshman Nick Callender produced an astounding nine saves for Cal to keep the score level at the final whistle.

Sunday’s game against Stanford left the Beavers feeling hard done by yet again, as both teams cancelled each other out for two halves and much of extra time; but a golden goal from Stanford senior Tomas Hilliard-Arce sent the Beavers away empty-handed.

“[The players] are frustrated because they know how close it is,” said Simmons. “We just need to take our chances better, and we’re actually doing the hard part—the hard part is creating them—usually the easier part is finishing them.”

The run of tough results serves as extra motivation for the Beavers to pick up a win against their rivals in the University of Washington on Friday afternoon.

OSU senior defender Matt Arbogast says the team is desperate to pick up a result against the 22nd-ranked Huskies. “Washington is always a must-win,” he said, “No matter where we’re at in the standings we’re always going to come out on fire against Washington.”

A win on Friday will undoubtedly feel long overdue to the Beavers, and claiming all three points in a heated rivalry game could prove to be a massive boost for the team as they will seek to get what their performances deserve in the second half of Pac-12 play.

Junior forward and team captain Jordan Jones is looking for just that. “Definitely,” he said, “Games against Washington are always wild and super physical. We’re excited and we’ll be ready.”

Kick off against the Huskies is on Friday at 4:00 PM at Paul Lorenz Field.

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