OSU men’s soccer finishes preseason with 2-2 tie against the University of Portland

Josh Enas, Sports Contributor

Beavers respond twice heading into regular season play


The Oregon State men’s soccer team finished their preseason by battling to a 2-2 draw against University of Portland on Friday night at Paul Lorenz Field.

The visitors took the lead twice, but on each occasion the resilient Beavers fought back to conjure up an equalizing goal.

“It’s huge to take at least a point out of this game and to rally back after going down twice,” said junior forward Jordan Jones. “I think that shows character in our team.”

The game’s first goal came early on, as the Beavers’ defense fell asleep momentarily on a quickly-taken free kick. This allowed UP midfielder Eddie Sanchez to play a simple ball between OSU’s center backs to Jackson Jellah, who set up forward Malcolm Dixon for an easy finish at the back post.

“It was a slip of miscommunication off the free kick,” said junior Nolan Wirth, who returns as the team’s starting goalkeeper. “Our backs were turned and they punished us, but we took what happened and became a lot more solid going into the second half.”

The remainder of the first half was characterized by an ebb and flow of possession from each team. Jones produced the Beavers’ most noteworthy chance of the first half when he collected the ball 20 yards out, created space between his markers, fired just wide of the post; but a combined three shots on target in the first 45 minutes spoke to each team’s inability to assert itself in the attacking third of the field.

“We’re moving the ball pretty well; but when we decide to attack and go, we need to [give] one hundred percent,” said junior forward Timmy Mueller address the Beavers’ lack of attacking threat in the first half.

The Beavers came out on the front foot in the second half. They gave the fans some early excitement when Jones laid the ball off to redshirt sophomore midfielder Alex Segovia, who blasted a first-time shot just inches over the crossbar. The shot missed so narrowly that the ball got trapped in the outside of the netting, causing many fans to celebrate what appeared to be an excellent goal.

Oregon State did a better job of maintaining possession in the final third during the first fifteen minutes of the second half; but had still only registered one shot on target until the 76th minute, when redshirt junior defender Jalen Markey supplied the first equalizer by rising above his marker to head in a corner kick from redshirt sophomore defender CJ Brill.

The goal capped off a solid performance from Markey, who made a pair of crucial interceptions early in the first half as well as a few well-timed tackles.

Sophomore midfielder Don Tchilao provided a late spark for the Beavers’ offense. His volleyed shot into a group of Portland defenders in the 75th minute produced appeals for a handball, and his excellent dribble down the middle of the field in the 80th minute gave the home team a late opportunity to threaten Portland’s goal. Neither opportunity proved to be fruitful for the Beavers, however. The game was tied at goal apiece after 90 minutes.

An additional 30-minute period was played after regulation, giving both coaches an opportunity to field the remainder of their squads. The introduction of fresh legs for both sides resulted in a greatly increased tempo. The teams combined for 24 shots in the extra time, 10 of which were on target.

University of Portland took the lead once again in the 101st minute, when they were awarded a penalty kick after one of their players was brought down in OSU’s box. Freshman midfielder Erik Edwardson took the penalty superbly, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way and placing the ball in the top corner.

Oregon State created some chances of their own in additional time. Sophomore Davis Chimento found himself all alone to receive a cross in the 95th minute, but he fluffed his header wide of the goal. He managed to make up for the miss later on, however, as a deflected shot from midfielder Jesse Garcia ended up at his feet and he slotted home coolly from 12 yards to level the score at  2-2.

The Beavers will look to build upon their preseason performances as they begin the regular season by hosting the Hensor/Zaher Nike Classic against DePaul next Friday and against Wright State on Aug. 28.

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