The cool rain could not stop the Beavers from getting off to a hot start in the men’s soccer game on Saturday. Portland State’s early mistakes were taken advantage of at Stott Field, as Oregon State University converted on their first two scoring chances, jumping ahead 2-0 and setting the tone for the match. The Beavers scored again on a penalty kick midway through the second half and held on for a 3-0 victory.
The Vikings, keenly aware of OSU’s size advantage and aggressive game plan, sought to control possession and make precise passes to relieve defensive pressure. “We knew what we were going to see out here today,” head coach Jamey Berg said. “We’ve played them in years past and they pretty much have the same approach.” The early deficit only made it more difficult for PSU to relax and settle into their game plan.
During halftime, Berg stressed adherence to the game plan and more thorough communication among his players. PSU’s improvement in the second half was apparent, but OSU warded off a series of shots on goal early in the half with strong goaltending. What momentum PSU had gained was more or less thwarted when OSU delivered on a penalty kick and increased the lead to three.
Berg commented that the team’s mental performance was its downfall on Saturday. “A lot of the guys, after the game, said, ‘I wasn’t really in the game. I wasn’t there mentally,’” he said. They had a clear plan and had success when they executed, but they were not consistent enough to erase the deficit.
The club will have ample time to regroup before their next home match, when they will face the University of Oregon on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. After that they will host the University of Portland and Portland Community College.
For more information, fans can go to psumenssoccer.wix.com/psu-soccer.