CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State women’s soccer team closed its season-opening, five-game homestand with a solid 2-1 victory over Boise State on Sunday at Paul Lorenz Field.
Senior Helene Haavik scored her first goal of the season and junior Natalie Higgins notched her second for the Beavers (2-1-2). Oregon State generally controlled the game against the Broncos (1-4-0), who lost both games of their Willamette Valley road trip by 2-1 scores.
“Sunday games are always a bit of a grind and you want to get quality out of it. We did both,” head coach Linus Rhode said. “There were moments where we had to grind through it, and we were also able to get quality for the majority of the game. There are times where we are still a little frantic. We just have to learn how to settle down a little quicker and play our game.”
The Beavers led 1-0 at the break and built a 2-0 lead until Boise State broke through at 82:53 on a set play from just outside the 18-yard box. There were a few anxious moments in the final seven minutes, but the Beavers close it out to finish 1-0-1 on the weekend.
Haavik’s header at 15:27 was the only goal in the first half, when the Beavers outshot the Broncos 8-5 and held a 3-1 edge in corners.
Haavick outjumped a defender and nodded home a perfect left-to-right cross from Niki Faris; Emma Jones also assisted.
“That’s always great,” Rhode continued. “When you get an early goal, everybody just settles down a little more and you can be a little more relaxed. It helps us get into our groove a little more.”
Higgins made it 2-0 at 75:41 when she finished a nifty right-to-left run with a line shot from inside the box to the top shelf that beat keeper Tara Fisher. Higgins led the Beavers with two of their five shots on goal.
“We’ve talked quite a bit with the team about creating more chances,” Rhode said. “And we had a lot of close opportunities where we could have scored more. It was nice to get a win today. Through our five games we’ve been growing. Offensively we are looking the best we’ve looked in a long time and are creating a lot of opportunities.”
“One thing is, we have to close out games, take advantage of our opportunities. But that’s coming along, has been developing,” Rhode said. “Our defensive units are doing much better, have taken some strides over the last few games. It is not a finished product yet but things are looking very positive.”
The Beavers head to Michigan this week for matches against Michigan State and Eastern Michigan. They face the Spartans at 11 a.m. Friday in East Lansing, and take on the Eagles at 10 a.m. Sunday in Ypsilanti.
“It will be a fun road trip,” Rhode said. “It will be good for the team to be together on the road. You can get a lot of things done.”
It will be their first game against MSU and their second against EMU. The Beavers are 0-1 lifetime against the Eagles, which prevailed 1-0 in Corvallis on Sept. 7, 2014, in the only previous game between the teams.
For more information on the Oregon State women's soccer team, follow the team on Twitter and Instagram at @BeaverWSoccer or its Facebook page at BeaverWSoccer
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