Beavers Top Dukes, Win Hensor/Zaher
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State men’s soccer team clinched the Hensor/Zaher Nike Classic title Sunday afternoon, as it defeated Duquesne 2-1 at Paul Lorenz Field. The victory was the Beavers’ second in a row over an opponent that was both undefeated and receiving votes in the NSCAA Poll.
“This game reminded me a lot of games we’ve had against certain opponents in the Pac-12,” said head coach Steve Simmons. “It was physical, and there were a lot of first and second balls. This week we played two teams that came in here undefeated, and when you can beat teams that are in good form, that’s a good sign.”
Sophomore Devonte Small found the net for the second-consecutive match, and freshman Timmy Mueller scored the game-winning goal to lift the Beavers (5-1-0) over the Dukes (3-1-2).
The Beavers nearly got on the board in the 16th minute, when Mueller and fellow freshman Graham Smith both placed headers on frame in quick succession following a corner kick. The Duquesne goalie made a pair of saves, however to keep the game scoreless.
The Dukes were able to take the lead in the 31st minute, as Kadeem Pantophlet put Duquesne on top with a header.
The advantage would not last long, though, as Oregon State responded by leveling the score less than two minutes later, when Small capitalized on a scramble in the Duquesne box by firing the ball into the roof of the net. Small now has nine points this season. Senior Khiry Shelton was credited with an assist on the play, bringing his total to nine points.
After entering the break tied at one, the Beavers were able to take the lead just 12 minutes into the second half, as Mueller hit a shot from 15 yards out that snuck inside the far post to make the score 2-1. The tally was Mueller’s third of the season, giving him seven points on the year.
After falling behind, the Dukes began to press forward, but the centerback pairing of senior Will Seymore and redshirt-freshman Jalen Markey held firm, as the Beavers held the Dukes off the board in the final 45 minutes. Freshman goalkeeper Nolan Wirth did well to control his box, coming out decisively to catch balls out of the air, and making a diving save in the 70th minute to preserve the Beaver advantage.
Elsewhere in the Hensor/Zaher Classic, Siena defeated Portland 2-1 in overtime. The Beavers finished first in the event with six points, followed by Siena in second (three points) and Duquesne and Portland tied for third (one point apiece).
“This is an important tournament to the program, and it’s important to me as well,” Simmons said. “I was thrilled to have four quality teams involved. The games were well played and well coached. In my opinion, I think there are NCAA Tournament teams coming out of this event. I wish all of the teams involved the best of luck going forward.”
Oregon State will return to action on Thursday, when it hosts Portland at 7 p.m.
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