Mueller’s Late Goal Lifts OSU Over No. 7 Cal
BERKELEY, Calif. – Freshman Timmy Mueller scored the game-winning with 12 seconds remaining in regulation, as the Oregon State men’s soccer team upset No. 7 California 4-3 in a back-and-forth match in Berkeley, Calif. The seventh-ranked Golden Bears are the highest-ranked team the Beavers have defeated since OSU topped No. 7 UCLA in 2004. The victory also gave the Beavers their first sweep of Cal since 2003.
“This was a game for the ages, there’s no doubt about that,” said head coach Steve Simmons. “I’m so proud of our team’s resilience, to do what we did on the road against a top-10 team. I told the team before the game to expect momentum shifts. We needed to make the most of our momentum swings, and dig in for theirs. It’s easier said than done, but that’s exactly what we did.”
It appeared Cal (10-4-1, 4-3-1 Pac-12) had forced overtime in the 89th minute, when it found the net to level the score at three, but Mueller’s clutch header following a cross from sophomore Michael Steele lifted the Beavers to victory. It was Mueller’s Pac-12 leading 11th goal of the season, as he set a new Oregon State (10-6-1, 3-4-1) freshman record for goals in a campaign.
“Our response after what could have been a deflating equalizer is what sets this year’s team apart,” Simmons said. “You have to believe and persevere, and we did that. When they tied the game, it became clear that both teams were going to try to win it. We’d been working on those back-shoulder runs all week. Timmy made a great run and Michael Steele came through with an exceptional pass.”
Oregon State held a two goal lead on two separate occasions, but both times the Golden Bears battled back to get within striking distance.
The Beavers jumped out to an early lead, scoring two goals within the first 10 minutes to put themselves in front. Senior Khiry Shelton tallied Oregon State’s first goal just over three minutes in, when fellow senior Will Seymore played a pass through the middle to put Shelton in on goal. Shelton made no mistake from there, as he finished off the chance.
Freshman Jordan Jones followed that up with a headed goal in the 10th minute off a cross from the right side to double the Beavers’ advantage. Oregon State continued to dominate the first half from there, and the Beavers almost added another when Jones found himself in on goal in the 16th minute, but his effort was saved. OSU proceeded to draw a penalty kick in the 21st, but the attempt was also saved. The Golden Bears were able to pull one back with just seconds left in the opening frame to cut the edge to 2-1 heading into the break.
The Beavers didn’t let up in the second half, as Jones found the net again in the 59th minute to return the advantage to two. It was Seymore again with the assist, as he set up Jones for a shot at the top of the box. Jones fired it into the bottom-left corner for his second of the day.
Shelton tested the keeper from distance in the 65th minute, but the chance was saved. The Bears got back within striking distance with a goal from a free kick in the 75th minute, before tying things up in the 89th, but Mueller’s last-second headed goal proved to be decisive.
“Getting to the 10-win plateau is massive,” Simmons said. “I told the team to enjoy this, because most of them will never play in a match like this again.”
Oregon State is back in action Sunday when it faces No. 10/1 Stanford.
- No. 7 Cal is the highest ranked team the Beavers have beaten since they topped No. 7 UCLA in 2004
- Oregon State swept Cal for the first time since 2003.
- Timmy Mueller set the Oregon State freshman record with 11 goals this season
- Mueller’s goal also ties him for fifth on the OSU single-season list
- Shelton moved into fourth on Oregon State’s single-season points list with 29
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