CORVALLIS – Freshman forward Shea O’Connor scored her first Oregon State goal in style, sending the Beavers home with a 1-0 overtime win over Portland State Friday evening by virtue of her 94th-minute golden strike.
“This is a huge credit to our team,” said head coach Linus Rhode. “We stuck to what was working for us and generated a lot of chances. We didn’t get frustrated, and at the end of the day we deserved the win. It was a really nice way to finish overtime.”
O’Connor’s goal came on a cross from defender Ashleigh Fonsen, after the Beavers (3-1-2) had dominated the majority of the match. The forward directed the ball past the keeper and into the net from close range to send the Paul Lorenz Field crowd home happy.
As a team, the Beavers held a 21-6 advantage in shots, including a 15-3 edge in attempts in the second half and overtime. The Beavers also tallied an 8-1 lead in corner kicks. Senior goalkeeper Bella Geist was called into action just once, making her lone save in the first half on her way to her fourth clean sheet of the season.
Senior Natalie Higgins nearly found the breakthrough in the 18th minute, placing a shot off the inside of the left post. The senior’s follow-up effort was blocked, and the chance passed. Higgins followed that up by forcing a diving save in the 34th minutes.
Paula Leblic provided a threat down the left-hand side throughout the first half, culminating in a shot from distance that was blocked in the 42nd minute.
Allison Pantuso created the first Beaver scoring chance of the second half, narrowly missing the top corner in the 51st minute with a scorcher from 20 yards out. Leblic followed that up with an effort from 16 yards out in the 58th, but the shot was blocked.
Nicole Nickerson made a run past the Viking defense in the 65th minute, but her effort ricocheted off a PSU defender and out of play. Portland State (2-4-0) nearly found the net against the run of play in the 70th minute, when a shot hit a Beaver defender and bounced off the crossbar.
O’Connor nearly got the breakthrough shortly after coming on as a substitute, but her 74th-minute effort curled just wide of the post. Emma Jones came close to getting on the end of a cross for an easy tap-in five minutes later, but the forward could not connect with the ball in the box. Nikki Faris and Diana Santiago both had chances to put the Beavers in front in the final two minutes of regulation, but Oregon State could not find the breakthrough and the match headed to overtime.
O’Connor finally ended the match less than four minutes into the extra period.
The Beavers will remain at home Monday, when they host BYU at 5 p.m. That game will air live on Pac-12 Networks.
For updates on Oregon State women’s soccer, follow the team on Twitter or Instagram @BeaverWSoccer.
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