Pair of Hat-Tricks Help Beavers Beat Cal
Hat tricks by Shelton, Mueller topple No. 13 Cal
Corvallis, Ore. – Senior Khiry Shelton and freshman Timmy Mueller each scored the three-goal hat trick on Sunday to power the Oregon State men’s soccer team to a 6-2 victory over 13th-ranked California at Lorenz Field.
The Beavers (8-3-0, 1-1-0 Pac-12) scored in the first minute and convincingly earned their biggest win in several seasons. They exploded for four goals in the final 27 minutes after the Golden Bears (6-3-0, 0-2-0 Pac-12) had erased a 2-0 deficit with two scores early in the second half.
“They got two goals on us and tied it up, but we brought energy,” weathered the storm, and eventually pulled away, said Shelton, who added an assist to increase his team-leading point total to 24 (7 goals, 10 assists).
“That’s what these guys can do. We can hang with anybody in the conference. I believe it, and the whole team believes it. Today we proved it.”
It was OSU’s first victory over a ranked opponent since a 2-1 triumph over No. 22 Washington on Sept. 30, 2011. It also helped ease the sting of a 1-0, 88th-minute setback to Stanford on Thursday night in their Pac-12 opener.
“It was a great comeback,” OSU coach Steve Simmons said. “When you drop a result in that manner like we did on Thursday, you’re angry. Our guys were angry today and I think you saw that in the first 10 minutes.
“They had an agenda. The difference between today and Thursday night was being clinical,” and finishing scoring chances. “If we had been clinical on Thursday night, we’d be 2-0 in conference.
“There is no doubt we proved we can compete in this conference. The guys earned that. You want to believe you can score in every game, that’s the way you win. Putting six up today was brilliant. The guys were resilient against a very dynamic Cal team.
“They got their two, we hunkered down, and shifted the momentum back. I was very proud of the guys.”
OSU quickly ended its offensive drought just 54 seconds into the game when Mueller’s through pass sent Shelton in alone on Cal keeper Alex Mangels. Shelton confidently buried a right-footed shot from inside the box for his fifth goal of the season.
Mueller made it 2-0 at 20:35 by driving home the rebound of his own shot, originally blocked by Mangels with a diving save. Shelton got the assist.
The halftime advantage was short-lived, however. Cal’s Trevor Haberkorn halved the lead at 53:47 after an extended scramble in front and the Bears pulled even at 58:06 when Paul Salsedo redirected a cross.
Shelton notched the game-winner on a counterattack at 63:38. He won a contested ball about 40 yards in front of the goal, held off a defender, dribbled to his right to evade Mangels and then slammed a shot from a difficult angle.
He credited strength and conditioning coach Juan Martinez for training that has added muscle and made him much tougher to knock off the ball.
“He’s been pushing me,” Shelton said of Martinez, “and I feel it. I’m knocking guys off the ball, being the big body I need to be.”
Shelton completed his hat trick at 75:29, assisted by Michael Steele and Spencer Klewano.
“I’m thankful,” he said. “Those guys work hard so I get options and chances like that.”
Mueller scored at 80:12 and 80:57 to attain his hat trick and to secure the coveted three points for the Beavers. He leads the team with nine goals.
“We can’t dwell on one loss; it’s a marathon,” Mueller said. “You have to keep going. That was our mentality coming into the game and we all came through, we all did our roles.
“After they got the second goal, Khiry just looked at me and said, ‘Everything is going to be OK.’ Then I looked back at (senior defender) Will Seymore and they were so calm.
“It was reassuring that it was just a tie, and like we were starting the game again. We scored in the first minute so we knew we could do it again. Having [Shelton and Seymore] being so calm and collected was good. Those captains held us through that 2-2 tie.”
The hat tricks were the first for the Beavers since Emery Welshman turned the trick against Wisconsin-Green Bay on Sept. 21, 2012. Former World Cupper Robbie Findley was the last Beaver with a conference trifecta, against Washington on Nov. 14, 2004.
“Robbie’s the man here,” Shelton said of Findley, now with Real Salt Lake in MLS. “I’m blessed.”
The Beavers resume Pac-12 action on Sunday, Oct. 12, with a 3 p.m. game with Washington at Lorenz Field. It will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.
For more information on the Oregon State men’s soccer team, follow the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/OSUBeavers_MSOC.
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