EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Oregon State men’s soccer team suffered its first loss of the 2013 season Friday evening, as the Beavers fell 1-0 to Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich.
“It was a hard-fought game like we expected it to be,” said head coach Steve Simmons. “We went up against a very good Michigan State team that is going to win a lot of games this year. We came up a little bit short, but I think there is a lot for us to build on.”
The Oregon State (2-1-0) defense held strong through the first half, but Michigan State (2-0-0) finally broke through in the 60th minute. Ryan Thelen ended the deadlock by whipping a corner kick into the box that wrapped around the goalie and curled inside the far post to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead. The score was the first goal conceded by Oregon State this season.
“It was one of those odd plays that sometimes results in a goal,” Simmons said. “I think it caught both Michigan State and Oregon State players by surprise when it went in, but that’s soccer for you sometimes.”
The Beavers pressed forward in the final 30 minutes in search of an equalizer. Oregon State had a strong scoring chance in the 77th minute on a header from senior Daniel Van Vleet off a cross from sophomore Mikhail Doholis, but Michigan State goalkeeper Zach Bennett came up with the save to preserve the advantage for the Spartans.
“In the second half we made some adjustments, and I thought we created some of the best scoring chances we’ve had all year,” Simmons said. “I think we were a little bit unlucky not to tie the game up.”
The Beavers were outshot 16-9 in the contest, and Michigan State outpaced Oregon State 9-0 on corner kicks, with six of those corners coming in the opening frame. Sophomore goalkeeper Matt Bersano recorded six saves in the losing effort, while classmate Bjorn Sandberg led the Beavers with two shots in his first start of the season.
The Beavers will continue their first road trip of the 2013 season Sunday when they take on Oakland.