Men's Soccer Seniors Bow Out With Double OT Tussle
Nov. 9, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Seven Oregon State men's soccer seniors said farewell in front of family and friends on a chilly Friday afternoon with a 1-0 double overtime defeat at the hands of the No. 24 Washington Huskies.
After the hugs and handshakes of the pregame ceremony, the Beavers (6-9-3, 1-7-2) and Huskies displayed very little love toward each other. In fact, the only evidence of anything resembling head-over-heels behavior happened literally for Beaver goalkeeper Matt Bersano in the 80th minute. As Bersano came outside the box to negate a potentially dangerous scoring opportunity for the Huskies' James Moberg, the two men collided in mid-air, sending Bersano into a complete flip before smacking hard into the turf.
Bersano would stay in the match, and he finished with seven saves. The Huskies finally solved him in the 107th minute. Michael Uyehara had a shot blocked, but he recovered the rebound and beat Bersano to the right.
The Beavers did have a few opportunities late to go ahead. Emery Welshman had a point blank shot turned away in the opening minutes of the second half. In the first overtime, he tried a slick back-foot pass to Khiry Shelton inside the Washington box, but it was snuffed out by the Huskies' defense. Welshman finished his senior year with 10 goals and 24 points.
The best opportunity came later in the first overtime for Shelton. Cruising in on the right side, Shelton slid a shot just wide that was touched slightly by a Husky defender. Many of these Beavers were fighting injury throughout the second half of the season, and head coach Steve Simmons commended the effort his troops put forth.
"When you have thoroughbreds that are running around like Clydesdales, you don't get that performance that you're used to seeing," he said. "Having said that, I thought they fought bravely. All of them did."
While the results in the conference schedule didn't come to fruition for the team, sparks for the future definitely shown through. Besides Bersano's solid play in goal, forward Mikhail Doholis and Shelton will present problems for opposing defenses in 2013. On the Beavers back line, Will Seymore, Bjorn Sandberg and Brenden Anderson will offer plenty of support for Bersano and OSU's young goalkeeping corps.
"We've moved the needle forward," Simmons said. "We have to make sure these guys understand that the difference between where we are and where we want to be is very small."