Senior Megan Miller heads a ball during the first half of OSU's season opening match vs. UAB. Her corner kick later on in the match would set up the game winning header combo to give the Beavers a hard fought 1-0 win.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State women’s soccer team started out their 2012 season with a 1-0 victory, thanks to a last minute goal off of the back of junior defender Morgan Kennedy. The ball, which bounced off of midfielder Jacy Drobney’s head with just 2:50 remaining, was delivered to the box on a corner kick by senior Megan Miller. With the win OSU moves to 1-0-0 on the season and UAB falls to 0-1-0.
The match was physical and hard fought throughout the first half as both teams headed into halftime without tallying a score. Oregon State and UAB combined for eight shots (four a-piece) during the first 45-minutes of play, with the Beavers coming out in the second half looking to get onto the scoreboard.
New OSU starting goalie Audrey-Bernier Larose was tested only once during the first half, but would see much more action in the following 45-minutes. That test would come early for the junior goal tender as she made a clutch save just five minutes into the second half from the foot of UAB forward Isabel Shanteau.
Both teams traded shots for the better part of the second period, with UAB goalie Courtnie Northern swatting away three shots from Beaver attackers. With the clock ticking down and overtime looming over the newly laid grass on Paul Lorenz Field, Miller took her post in the Northeast corner of the stadium for the corner kick. As the 87:10 mark approached Miller punted the ball, which glanced off of Drobney’s head on its way toward Kennedy’s back and finally past the outstretched arms of Northern.
The slim 1-0 margin would hold up for the Beavs’, thanks to a clutch save by Bernier-Larose with just 1:09 remaining in the contest. From there OSU closed out the Blazers for their first win of the season and Head Coach Linus Rhode celebrated his 50th win as Beaver coach. Oregon State is now 2-0 all-time against UAB, having taken Friday night’s contest 1-0, and another home tilt in 2006 by a score of 5-1.
The Beavers now rest for the weekend and then take the short trip up I-5 on Monday, where they will take on non-conference rival Portland at 7 p.m. at Merlo Field.
POST MATCH QUOTES
OSU Head Coach Linus Rhode On the tempo of the match… “It was exactly what we thought it would be. I know the (UAB) coach and I know what his approach is to the game, so that is what we expected. In the first half they were pressing hard, very aggressive and very direct, so we had to find a way through that.”
On maintaining possession during the first half… “In the first half we looked a little nervous and were playing a lot of one-touch soccer but we didn’t have to. I think it was also a reflection on the amount of pressure they were putting on us. We talked about it at half-time, made some adjustments and the second half was much more composed and the brand of soccer that we want to play.”
OSU Jr. Defender Morgan Kennedy On her game-winning goal… “Honestly it could have hit off of anyone, but I was just in the right spot at the right time. Megan’s cross was perfect and it could have deflected off of anyone, so I was lucky to be there.”
On how the goal was scored… “Everyone was just in the box and Megan (Miller) played a great serve. It hit Jacy’s head, while I was being pushed into the goal and it just rolled right off of my back into the goal.”
Senior Midfielder Megan Miller On the corner kick that led to the game-winning goal… “We had worked on corners and free kicks all day yesterday and we were hitting them so well. We have this great formation in the box that just causes chaos for their defense and I wanted to just get it into the mix because my first corner was off. With this one I wanted to just whip it in, get it in the mix and it had to go off someone.”
On what she saw as the game-winning goal was scored… “I couldn’t see anything from the corner and normally I get in the play afterwards but I was just frozen on the corner, just watching and waiting for it to go in. I didn’t even see it go in, I just saw all the girls starting to jump up and down.”
POST MATCH NOTES --OSU moves to 2-0 all-time versus UAB, with their first victory coming in 2006 (5-1 at Lorenz Field) --Linus Rhode won his 50th game as head coach of the Beaver women’s soccer program. He moves to 50-28-7 at OSU, which gives him a .588 winning pct. --Morgan Kennedy scored her second career goal, first in regulation. Her first career goal came during penalty kicks of last year’s First Round NCAA Tournament match against Portland. --A total of four Beavers made their collegiate debuts with freshmen Gwen Bieck and Olivia Lovell checking into the match as substitutions. Redshirt freshman Natalie Meiggs also made her OSU debut as a sub, while true freshman Audrey Gibb made tonight’s contest her first career start.
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