PORTLAND, Ore. – Led by goal keeper Audrey Burnier-Larose’s five saves and a goal by junior Brandi Dawson, the Oregon State Beavers women’s soccer team made history Monday night, defeating the Portland Pilots at home, 1-0. It was the first time in the 25-year history of the OSU program that a Beavers team had come into Merlo Field and walked away with a win. The victory improved OSU to 2-0 on the season, while the loss dropped the Pilots to an even 1-1.
The deciding goal came early on in the contest when a header by Dawson in the 25th minute put Oregon State up 1-0. The assist went to senior Megan Miller, who placed the ball perfectly in the box off of a corner kick for her second assist on the young season. Ironically enough Miller’s second assist was also the second time in as many matches that a corner kick of hers led to a winning score.
While Dawson’s goal gave Oregon State the lead they needed, Bernier-Larose’s sure hands enabled her team to maintain their slim margin for the remainder of the match. The first-year starter made four of her five saves in the first 45 minutes including a pair within a 60 second stretch. Her first came at the 33:07 mark on a shot by Portland’s Michelle Cruz and then her second just a minute and change later. Not finished being tested by a talented Pilot offense, Bernier-Larose made clutch saves in the both the 39th and 40th minutes as her team headed into the locker room up by a point.
The second half showcased a strong defensive effort by the Beavers, allowing only one shot in Bernie-Larose’s direction which she stopped from tying the match. All in all the Pilot offense fired off nine shots, five of which made their way toward the goal. Oregon State mustered just three shots during the 90-minute contest, with one of them going on goal, but it was that lone header that counted and gave the Beaver women the historic victory.
Oregon State is now 2-23-1 all-time against Portland, with a 1-14-0 record at Merlo Field. Not only was this the first road victory for OSU in this non-conference series, but it was also the first home loss for UP since Oct. 21, 2011, when they lost to Santa Clara, 2-1.
The Beavers having won two matches in four days, now rest until their return trip to the Rose City when they take on Portland State, Friday at 12 p.m.
OSU Head Coach Linus Rhode
On the victory…
“Playing Portland is always a big game for us. We were knocked out by them in the playoffs last year and we had never beaten them here. It’s always been a huge challenge, so to do it is a big moment for the program.”
On his team’s game plan…
“We knew that when they’re here at home, they attack and then they use the full width, so we knew that set plays were going to important. We also knew that as the game progressed they were going to push for a goal so we needed to make sure that we had good balance between the defense and the attack.”
On the play of goalie Audrey Bernier-Larose…
“Audrey was like a cat in goal tonight. She made some very good saves particularly in the first half when some balls slipped through and rebounded out. She had to come up big two or three times to make a clutch save so she did her job. She definitely showed up tonight and did a fantastic job for the team.”
On the goal by Brandi Miller and assist by Megan Miller…
“Megan Miller’s delivery off of free kicks is very precise and very accurate. She hits the spot she wants to hit and Brandi is phenomenal in the air, so we are always trying to find her around the goal and hopefully she puts one away. Thank goodness she did tonight for the game-winning goal.”
Junior midfielder Brandi Dawson
On beating Portland at home for the first time in program history…
“They are a pretty big rivalry for us so it was really good to finally come out and beat them. Every single time we come up against them it’s a battle, so to finally beat them it was great. We had some of the older players (here tonight) that were really excited about the win too because they were trying all four years as well.”
On the game winning goal…
“It was just a perfect ball in from Megan and we had been working on set-pieces, so Ollie (Olivia Lovell) freed me up. I had nobody marking me because she (Lovell) was able to do that and then it was a just a simpler header that I put it away.”
Junior goal keeper Audrey-Bernier Larose
On how many shots Portland took on her Monday night…
“I knew they were going to take a lot of shots on me but I am always ready.”
On the significance of the win…
“It means a lot… it means that we are going to have a great season.”
--Audrey Bernier-Larose made her second straight start in goal for the Beavers, giving her more starts in two matches during 2012 than she had throughout the entire 2011 campaign.
--Megan Miller’s assist in the 25th minute was not only her second assist of the year, but was the second time in as many matches a corner kick off of her foot led to the game-winning score.
--Freshman midfielder Olivia Lovell made her first career start Monday night, in what was only her second collegiate match.
--Linus Rhode won his 51st career match as OSU head coach, putting him just four away from passing Tom Rowney (1992-97) for third place on the all-time list.