The Utah Valley men’s soccer club played a scoreless draw against the #5 Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis, Oregon on Monday, Aug. 29. Defense was the theme of the bout, with both team’s goalies coming up with key saves in the matchup.
Utah Valley goalie Jason Smith was a key performer, with two huge saves to preventing the Beavers from taking the lead in the 34th and 53rd minutes of play.
Offensively, the Wolverines had their chances, with nine shots, five of which were on goal however they were all saved by OSU keeper Luis Castillo. Ura Miura led the Wolverines with three shots and two shots on goal. Despite being out-shot 14-9, the Wolverines had three more shots at the net than OSU.
The Wolverines first chance came in the eighth minute, as Miura fired a shot right down the middle of the net that was saved by Castillo. The teams traded possession back and forth until OSU’s Ellis Spikner fired a ground ball down the middle of the net that was saved by Smith.
Shortly after, the Wolverines would get their second chance, as Alejandro Silva fired a shot top center of the net in the 38th minute that was also saved. In a defensive centered first half, neither team got another scoring chance.
Things opened up more in the second half and both teams had chances to take control of the game, but neither goalie gave an inch. In the 53rd minute Smith would get his second and most crucial save, as OSU’s Gael Gilbert fired a shot to the bottom left corner of the post. The Beavers would not get another shot on goal for the rest of the bout.
The Wolverines had a series of chances to win the match as the clock winded down, the first coming from Miura, who’s shot at the bottom right corner of the net was saved in the 56th minute. 2021-22 WAC Freshman of the year Diego Castillo had a chance in the 74th minute that was saved as he looked to strike down the center of the net.
Alejandro Silva picked up the Wolverine’s lone yellow card in the 85th minute for unsporting, a stark change of pace from their matchup against UC Riverside, where the club picked up seven yellow and one red card.
It looked as if the Wolverines might pull off a last-minute winner, as Ben Ortiz found a chance in the 85th minute with a shot at the bottom left corner of the net but the attempt was saved by Castillo.
The Wolverines face a quick turnaround, as they next face another top-5 opponent in #3 Washington. The Wolverines faced off against the Huskies last season, where they were also ranked #3. In that matchup the Wolverines lost a heart-breaker in overtime at Clyde Field. The Wolverines look to avenge last years defeat Friday, Sep. 2. The match kicks off at 8:30 p.m. MT and can be streamed on the Pac-12 Network.
Sports Editor and Senior Staff Writer
Senior at Utah Valley University majoring in applied communications.