Since starting their conference schedule, the OSU Men’s Soccer team has struggled to find wins. They beat Washington 4-2, but then fell to San Diego State and UCLA in two 0-1 losses. The Beavers needed a big win to keep their season alive and they got one on Thursday night.
Stanford came into Corvallis the #10 team in the nation and a three-time defending champion. Oregon State started the match off hot, with Joel Walker and Gloire Amanda both getting early shots off that just missed.
Finally, in the 23rd minute, Sofiane Djeffal fed a great pass to Glorie Amanda, and Amanda slipped it past the Stanford goalkeeper to give the Beavers a 1-0 lead. The goal is Amanda’s fifth of the season, tying him for the team lead.
The Beavers kept up the pressure in the first half, but couldn’t get another goal. Stanford could not get anything past Oregon State’s defense. The Cardinal managed four shots, two on goal, but Beaver goalie Adrian Fernandez saved both of them.
The Beavers protected their 1-0 lead in the second half despite an increase in Stanford pressure. Fernandez managed another four saves, including an amazing diving block in the 89th minute to preserve the Beaver lead.
Amanda and Don Tchilao both found a few more opportunities for shots, but couldn’t get anything past Stanford goalie Andrew Thomas. The Beavers needed everything Fernandez had to preserve the victory, and he delivered.
The victory over Stanford isn’t just the biggest win of the season. It might be the Beavers’ biggest win of the last 5 years. Stanford is a perennial national power, and while this year’s team isn’t as strong as the club that just won three state national titles, it’s still one of the best in the nation.
It might be time for the rest of the country to take a hard look at just how good this Oregon State team is. Their next match will be Sunday, October 14th, when they’ll host California at Lorenz Field. The game starts at 1:00 PM, so get down there and support the team if you can.