Southern Methodist brought a bruising, physical style of play to Corvallis, but it was the Beavers who came out on top, grabbing a 2-1 victory to advance to the second round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament.
Oregon State grabbed the offensive momentum early in the match, keeping most of the action on SMU’s half of the field. Gloire Amanda managed some good shots, but it was Sofianne Djeffal who drew first blood. In the 25th minute Amanda made a fantastic crossing pass to Don Tchilao, who headed it into the air right in front of Djeffal, who headed it straight into the net.
The team kept the pressure up for the rest of the half, but couldn’t find a second goal despite some great shots.
In the second, the Mustangs regrouped, and found the pressure they’d been lacking earlier. The Beavers’ goalkeeper Adrian Fernandez made some fantastic saves to keep SMU off the scoreboard, but in the 69th minute, SMU finally scored to tie the game up 1-1.
OSU was having none of that. Less than a minute after the Mustangs’ goal, Don Tchilao grabbed control of the ball in SMU’s corner, and passed it to a wide open Eric Diaz. Diaz took his time to line up the perfect shot, and buried it in the back of the goal to take back the lead, 2-1.
The Beavers never let SMU get back into the game after that, controlling most of the possession. SMU managed a couple of nice opportunities, but their frustration was building. In the final minute of regulation, they got perhaps their best shot, but Fernandez made a fantastic play to catch the ball. On the play SMU’s Philip Ponder collided with Fernandez in mid-air, and for awhile it appeared Fernandez might not return to the game. He managed to return and finish out the last 15 seconds of the game. Ponder got himself a yellow card.
Check out tonight’s goals below.
Terry Boss is putting together quite a resume in his first season as Oregon State’s head coach. After winning Pac-12 Coach of the Year a couple days ago, he earned his first post season win tonight.
Don Tchilao has got to be your man of the match tonight, earning an assist on both Beaver goals and managing 3 shots of his own. He was a nightmare for the Mustangs to deal with, slipping through defenders and burning them with his speed.
Fernandez put up a brilliant game. He only made three saves, but each required incredible playmaking, and he sealed the win for the Beavers in the final seconds.
The Beavers will next take on St. Mary’s in Moraga, California on Sunday, November 18th. The Gaels are the ninth overall seed in this year’s tournament, and could be the toughest team the Beavers have played this season, but after wins like tonight’s, and the victory over Stanford earlier this year, you’ve got to feel like the Beavers have a chance in any game.