With the end of a spectacular baseball season, we’re in a bit of a lull for Beaver sports. That’s not going to last long however, as soccer season is just about to get started.
It’s going to be an interesting season for the women’s team. They struggled to a 6-10-3 finish, and lost the core of the team to graduation. It’s going to be a tough road to get the squad back to the NCAA tournament, but there’s a lot to be excited about for this team.
Bella Geist - Goalkeeper: One of the best goalies the Pac 12 has ever seen. In her career at Oregon State, Geist totaled 392 saves, the most ever by a Beaver, and the third most all time in the Pac 12. Geist is taking her talents just slightly to the north, she was drafted by the Portland Thorns earlier this year.
Emma Jones - Forward: Jones was the Beavers’ main scoring threat last year. In 2017 Jones had 4 of the team’s 10 goals, and 2 assists. For the season, she had 50 shots and 23 shots on goal. Jones goals also came at clutch times. She scored the game winner in the 1-0 victory in the Civil War. She also scored the game winners against Utah, Washington State, and Seattle.
Natalie Higgins - Midfielder: Higgins was one of the Beavers’ other big scoring threats. She scored the team’s first goal of the season in a win over Seattle. She finished the year with 2 goals and 2 assists. She took 25 shots with 11 shots on goal.
Allison Pantuso - Midfielder: Pantuso is this year’s winner of the Benny Award for Women’s Soccer MVP. Pantuso has become one of the best defensive players in the Pac 12, and for her senior season, should be making life hell for anyone trying to score on the Beavers.
Taylor Lemmond - Forward: The Beavers will need someone to fill in following the lost of their main scoring threats, and Lemmond looks like she could be poised to fill that role. She scored the first goal of her collegiate career against Stanford, one of the toughest teams in the nation and the eventual NCAA Champions.
Lizzy Coryell - Goalkeeper: It will be tough to replace a goalkeeper as talented as Geist, but the Beavers have a couple options available. Coryell is perhaps the most interesting. She got the start in the Civil War victory, posting a clean sheet with 6 saves. If she can turn in more performances like that, the Beavers should be set.
The Beavers had a very interesting signing class this year. You can read more about them over at the team’s website, but I’d like to highlight a few.
Bridgette Skiba - Goalkeeper: Skiba could be another answer for the Beavers in the goal. She regularly pitched shutouts during her high school career.
Ilihiananiohawaiiloa Keawekane - Various Positions: Keawekane has a lot of experience playing for club teams, and attended the National Team’s Under 14 Camp in Portland. According to the team she has a versatile skill set, and could play in a few different positions.
Taylie Liddell - Defender: Another strong defensive option could really help the Beavers out, and Liddell looks like she could provide the sort of tools OSU needs. She won numerous Defensive Player of the Year awards during her high school career in California.
Things get started for the Beavers on August 17th, when the Clemson Tigers come to town. Pac 12 play will begin on September 21, with a home game against Colorado. For the full schedule, go here.
The Pac 12 is perhaps the toughest conference in the nation. Two Pac 12 teams were finalists for last year’s NCAA Championship, with Stanford defeating UCLA. 5 other Pac 12 teams made the tournament. It’s going to be hard for the Beavers to find success right away, but there is a lot of talent on this team, and it’s going to be exciting to see how they develop.