The No. 7 women’s soccer team hosted Oregon State yesterday afternoon in their first Pac-12 home game of the year, putting in an outstanding performance and defeating the Beavers 4-0.
The Trojans (6-1-1) started the game with immediate pressure on the Beaver defense, controlling the ball and possession in the opening minutes of the game. The first chance of the game resulted from a deflection off a Beaver defender in the second minute. The breakthrough came in the third minute when junior forward Leah Pruitt opened the scoring for the Trojans. The ball deflected off multiple Beavers defenders inside the penalty box, and it fell kindly to Pruitt’s foot, where she slotted it into the bottom right corner to give the Trojans an early lead.
The Trojans had another golden opportunity in the sixth minute, with a cross entering from the right wing into the penalty area, but no one could get a foot on it. The early pressure from the Trojans frustrated the Beavers, not knowing how to counter the relentlessness of the Trojan attack. The next chance for the Trojans came in the 13th minute with a low cross from the right wing entering the penalty box to the right foot of Pruitt. Pruitt had space inside the penalty area but only managed a shot over the crossbar.
The chances kept coming for the Trojans such as in the 16th minute when a shot from freshman midfielder Savannah DeMelo was deflected off the leg of a Beaver defender, going out of play for a corner kick. Another chance came in the 17th minute as Pruitt was one-on-one with the goalkeeper, having beat her defender. However, she was brought down inside the penalty box, with the referee deciding not to call a penalty.
A second goal came in the 20th minute off a corner kick from the left side. The ball flew in the air into the penalty box and an excellent headed effort by senior midfielder Nicole Molen doubled the lead for the Trojans. A third goal almost came a minute later when the Trojans, once again utilizing the right flank, had a shot roll only inches wide of the right post.
The first half continued in this fashion, with an injury to an Oregon State player halting the game in the 27th minute in a somber moment for both teams. At the end of the first half, the Trojans were dominating the game, controlling possession and maintained their 2-0 lead.
The Trojans started the second half just as they started the first, retaining possession and creating scoring opportunities. A prime opportunity arose in the 48th minute with a cross from the left wing was hit with a little too much pace, not allowing redshirt senior midfielder Samantha Rooney to get a head to it. Another opportunity came in the 50th minute with a Nicole Molen header going above the crossbar. The Trojans continued to apply massive amounts of pressure on the Beaver backline, with opportunities arising constantly.
The Beaver backline finally gave in the 68th minute when a shot by redshirt junior midfielder Sydney Myers, with the assistance of the goalpost, found the back of the net, extending the Trojan lead to 3-0. Pruitt marked the perfect ending to her afternoon with another goal in the 87th minute, with a low shot beating the Beaver goalkeeper in the left, bottom corner to make the final score 4-0.
Overall, it was a very strong and dominating performance for the Trojans, leaving the game with 26 shots (15 on target) while only conceding 2 shots (0 on target). It was a complete performance from both the Trojans attack and defense, making it impossible for Oregon State to get into a rhythm and provide a fight.
The Trojans will host Oregon on Sunday, hoping for another win to keep their undefeated Pac-12 season alive.