Oregon State Defeats Washington 10-5 to Advance in PNCLL Playoffs
By Dan Wishengrad
The visiting Oregon State Beavers won a convincing 10-5 playoff win at Washington on Saturday afternoon. They avenged an early season regular loss 11-9 against the Huskies With the victory, OSU advances to into the PNCLL semi-finals, where they will face the Oregon Ducks next weekend at Wilsonville H.S. south of Portland.
On a cool, but gloriously sunny afternoon in Seattle, both defenses exerted themselves early and served notice that goals were going to be tough to come by. Sophomore Attackman Jake Beutler opened the scoring four minutes into the game for OSU, but Freshman Midfielder Eliot Adams answered for UW halfway through the opening period and the score was tied at 1-1. Frosh Middie Alex Spang gave the Beavers a 2-1 lead with a goal at 3:47, and then following a UW timeout with under a minute to play, the Huskies were assessed a three-minute non-releasable penalty for use of an illegal crosse, which extended into the the second quarter.
But the Huskies man-down defense rose to the challenge, with freshman Goalie Spencer Adams making a nice save to deny Oregon State, and UW was able to clear and possess long enough to kill off the penalty. The score remained unchanged as the teams went back-and-forth for the next nine minutes of play. Junior Attackman Ian Fetis of OSU broke the scoring drought with just over five minutes left in the second quarter, and then OSU won the ensuing faceoff and took advantage only seconds later, with Sophomore Midfielder Adrian MacAlalad converting for a transitiion goal which extended the Beavers' lead to 4-1, which held up until halftime. Oregon State's zone defense had frustrated Washington for the first thirty minutes, as the Huskies committed numerous turnovers trying to force passes inside and took a few too many low percentage outside shots which either missed the cage or were turned away easily by the Oregon State Goalkeeper.
The second half began with UW finally clicking offensively and getting some better looks. Sophomore Co-Captain Chris Brown pulled the Dawgs within two less than a minute into the third quarter, and was followed quickly by a pretty drive from behind and finish by freshman Attackman Forrrest Dayton, and the OSU lead was cut to 4-3. But the Beavers answered at 12:08 with another freshman, Reed Oliver, scoring a goal to push the lead back to 5-3. When Sophomore Attackman Josh Redhair converted off a nice assist from Adams, UW had fought to a one-goal deficit again and trailed 5-4 with ten and a half minutes remaining in the third.
Unfortunately that would be as close as the Huskies would get in the game. The OSU zone continued to frustrate UW, and the Beavers were also riding hard and forcing numerous failed clearing attempts by the Dawgs. Oregon State's Ryan Squires pushed the lead back to two with a goal at 7:36, and the Beavers then got another score by Beutler to make it 7-4 with 3:27 left in the quarter. Dayton's second goal of the game pulled Washington back within two at 7-5 thirty seconds later, setting up one of the game's strangest but most crucial plays.
OSU won the ensuing faceoff and got into settled offense in the period's final two minutes. A cutting middie, MacAlalad, was well covered but the Beavers forced a tough pass into him in front of the goal anyway. Defensive pressure denied him a chance to catch the pass, but the ball deflected 90 degrees off the shaft of his stick and richocheted past Goalie Adams and into the net. OSU led 8-5, and the freak goal seemed to deflate UW a little and stem any momentum the Dawgs had gained as the final seconds ticked off to end the quarter.
The 4th quarter was, unfortunately for Washington, dominated by Oregon State. Beutler got another score to complete his hat-trick only 15 seconds into the final period, giving the Beavs a 9-5 lead. Although the game had had relatively few penalties called through the first three quarters, Washington found itself serving time for three technicals and two personal fouls in the final fifteen minutes. While UW's man-down defense played strong and acquited itself well, turning away most scoring attempts, it would surrender OSU's 10th and final goal with four minutes remaining in the contest. Sensing a a victory was at hand, Oregon State closed out the action in strong fashion, riding hard, scooping most of the ground balls and running out the final seconds while the Huskies could only watch helplessly.
The defeat marked the final collegiate game for four graduating UW Seniors -- Co-Captains Steven Frankel and Scott Gilson, along with Tanner Means and Ben Yamaguchi. Washington Head Coach Stewart Kerns was gracious in defeat, saying "Oregon State had a good game plan and they executed it very well. My guys fought really hard" said Kerns. "But the Beavers earned this win and we wish them well next week in the semis."
"We pretty much played zone all year," said winning Head Coach Chad Stelling of Oregon State. "And we stayed in that defense all day today. The difference in this game was our hustle, our faceoffs and our tough rides, especially in the second half."