The UCLA Women’s Soccer team (7-2-0; 1-0-0 PAC 12) is in Oregon tonight to take on the Oregon State Beavers (5-3-2; 0-1-0) in what will be both teams’ second PAC 12 Conference game.
The Bruins will play their first conference game on the road after beating Arizona State, 2-0 at Drake Stadium last Thursday night. UCLA is 3-0 on the road this season.
The Beavers, on the other hand, return home to Corvallis looking to rebound after being smoked by UC Berkeley, 3-0, in the Bay Area last Friday afternoon. The Beavers are 4-1-2 at home this year.
Here are the details for the game tonight:
Opponent: Oregon State Beavers
When: Thursday, September 29, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. PT
Where: Lorenz Field, Corvallis, Oregon
How to Follow: Live Stats (no TV, no live stream, no live audio)
Oregon State is a tough team to gauge. They have only faced two ranked teams this season, #15 Nebraska and #17 UC Berkeley, both of which resulted in OSU losses. UCLA will be the highest ranked team that the Beavers have faced this year.
The Nebraska loss, which was an overtime loss, is the Beavers only home loss of the season. Oregon State also has two ties at home, to Cal State Northridge in OSU’s first game of the year and to USD in OSU’s last home game.
OSU is no stranger to overtime. In fact, five of Oregon State’s ten games have gone into overtime this season. In those five games, the Beavers are 2-1-2, with the two wins coming in their last two overtimes games, at Michigan State and to USD in Corvallis.
The Beavers had a poor season last year (6-10-3) and were picked to finish 11th in the PAC 12 this season. In 2016, although OSU fared well in non-conference play, it is expected that the team will face difficulties in the PAC 12 Conference.
Oregon State is led by senior defender Helene Haavik and junior midfielder Natalie Higgins, both of whom have scored four goals on the season. Junior forward, Nikki Harris has three goals of her own, and also leads Oregon State in assists with four. Junior forward Emma Jones, from Bournemouth, England, is also dangerous, leading the Beavers in shots. Jones also has three assists.
Until the Cal game, Oregon State had been pretty tough on the defensive side of the ball. The Beavers had only conceded one goal in six of their nine matches, going 5-0-1 in those contests. In the other three games, OSU allowed two goals in two losses and fought to a 0-0 draw with North Texas.
Goalkeeper, Bella Geist, who has played every minute between the posts this season for Oregon State, has 37 saves on the season, good for third in the PAC 12. Geist has the one clean sheet against North Texas.
The Bruins have won four straight games, scoring ten goals in that span, while only conceding two goals. UCLA’s only losses on the season were against two top ten teams. UCLA is a borderline top ten program right now (ranked #7 by topdrawersoccer.com and #11 in NCSAA poll).
The Bruins are led by freshman midfielder, Jessie Fleming, and senior forward, Darian Jenkins. Fleming, who won PAC 12 Player of the Week last week based on her two goal performance against ASU, has seven goals and an assist in only six appearances (she missed the beginning of the season recovering from the Rio Olympics).
Jenkins is also playing very well, with six goals of her own, to go with three assists. Collectively, the Bruins have 21 goals on the season, while only conceding eight.
The Bruin back line has been a bit shaky at times this season against top competition. Six of the eight goals conceded by UCLA have been in their two losses to nationally top ten Florida and North Carolina. The other seven teams UCLA has faced have only scored a total of two goals against the Bruins. Oregon State is closer to the latter category than the former.
Freshman, Teagan Micah, has been excellent in goal for the Bruins. She has played every minute of the season, made 34 saves, and has a 0.87 goals against average. Micah has five clean sheets.
UCLA cannot afford to overlook the Beavers, especially in Corvallis. I do not think that they will. The Beavers simply do not have the quality to hang with UCLA. I foresee another clean sheet for Teagan Micah as UCLA prevails, 1-0.
This is your UCLA Bruins Women’s Soccer versus Oregon State open thread. Go Bruins!