CORVALLIS, OR—The Vancouver Victory FC traveled to Corvallis to take on the Oregon State Beavers in a friendly that featured a matchup between former and future teammates. The Beavers prevailed 2-1 in a tightly contested match that was played in front of 170 fans, 40 or so of which traveled down from Vancouver to support their side. The weather was low 50’s under mostly sunny skies.
V2FC came out pressuring OSU in the early going but it was the Beavers who got on the board first. Victory Goalie Jordan Farr misplayed a deep free kick was sent in to the box resulting in a scramble for the loose ball that was punched in by Oregon State.
The Victory had the larger share of the ball possession, attacking OSU for good stretches of the first half. OSU seemed content to sit back and allow the Victory to come at them, then counter attack with numbers. Both sides created a few opportunities to score. Former Victory forward Jordan Jones had two scoring chances for the Beavers but could not get a shot past Farr. The Victory looked as if they would score when Timur Zhividze got in behind the OSU defense with the ball. His pop shot over the top of the OSU keeper missed just wide of the empty net as the keeper was caught off of his line.
The second half was more of the same. V2FC attacked the OSU net resulting in a series of crosses forcing OSU keeper Nolan Wirth to punch the ball away in traffic 5-6 times. The boys in blue tied the score when Zhividze cracked a rebound shot into traffic past a sprawling Wirth from 15 yards out. Victory forward Alex Nimo had just made a run into the box drawing some attention freeing up Zhividze.
The evenly played match was back and forth after that until the 81st minute when V2FC defender James Partee was called for a penalty kick on a shoulder challenge in the box. The challenge knocked the OSU shooter off balance causing him to whiff on his shot. A similar challenge 8 minutes earlier had caused a Victory player to not get his shot off 10 yard out in front of the OSU goal and was not called by the referee. Partee was not lamenting the call after the match, “It was kind of a soft PK. I surprised him by hitting him in the side, but hit him with his arm behind him knocking him off balance. Usually PKs are called for sliding.” OSU converted the penalty past Farr giving them the late lead. V2FC pushed for an equalizer, but OSU was organized and closed out the match.
The Victory outshot OSU slightly, but the Beavers had a slight edge in shots on goal. The Victory had more possession, but OSU was efficient and dangerous on their counter attacks. Both coaches were please with the level of play and the friendly was another step in building a partnership with Oregon State to provide opportunities for both clubs to share players.
Head Coach Aaron Lewis was please with his squad’s performance, “Today was a good day for our side. We played well against a very strong opponent and playing Oregon State is an important step for our club. We are starting to form our identity on and off of the field.”
Assistant Coach Sunny Dulai added, “The guys looked good today against Oregon State. We have some things to work on and tighten up some loose areas but all in all, we did well today.”
General Manager Barrett Goddard was also pleased, “Today was an important day for the club and a good result for us. Aaron and I are more interested in how we play than the final score. The guys are starting to execute his game plan and today was a solid step toward our other goals. I wanted to thank Coach Steve Simmons and the Oregon State Beavers for hosting us in today’s friendly. They are a quality Division 1 soccer side having just come off of a nice season with an appearance in the NCAA second round and I am excited to see more of their players join us in a month or so for the summer.”
Three of four Beaver players who are joining the Victory this summer played against their future teammates in the match, Goalie Nolan Wirth, Defender Zach Striar and midfielder Mikhail Doholis. Beaver forward Jaime Velasco was injured and did not play. Former V2FC players Jordan Jones and David Bolte also played for the Beaver in the match. “It was great to see Jordan and David. I had not seen them since last summer. I love those guys. They will always be Victory players!” said Goddard. This upcoming summer Jones will be playing for Lane United and Bolte will be playing for the Colorado Foxes back home.