When Portland State steps onto the soccer pitch this weekend, it will undoubtedly do so with a chip on its shoulder.
Soccer preview – Portland State at Oregon State/Portland State at Oregon
When Portland State steps onto the soccer pitch this weekend, it will undoubtedly do so with a chip on its shoulder. Still fretting over dropping consecutive overtime losses to two Pacific-10 schools a year ago, the Vikings are eager to prove they are a formidable squad.
The Vikings take on an improved Beaver club Friday. Thus far this season, each of Oregon State’s five victories has resulted in shutouts.
“OSU is locked and loaded this season,” said Viking head coach Tim Bennett. “They’re coming off a couple tough road matches last weekend, so they should be motivated to play at home.”
If Portland State wants to reverse last year’s overtime misfortune versus the Beavers, the Vikings must stymie Oregon State senior forward Jodie Taylor, who leads the Pac-10 with 10 goals and 21 points. Bennett will need a strong performance on both sides of the ball from senior defender Juli Edwards this weekend.
“This is Juli’s last chance to play the Oregon schools,” Bennett said. “I expect a breakout weekend from her,”
The Ducks will provide a much different challenge for Portland State on Sunday.
“Oregon is much better this year and they don’t play Friday, so they’ll be fresh,” Bennett said.
Bennett recently took a refresher course in the capabilities of a fresh squad, as a rested University of Portland team dropped seven goals on the Vikings last Sunday.
“We need to play hard and more consistent-consistent physically, mentally and emotionally,” Bennett said.
In 2004, Duck coach Tara Erickson led Portland State to a 4-1-1 conference record and a share of the Big Sky regular season title in her final season in the South Park Blocks.
Freshman forward Krysta Whiteaker will miss both matches this weekend after suffering a concussion versus the Pilots. Whiteaker has started all eight matches for the Vikings this season.