ROCHESTER, Mich. — The Oregon State men’s soccer team overcame an early deficit to defeat Oakland 4-1 on Sunday.
Senior Daniel Van Vleet recorded the first two goals of his collegiate career in the winning effort, while Borce Atanasov added a goal and two assists as the Beavers rebounded from their first loss of the season, 1-0 to Michigan State on Friday.
“The response from our team after Friday’s game was tremendous,” coach Steve Simmons said. “We took the positives from the second half on Friday and combined them with some of the things we talked about (Saturday). We really just put it all together today. We wanted to start strong, and, even though we gave up the first goal, we scored three times in the first half. I thought the guys were brilliant in the way they came out today.”
Oakland (0-2-2) got on the board first just three minutes into the contest. Matt Dudley played a cross into the box that flicked off the head of Matt Rickard before falling to the feet of Miche’le Lipari. Lipari proceeded to hit a shot from the top of the box that found the bottom left corner of the net.
OSU (3-1-0) wasted no time in equalizing, as the Beavers tied the score just eight minutes later when Atanasov fired a shot from 25 yards out that made it past the goalie and into the left side of the net on an assist from sophomore Bjorn Sandberg.
The Beavers took the lead in the 30th minute. Atanasov played a pass from the right flank that found senior Josh Smith on the right side of the box. Smith took a shot from eight yards out that deflected off the goalkeeper and found its way into the net to give the Beavers a 2-1 advantage. It was Smith’s second goal of the season.
OSU made it 3-1 in the 41st minute. Jackson Groves took a pass from Mike Reckmeyer and eluded several Golden Grizzly defenders as he moved through the midfield. Groves played a pass through the defense to Van Vleet, who hit a shot from the top of the 18-yard box that floated into the upper right-hand corner.
Van Vleet then recorded his second goal of the game in the 87th minute. Atanasov played a low pass across the face of goal, which Van Vleet knocked into the net from close range.
“Danny’s just one of those guys that comes in and does his job,” Simmons said. “He’s unselfish, he fills his role and he epitomizes what it takes to be a championship team. It was great to see him get rewarded today.”
The Beavers were outshot 12-11 but placed six shots on goal, compared to just three for Oakland.
“The mentality of this team has been unflappable,” Simmons said. “The guys are locked in. They’ve been able to keep an even keel early in the season, and just continue moving on play to play. To make this trip across the country and to play the way we have, I think it’s a feather in our cap.”
OSU returns home to host the OSU Hensor/Zaher Nike Classic this weekend. The Beavers will take on Seattle University at 7 p.m. Friday before facing off with Air Force at 2 p.m.Sunday.