In an aggressive second game, the Pilots defeated the San Jose State University Spartans 1-0 with an overtime golden goal.
With a new-found energy in the second minute of overtime, junior Hanna Armendariz scored her first career goal off a cross by junior Kimberly Hazlett.
“This team had to grind out a win today,” first-year coach and Portland alum Michelle French said of the game. “I’m proud of them for doing that.”
The Pilots controlled the power and possession for most of the game, but many long passes went too wide or too deep into Spartan defenses. They found success in driving down the wing and taking players one on one.
“Once we were able to pick up the first and second ball and they were able to actually play-make. I think that’s where we were most successful,” French said.
In an energetic first half, the quick Pilot defense was able to intercept Spartan possession.
Although the Pilots controlled the possession of the game, none of the 13 shots in the first 91 minutes made their mark. Portland sent the majority of the shots directly to the Spartan keeper.
“They matched us physically and it was just a battle the whole time,” forward Hazlett said. “They gave us trouble and they challenged us to just keep the ball and move it around.”
The Pilots came out with a fire, but by the 16th minute, possession was shared equally between the teams.
The Spartans were able to shoot three shots before the 45-minute mark. Two went beyond the goal frames, and one was closely grabbed by junior goalkeeper, Rachel Lusby.
“I just had to quickly react,” Lusby said of her saves. “You don’t really think about it, you just do it and then you get right back up.”
By the end of the first half, the score sat at 0-0 and both teams turned to desperate passes.
Both Pilots and Spartans came out for the second half with half the energy. Portland’s seven second half shots barely missed the goal.
This physical battle ended within the first minutes of overtime, when Hazlett crossed to Armendariz in the Spartan’s 18-yard-box. Armendariz sent the ball to the back left corner of the net and the team and coaches stormed the field in celebration.
“The first thing we have to do is compete and earn the right to play, as Clive Charles used to say,” French said.
French and Spartan head coach, Lauren Hanson, fellow Portland alumni and assistant coach of the team, presented for the dedication of “Clive’s Army,” the new name of the Merlo Field student section.
The Pilots will play their next game on Sunday at 5 p.m. against the Washington Huskies.