The 15th ranked Pilots improved to 6-0-2 on the year with a 2-1 win on Friday at Merlo Field against the Oregon State Beavers.
The first half was one of few opportunities for both teams. Both squads only had four shots and four corners each.
However, the opportunities that came were close for both teams. Junior Pilot striker Benji Michel had two close calls from the right side of the goal, but neither could find the back of the net.
Joel Walker, sophomore Beaver midfielder, beat the Pilot’s back defensive line on the right side of field multiple times, but couldn’t capitalize.
The second half of the game started at the same pace. Both teams looked for an advantage as the first goal seemed close for both teams.
The Pilots would strike first in the 60th minute as the ball was played into Pilot’s senior defender Malcolm Dixon. Dixon fooled both the Oregon State backline as well as the keeper with a backheel touch to the back of the net.
“I battled my way through and turned,” Dixon said. “I decided to backheel it and I looked up and it found the goal.”
The goal marked Dixon’s first of the season.
The lead was short lived for the Pilots as Oregon State got set up with a penalty kick off a hand ball in the Portland penalty box. Beaver senior forward Don Tchilao found the bottom left corner of the goal, tying the game at one.
The Pilots and Beavers weathered the storm before a ball bouncing out of bounds gave the Pilots a corner. The ball was sent into the box from the right corner before it ricocheted off multiple Pilots to Michel.
Michel took advantage and put The Pilots up 2-1 in the 80th minute. The goal marked the seventh on the year for Michel.
The resilience of the Pilot squad has been prevalent this season. Head Coach Nick Carlin-Voigt has taken notice.
“One thing about this team is they do not give up,” said Carlin-Voigt after his Pilot’s second win over a Pac-12 opponent this season. “They have great belief and spirit.”
The No. 15 Pilots will fly to South Carolina to take on No. 24 Coastal Carolina University on Monday, Sept. 24 at 4 p.m.